The grilled cheese sandwich. Very little is better. The combination of childhood nostalgia, ease, and I'm-a-grown-up-and-can-eat-whatever-the-fuck-I-want makes it one of the all time greatest weeknight dinners. If you want to go lighter, make the one sandwich and eat halves with your romantic partner, good friend, or spoiled dog. Pair it with tomato soup (my recipe posted below) and/or a simple salad. This particular variation on the grilled cheese sandwich is easiest and best when you just happen to have roasted more garlic than you needed the day before, which is how this recipe came about.
- roasted garlic
- muenster cheese
- good mustard
- beer bread
If you are freshly roasting the garlic, turn the oven up to 375º. Tear the papery exterior from the garlic bulb. Make small cuts around the tops of the individual cloves to open them up. Pour olive oil directly onto the exposed parts. Shake plenty of salt over the cloves. Place into a baking dish and into the oven. It should take 45 minutes to an hour for the skin to darken and the gloves to soften completely. Take out, let cool, then pop out the individual cloves.
Slice the bread thickly but not too thickly. A beer bread from a German-leaning bakery would be ideal for this sandwich, though really any yeasty-tasting bread with pillowy interior and nice outside crust will be great.
Slice the muenster thickly but not too thickly. Butter one side of a piece of bread, spread mustard on the other side, then lay slices of muenster on top. Place your favorite sandwich pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Set the buttered end into the pan and cook for a few minutes as the pan heats up. Once you can really feel the heat when holding your hand over it, turn the burner down to low.
When the muenster is first showing signs of melting, press several whole cloves of garlic into the cheese, with your fingers or a palette knife-ish tool. Layer the rest of the muenster on top of the smashed garlic, trapping it in the center. Spread mustard on the inside of the other piece of bread, butter on the outside, and set on top. After a minute or two, after checking to see the first side starting to crisp up a little, carefully flip the sandwich.
At this point, just keep being patient until you have two crisp sides with oozing, garlicky, cheesy insides.