Gabrielle Hamilton's Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

By • July 8, 2014 • 12 Comments

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Author Notes: The secret to crispier, faster, better grilled cheese sandwiches? Mayonnaise. "This is the greatest cooking medium of all time for a grilled cheese sandwich," she says. It won't burn as quickly as butter, and it won't stick to the pan, and it browns and crisps more evenly too. From Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune Restaurant, via CHOW.Genius Recipes

Serves 10

  • 20 (1/2-inch-thick) slices rustic bread (from about 1 1/2 loaves)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Hamilton likes Hellmann's)
  • 1 pound shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place half of the bread slices on a work surface and spread with half of the mayonnaise. Flip the bread slices over and evenly divide the cheese among the slices.
  3. Spread the remaining bread slices with the remaining mayonnaise and place them mayonnaise-side up over the cheese to form 10 sandwiches.
  4. Heat a large nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium-low heat until hot, about 4 to 5 minutes. Place 2 to 3 of the sandwiches in the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown and the cheese is starting to melt, about 5 minutes. Flip the sandwiches and cook until the second sides are golden brown and the cheese is completely melted, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
  5. When all the sandwiches are cooked, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool 1 to 2 minutes before cutting each sandwich in half.
Jump to Comments (12)

Tags: bread, cheese, grilled cheese

Comments (12) Questions (1)

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3 months ago Donna Rose

I must have done something wrong, based on all the positive comments about success. I used Best Foods, a firm sourdough, shredded cheese. It tasted awesome, but despite letting it sit on a cooling rack, the sandwiches got soggy very quickly. Did I miss something?

Stringio

3 months ago celliejoe

i've never buttered the bread - always added the butter to the frying pan, adding more after flipping the sandwich over. will try the mayo, though, to see which we like better.

Stringio

3 months ago Lauren

I didn't have a non-stick pan available...that's the only problem I had....But the sandwiches were amazing!!! I loved the taste and I used my favorite Muenster cheese....oh, my!! Ooey, gooey cheesy dinner with bread and butter pickled veggies! The best plate I've had in a loooong time! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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3 months ago mmmassey

I wonder if this would work with the other best thing to ever happen to grilled cheese... make it in a waffle iron!!!!!

Ry_400

4 months ago Posie Harwood

Posie is the Provisions Editor at Food52.

Fact: mayo is so so good, and I truly appreciate any excuse to use it more. This sandwich will be happening soon

Dscf3909

4 months ago myboyboris

I love mayo more than bacon but I much prefer butter on the outside of my grilled cheese. Never had a problem with burning.

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4 months ago WileyP

Someone told me decades ago that mayonnaise is the thing to use on grilled sandwiches, and I remember that it worked very nicely. For some unknown reason, though, that tip slipped through the cracks and I continued using butter again. Thanks for reminding me!

Kindergarten_-_1960

4 months ago Auntie Allyn

OMG, this is truly genius! When I make grilled cheese sandwiches with buttered bread, I always run into problems with the bread/butter burning before the insides are properly heated. Tonight's grilled cheese with prosciutto, using Gabrielle's method, was perfection!

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4 months ago MaureenOnTheCape

I've been making grilled cheese exactly like this for years and when I've earned extra calories I grill a hamburg first, and place it inside the grilled cheese as soon as it comes out of the pan. If you wait too long the cheese "glues" the bread together. You'll be satiated for most of the day.

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4 months ago Liz Colville

You know, even those olive oil has such a low burn rate (lower than butter's) I love to use it for grilled cheeses and then rub a sliced garlic clove over the bread when it's toasted. I think I learned this from a Fine Cooking feature, but also experienced it at a sandwich food truck in Berkeley, CA a couple of years ago!

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4 months ago Lola Blackwelder

your site will not let me use my e mail address, says this address is taken, but I can not use it to sign in.

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3 months ago Lauren Kelley

Lauren is the Director of Customer Experience and Operations at Provisions by Food52

Hi Lola -- sorry you're having trouble getting logged back in! I checked, and you've definitely got an account with us, so you should be able to go to Log In and try to get signed in (or click Forgot Password to have your password reset instructions emailed to you). If you're still having trouble, you can also email us at [email protected]. We're glad to help!