Brilliant! I said, when I regained linguistic abilities.
The name itself excited me:
But when I thought about the execution (and saw the above photograph in The New York Times, I was confused—and disheartened.
As Ali explains in her article, the inverted bagel grilled cheese appears to have some... technical difficulties (to put it kindly). How do you even eat the thing? How do you cross that crater of droopy cheese in the middle to make it safely to the other side? I don't want to eat a bagel—not even a pizza bagel—with a fork and knife.
And even if you figure out a way to do it better, so that it makes more sense (brava, Ali), I'd argue that, by combining the bagel and the grilled cheese, this hybrid obscures the best parts of each (and that has to be the number one pitfall of food mash-ups).
Still, I understand the appeal of making a grilled cheese out of something other than white or wheat, which is why I like the Baguette Grilled Cheese (pictured below).
Say you have a baguette that's not top-quality (maybe it's a little old, maybe it's too bready, maybe it's more flat than cylindrical). Cut off a piece—7 to 8 inches long, then slice it like a giant sub. Invert the halves, buttering the insides (which are now the outsides!) generously (you can also take a cue from Gabrielle Hamilton and use mayo.) Carefully stick thinly sliced cheese in the middle, then make a grilled cheese as you know how. Do be careful as you flip: Like the inverted bagel grilled cheese, the baguette grilled cheese is more slippery than a traditional one.
The baguette grilled cheese allows you to grill/toast/press something that you would not normally be able to (as baguettes are typically too round and hard). Bagels, on the other hand, are pliable enough that you could grill them as is, no highfalutin inversion necessary.
What's more, it's a great use for a baguette on its way to the compost bin. (Bagels toast more easily than baguettes. Toast your old bagel—or put it in a savory bread pudding—rather than inverting it.)
Okay, so you can't add as many fillings as a normal grilled cheese and if your baguette has really, really hard outer crust, you're going to run into a problem. Still, it makes more sense than an inverted bagel grilled cheese. And there's a lot less to lose.
What is your favorite grilled cheese holder? Tell us in the comments below!