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The Perfect Grilled Cheese & Salumi Sandwich

As with most things, the better the ingredients the better the end product. Yes, this is even true for a grilled cheese sandwich. Don't get me wrong, white sandwich bread and cheese in plastic makes a mighty fine grilled cheese, and I have eaten many — but when the time is right, the perfect grilled cheese has a few key elements that you just can't skimp on, and even a little addition that is a must — salumi!

Ingredients:

  • Fresh sourdough loaf of bread (each slice a 1/2" thick)
  • New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese, thinly sliced
  • Your choice of Italian salumi — this is just as delicious with prosciutto, speck or classic salami — thinly sliced
  • Plenty of soft, real butter

To get that perfect golden brown toast, your nonstick pan needs to be heated to medium and each end-piece of bread needs to be slathered with butter, covering the whole slice.

Before putting the bread in the pan, stack several slices of cheese, one layer of your choice of salumi and then more slices of cheese to weigh down the bread. It should sizzle when applied to the pan. Add the additional slice of bread (butter side up), waiting 2 minutes before turning and flipping. After the first flip press the sandwich down in the pan with the back of a spatula and cook for two more minutes. Flip again to heat one more time on each side until the bread gets that golden brown crust and the edges of cheese are melted. Slice your grilled cheese in half and toss it on a paper towel or paper plate (nothing fancy here) and think back to the days of plain old white bread and cheese from a plastic sleeve.

Once again, the secret to this sandwich is the ingredients and process. If you skimp, well, you will just be having a grilled cheese sandwich.