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Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Who doesn’t have touchstone foods from childhood? My aunt Ruth made the best grilled cheese sandwiches, bar none. Decades before most people in this country had ever heard of panini, she used a waffle iron to make them with buttered caraway rye bread and Muenster cheese. This mouthwatering panino was embossed with square dimples, like crisp inverse croutons, encasing cheese that oozed and crisped at the edges. I thought my aunt invented it, but evidently it was a somewhat widespread Midwestern custom. There’s no reason not to make it exactly the way she did, but here’s the version I prefer these days.–David Tanis

LC Waffle Iron Wizardry Note

Yup. Pull that waffle iron off the top shelf and wipe off the dust, cuz you’re going to want to give this waffle iron grilled cheese sandwich a whirl. But that’s not the only use we can conjure for that contraption. Heck no. Consider plopping, dribbling, or otherwise putting any of the following on those hot little dimples. Got anything to add to the list? Kindly let us know in a comment below.

Frozen hash browns or tater tots
Brownie batter
Cornbread
Panini
Scrambled eggs
Bacon
Quesadillas
Polenta
Mochi

Special Equipment: Waffle iron

Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 pieces good bread (and by good, we mean really, really good)
  • 2 to 3 ounces fontina, Gruyère, or raclette cheese, sliced or grated
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Heat a waffle iron.
  • 2. Butter both slices of bread on 1 side. Place 1 bread slice, butter side down, on the waffle iron. Layer on the cheese and top with the second slice of bread, butter side up. [Editor's Note: Exactly how much cheese you use depends on how whopping your slices of bread. Don't be greedy. More is not better in the case of a waffle iron grilled cheese, because it'll just spill out the sides.] Close the waffle iron, but don’t press it down, and let the sandwich cook for about 2 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and crisp at the edges. If you like your grilled cheese bordering on burnt, leave it in for up to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
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