We’ve been thinking about grilled cheese sandwiches a lot lately. Today, April 20, is the 13th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational cook off in Los Angeles. Best wishes to the 200 competitors and may the best “sammich” win! In honor of those who live to melt cheese between 2 pieces of bread, we bring you our latest and greatest take on the grilled cheese sandwich. But first, the back story.
Recipes developed here in the Nicer Slicer test kitchen have to pass our trifecta of criteria: does it taste good, does it look appealing and is it easy to make? Only then does it get named. This sandwich goes way back in my family. We call it the "The Little Sandy" since it was invented by my mom (whose name is Sandy also, but she's much smaller than me.)
The Little Sandy has several qualities to offer the grilled cheese afficionado. It cuts the calories, fat and carbs of a standard GCS in half. Exactly what those numbers are is difficult to pinpoint, based on the type and amount of bread, cheese and fat (butter, margarine, oil) used for grilling. The usual nutritional range is 300-450 calories, 14-28 grams fat and 15-30 grams carbohydrates.
This sandwich fits the Nicer Slicer formula: you get half the calories or twice as many sandwiches for the same money as a conventional GCS. It also makes great road food. Recently we grilled up a batch, stored them for 24 hours and enjoyed them on a long car trip. They were still crunchy and easy to handle.
The secret to the Little Sandy is the preparation. Bread is first toasted and then slicered. After cutting, the slices are laid out with the toasted side UP. Cheese is arranged and slices stacked into sandwiches. Then butter is applied to the soft UNTOASTED side of bread. Finally, the sandwich is lightly grilled in a pan or griddle containing a pat of butter or non-stick cooking oil.
So now you have the inside out Little Sandy grilled cheese sandwich. Cut in half and enjoy, or into wedges and serve as hot hors’douvres. You can also store them in the fridge for use later (cool first).