The Best Grilled Cheese I Ever Made

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Listen, September has been a slow month for me. It’s been a lot of figuring out where my life is going, what I need more or less of, and just being very tired a lot of the time. At points my anxiety and frustration have peaked, and I’ve had this overwhelming creative energy with no clue how to direct it. So I’ve looked for small moments of joy to hold me together this month.

This sandwich is one of them.

I’m descended from a noble line of cheese eaters and sandwich makers. My Minnesotan ancestors have passed the ancient art of adding salt, fat, and dairy to absolutely everything down through the generations, and I could feel them smiling down on me when I constructed this slightly bougie but indulgent grilled cheese sandwich.

[Yes, this is an openface sandwich, which would technically make it a toasty. Don’t @ me, y’all. I’ve made this as a sandwich and it’s great but I don’t like bread that much and THIS IS ABOUT MY FEELINGS.]

Ingredients:

  • Crusty bread like ciabatta loaf or French, but really whatever floats your boat

  • 1 apple; any variety will do, but I used fuji cause I keep them around for eating anyway

  • 2 slices of prosciutto

  • Brie cheese or something close to it; the farmy-er tasting, the better.

  • Brown mustard

  • Salted butter

Step 1: Prep all your ingredients. Slice your apple thinly. Slice your cheese relatively thinly (and taste several pieces to assure quality). Slice one or two pieces of crusty bread or whatever you’ve got and butter one side of each slice.

Step 2: Fry up that prosciutto on medium heat. It’s thin so it will cook quickly. You want the fat to render a bit and it to get a little brown and crinkly but not super crispy. Remove it from the pan and place it on a separate plate to await sandwich construction.

Step 3: In the same pan (don’t clean the pan - why would you waste good bacon grease?) add the bread butter-side down. Smear it around in those sweet, salty bacon leavings. Smear a little mustard to the top, unbuttered side of each slice. Carefully add sliced apples, prosciutto, and cheese in thin, even layers to the bread.

Step 4: Cover the pan, lower the heat to low-medium low and wait for that gorgeous melting action to occur.

Step 5: EAT IT ALL.

Look - this isn’t a complicated or healthy recipe. But it’s tasty and I f**king hate feeling like I’m supposed to eat nothing but salad because I’m a “girl.” It’s stupid. Finding joy in food is great. Maybe looking to food alone for comfort isn’t healthy, but I fully endorse enjoying an OTT indulgent meal on occasion, especially when you’re having a hard time. Looking for those simple, mundane pleasures and really savoring them is important to do every once in a while.