Gourmet grilled cheese – the perfect dish for winter

When it's cold outside, nothing beats a nice bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Up your grilled cheese game this winter with these tips.

For the perfect grilled cheese, meltability is key. While cheddar is thought of as the standard, it's really not ideal for this purpose. Fol Epi is a much better choice. It melts perfectly, giving the creamy cheesy goodness you desire, without becoming a big melty mess.

Of course, you could always branch out. Goat cheese is delicious in grilled cheese sandwiches, particularly when paired with a sturdier cheese. Try mixing goat cheese and Fol Epi for an even creamier sandwich. Grilled brie sandwiches are also an indulgent treat.

The best gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches don't stop at just bread and cheese. Try adding other elements to your sandwiches. Try sautéing mushrooms with some thyme and pair with some camembert. Grilled brie sandwiches are lightened up with the addition of apple slices or a swipe of strawberry jam. And of course, a couple slices of bacon are always a welcome addition!

Now that we have the fillings under control, it's time to consider bread. Now is not the time for a super-healthy, whole grain, low carb bread. Darker breads have a higher tendency to burn, so a white bread is more likely to achieve a really nice golden brown crust without burning. A nice loaf of peasant bread or French-style sourdough is perfect, although regular supermarket white bread works just fine.

Buttering the bread can be the downfall of any grilled cheese. It's all too easy to rip apart the sandwich while applying too-cold butter to the outside. Instead of buttering the bread, try buttering your skillet, for the same effect without the mess. If you already have some slices of bacon in your sandwich, try grilling your sandwich in the leftover bacon grease for a crisp and flavorful crust. Another option that sounds weird but works great is mayonnaise: try spreading mayo on your bread instead of butter. The difference in taste is negligible, but it will give a nice brown crust.

Now all you need to do is pair your newfound grilled cheese expertise with a bowl of your favorite soup for a cozy meal on a cold night!