Recipe Review

This Recipe Forever Changed the Way I Make Grilled Cheese

published Jan 18, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Adriana Adarme’s blog, A Cozy Kitchen, is a longtime favorite of mine. Adriana is the queen of approachable cooking, and I’ve turned to her site countless times over the years for inspiration and guidance. Plus, she has great taste in music and one very adorable pup.

In my search for grilled cheese showdown contenders, I came across a post for a “fancy-ass” grilled cheese that Adriana had written back in 2014. She doesn’t include exact measurements or timing, so it’s less of a recipe than it is a guide on the best components and techniques to use for a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

I wasn’t sure if I would love or hate the fact that the instructions were pretty loose, but that being said, I do think there are benefits to giving readers room to customize. Here’s what happened when I gave it a go.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make A Cozy Kitchen’s Fancy-Ass Grilled Cheese

Grate a mixture of cheeses (Adriana uses Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar) until you have enough for your sandwich. Either smear softened butter on the outsides of sliced brioche, or add a generous amount of butter to the pan and sprinkle in a little bit of salt if the butter is unsalted.

Sprinkle the grated cheese on the bottom slice of bread, unbuttered side facing up, and then cover with the top slice, buttered side facing up. Cook over medium-low or low heat in a covered skillet, flipping once, until both sides are golden-brown, which I found to be about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of A Cozy Kitchen’s Fancy-Ass Grilled Cheese

While I was skeptical about A Cozy Kitchen’s less structured approach, I think her choose-your-own-adventure style is actually perfect for grilled cheese-making. She focuses on all of the techniques that result in a perfect grilled cheese rather than giving you hard-and-fast rules about what should go into the sandwich. This allows you to play around while still keeping the most important components in mind.

For instance, Adriana stresses the importance of using a mixture of cheeses and shredding your cheese so that it melts perfectly, but lets you decide how much and which cheeses. Frankly, I consider how much cheese you use to be a highly personal decision. Adriana also recommends covering the pan while the grilled cheese cooks, which I think should just be the standard. It’s an easy way to ensure optimal golden-brownness and perfectly melted cheese. However, this recipe really stood out to me for its use of brioche. Most recipes call for sourdough, but buttery brioche is really everything you want in a grilled cheese. It’s soft and rich, instantly taking your sandwich to the next level.

By following the steps that Adriana outlined, I ended up with a grilled cheese sandwich that was perfect for me: a crispy exterior that gave way to soft, buttery bread and a perfectly cheesy center. It’s proof that keeping things simple can often lead to the best end result.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making A Cozy Kitchen’s Fancy-Ass Grilled Cheese, a Few Tips

  1. Get creative with your cheese. I used Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar as Adriana did in her example, but she also mentions that she loves Comté, Brie, and Tallegio (and if money was no object, she’d throw some Époisses, a soft, fancy French cheese, in there as well). As long as it’s shredded and highly meltable, the world of cheese is your oyster!
  2. Stick with brioche. Repeat after me: thick, buttery, and fluffy. I highly recommend sticking with brioche for this recipe, as it really adds so much to the overall sandwich.

Overall rating: 10/10