The Sandwich of the Year
2011 was all about dressed-up comfort food—hot dogs topped with kimchi, prosciutto-laced pea soup. The easiest way to bring that kind of cooking into your kitchen? The Michelin-worthy grilled cheese
You shoved it into your face as a little kid and used it to soak up cheap beer in college, but now it’s time to elevate your grilled cheese sandwich to grown-man territory. “Think of it as a blank canvas,” says Thomas Keller, who serves a buttery Gruyère-and-brioche version at Bouchon Bakery in New York City. In other words, experiment. Once you upgrade from Kraft Singles and Wonder Bread, you’ll realize there’s nothing Keller can do to a grilled cheese that you can’t. Just remember a few tricks: Use a low, even source of heat—too hot and the bread will burn before your Gruyère gets a chance to melt—and let the finished product rest for a minute, like you would a fresh-off-the-grill porterhouse. It’s not 3 a.m. after a frat party, and patience, like a quality Gouda, is a sign of maturity.