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.
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.
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.