The Perfect Grilled Cheese: A Mini Class to Master the Sandwich | Learn with Plated | Elana Karp | Skillshare

The Perfect Grilled Cheese: A Mini Class to Master the Sandwich | Learn with Plated

Elana Karp, Head Chef, Plated

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6 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:31
    • 2. Preparing Your Sandwich

      2:02
    • 3. Cooking Your Sandwich

      3:52
    • 4. Add-Ons and Combinations

      0:54
    • 5. Bonus Lesson: Knife Safety

      1:44
    • 6. More Culinary Classes on Skillshare

      0:25
65 students are watching this class

About This Class

Join Plated’s Head Chef Elana Karp for a fun and informative mini class on everyone's favorite comfort food: grilled cheese!

You'll learn about the perfect cheeses to use, how to blend them to create the best flavor, what breads to work with, and finally, how to optimize for cheesy gooeyness in your own sandwich. You'll come away with your own custom recipe (with a secret ingredient!) and a surprising trick to getting the perfect brown crust.

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Contest: Say Cheese and Win!

Upload a photo of your perfectly cooked grilled cheese to the Project Gallery for a chance to win a Plated Prize Pack ($200 value)! 

Grand Prize includes:

  • Chef's Skillet
  • Plated Dinner-for-Two Weekly Box — 3 unique recipes with 2 servings each!

Enter by March 15, 2016 at Noon EST

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Elana Karp, the Head Chef at Plated. Plated is a cook-at-home dinner service that ships all across the country. We send you pre-portioned food with recipes you can cook dinner at home. And me and my team work here in the Plated Test Kitchen, and we develop all the recipes, we test them to make sure they're delicious and easy to do, shoot all the photography and then we edit them and put together a beautiful recipe card that's shipped to your door so you can cook an amazing meal at home. Grilled cheese is like America's favorite sandwich, but not everyone knows how to make it perfectly. There's something amazing about perfect crispy grilled cheese with really melty inside that just makes you feel good no matter what's going on. So, I'm going to show you a few simple techniques to do that perfectly and it's also going to taste like the best grilled cheese you've ever had. In this class, we'll go over all the basics. The most important is the ingredients, so we'll start with the ingredients, and then technique for cooking the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich. We'll finish with suggestions for add-ons. I started out in Culinary School in France, where I developed a deep appreciation of cheese, and then I came back to New York and I did a million different food jobs. I worked in catering, and teaching cooking, and nutrition classes, and then I wound up at Plated. It's been an awesome job here, really fun and I'm excited to share how to make the perfect grilled cheese with you. There's also an awesome project for this class, we want you to cook along with us, and take a photo of your amazing work and upload it to the Project Gallery. 2. Preparing Your Sandwich: So, the meltiest, crispiest, cheesiest, deliciousiest grilled cheese has a few key ingredients: shredded cheese and mayo. I'm going to start with the cheese. I love a four cheese blend. I think it gives the best flavor and also the optimal meltiness. Here's why, this is Gruyere and this is Fontina. Gruyere and Fontina are both really melty. Fontina has a little bit of a milder flavor, while Gruyere is super flavorful. So, we don't use a ton of Gruyere or a ton of Fontina because the balance would be off but a little bit of both is perfect. Now we have cheddar. Cheddar is that classic grilled cheese flavor so you have to have it in a grilled cheese sandwich. But, you don't want to get too sharp of a cheddar because the fat content is really high and when it melts it separates and you get a greasy sandwich. So, you want a medium cheddar and you're not going to use a ton of it just for that really good flavor. Then mozzarella because it just melts really well and sort of brings everything together with also a mild flavor. So, a mix of these four is the perfect combination. Then, mayonnaise is the other really important ingredient in this recipe. Normally, with grilled cheese, you put softened butter on the outside of the bread. That can get greasy and soak into the bread and it doesn't get as brown evenly as you might want. Mayonnaise on the other hand, if you do a thin layer on the outside, no butter anywhere, put it right in the pan with no oil or anything, gives the crust the perfect golden crispiness. You'll be amazed at how good it is. I like a rustic style bread with a pretty thick crust that's not too hard because I don't want to have to struggle with biting into it, but this has a nice hardy crust and it's soft on the inside without too many holes because I don't want my cheese to escape the sandwich. I want it to all stay inside. So with those ingredients, we're going to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. 3. Cooking Your Sandwich: Okay, it's time to assemble our sandwich, so we're going to start the mayo. I'm going to use about a teaspoon for each slice of bread and I'm just going to spread a thin layer on the outside of the bread. You don't want it to be too thick because that will get greasy, just enough to kind of give the bread a beautiful crust. Really, take your time to do this right, makes all the difference. Okay. That looks good. I'll lay that down, just make sure you get it really nice and even all the way to the edges. Perfect. Okay, so now I'm ready for the cheese. This bread is kind of small. So I'm going to do about a cup of cheese but if you're using a bigger piece of bread, you can go out to a cup and a half or even two cups, and I'm just going to do equal parts of each cheese, you can really pack it in there. Okay, great. I'm just going to get it onto my first piece of bread. Seems like a lot but it's really going to squish down, I promise, okay. So shredded cheese is really key for a grilled cheese because it melts more quickly, so if you have sliced cheese, your bread might burn before the cheese melts. When it's shredded, it melts at the same rate as the crispness of the bread and it ends with the perfect sandwich. Okay, so it's time to cook, so I'm going to heat the pan to medium. I'm just going to let it get warm for a second, go get my sandwich. So this is a trick that my dad taught me, and my dad actually started my love of grilled cheese because he used to make it for me all the time when I was little, is that when you first put it in the pan you need to put something heavy on top of it, because that will help everything cook evenly as opposed to getting kind of hot spots all around the sandwich, so I'm just using a small pan that I had. You could also use a plate, if you don't have a little pan. Just going to place it right on top, I'm going to hold it because it's a little uneven right now, I don't want it to fall over, so I'm going to let this cook for two minutes on the bottom, then I'm going to flip it. I'm not going to use the weight on top for the second half and cook it for two minutes more. Okay, we're ready to flip. Ah, right so just two minutes more to let the cheese melt and the bottom get crispy, and you can see that the mayo gave it that even golden cross all around and it's really not greasy. Alright, this is looking perfect. So I'm going to remove it from the heat and slice it. Time to cut it on a diagonal always taste better. Yum. 4. Add-Ons and Combinations: Once you've mastered the classic grilled cheese, you might want to start experimenting. So, these are few of my favorite add-ons. These are caramelized onions, this is fig jam, and this is pesto. So, you can put these in the sandwich before you cook it. The only important thing to remember is to put it in between two layers of cheese so that the cheese acts as glue and still holds the sandwich together. If you put it just on top, then one of the pieces of bread won't stick and it will just be a disaster. So, you can sort of add on any filling that you want, just remember to put it in between two layers of cheese. So, now that you've learned how to make the perfect grilled cheese, it's time to put your skills to use, get in the kitchen, start experimenting with cheese blends and add-ons and different types of bread, and then take a picture and share your gooiest, cheesiest, meltiest photo in the Project Gallery. 5. Bonus Lesson: Knife Safety: No matter what you're cutting, safety is really important. So, the first step is protecting your non-cutting hand, and the way you're going to do that is by doing a bear claw, which means you're going to curl under all of your fingers and use sort of the tips of your finger to hold the ingredient in place. It feels a little weird at first, but it's going to protect all of your fingertips because if your knife slips for any reason, it's just going to bump into your knuckles instead of slicing off the tip of your finger. So, the first tip for knife skills is the bear claw and holding your ingredients with your bear claw. So now, we'll talk about the knife. A good chef's knife is the number one tool in any kitchen. It has a good weight, a smooth blade, and you can pretty much cut anything with it, so it's a great starter knife. As we talk about this knife today and knife skills, there are four important parts of the knife that we need to know about. So, the first is the point which is this sharp edge at the top. The tip is this rounded part of the blade near the point. The base is right by the handle, and then obviously, the handle is here. So, in order to hold your knife properly, you actually need to grip the base with your pointer and your thumb. This feels a little weird at first. Most people think to hold a knife like this, and the problem with it is that when you hold your knife like this and you move your wrist around, the blades sort of wobbles freely and you don't have a lot of control. If you pinch the base with your thumb and your forefinger and then wrap your remaining fingers around the handle, you have total control of the knife. So, when your wrist moves, the blade moves with it and you know exactly where it's going to go. So, you hold your knife like this, you have your bear claw hand like this and you're ready to go and start cutting anything. 6. More Culinary Classes on Skillshare: