The key in this “upscale” version of the grilled cheese sandwich is the same as in any grilled cheese sandwich: you want the bread to reach its beautiful, golden-brown color—and no more!—just as the cheese has melted.
Makes 1 sandwich
2 slices of best quality white bread (such as from a Pullman loaf), cut 1/2″ thick
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 ounces Emmenthaler (Swiss cheese), grated
2 slices bacon, cooked to taste and cut in half crosswise
2 1/4″ thick slices of tomato, cut in half and blotted briefly on a paper towel
1. Place a medium skillet over medium heat.
2. Using a pastry brush, coat all four sides of the bread with the melted butter. Place the slices of bread in the skillet and cook until lightly golden in color on one side, about 1 1/2 minutes. With a spatula, remove the bread to your work surface, cooked side up, and place half of the cheese on one slice of the bread, spreading it almost to the edges. Top this slice with the bacon and then the tomato, distributing them evenly. Distribute the remaining cheese on top and place the second slice of bread, cooked side down, on top of the other ingredients, pressing gently to compact it.
3. Remove the skillet from the heat for a minute or two, allowing it to cool briefly before transferring the sandwich to it. Return the skillet to the heat and weight the sandwich with a smaller, heavy skillet (or use a small cutting board topped with a large can of tomatoes). Cook the first side until golden brown, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, reducing the heat if it threatens to burn. Flip with a spatula, weight the sandwich, and cook the second side until golden brown and the cheese has melted, another 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from the skillet, cut in half and serve.
Photo: Renée Suen/Flickr Creative Commons