These perfectly golden brown toasty, buttery Parmesan crusted Grilled Cheese Sticks are filled with 2 ooey gooey melted cheeses…plus a few more surprises!
How comforting are grilled cheese sandwiches? I think you’d be hard pressed to find a family in America who hasn’t made grilled cheese sandwiches at least once in their lives. I don’t know about you, but the evolution of these sandwiches in our home has drastically changed over the years.
Can anyone relate when I say that we started out with white bread, butter and American cheese that I had to rescue from an individual plastic wrapper? It still tasted good, but we have definitely progressed since then. Now, we can easily say that these Grilled Cheese Sticks taste Spectacularly GREAT!
So, what have we changed? Well, now we use tasty sourdough bread, 2 kinds of buttery sharp cheese, fresh green onions and a little mayonnaise with Parmesan (instead of butter) on the outside for grilling. The Parmesan cheese will create a wonderfully crisp and shaggy crust, giving this sandwich a whole new taste sensation. And please don’t freak out like I did when I first heard about using mayonnaise. My son does not like mayonnaise (at all) and I was really worried the first time I served it to him. Well, he couldn’t even tell, and professed that these little sandwiches were THE BEST Grilled Cheese Sticks he had ever tasted! Success!
Why mayonnaise, you may ask? I have to say that mayonnaise grills up so much better than butter, and I will never go back! Yep, mayo, not butter, is the way to go! You only need a few teaspoons of it, but the results are huge. It is crispier, more golden brown, and WAY more flavorful. Mayo spreads better than butter (especially if you’re using a softer bread like brioche) and has a higher smoke point, so it won’t burn as easily. Plus, the oil and egg in mayonnaise brown so much nicer and add a creamy flavor to the crust. Combine that with the salty, nutty cheese and it will make you swoon! This yummy sandwich is like a smaller version of “one of our most popular recipes”…PLEASE bring THAT Cheesy Bread. You just have to try both!
When it comes to making grilled cheese sandwiches, I’ve learned a few things through the years:
- It’s a good idea to use day old bread because it holds together better than fresh bread.
- If you’re using thicker slices of bread, lightly toast the bread before starting; the thicker the bread, the longer you’ll need to cook it in order to allow the cheese in the middle to melt.
- Make sure the cheese is at room temperature so it melts before the bread gets too brown. Plus, make sure you grate or shred the cheese so it will ensure it softens faster and gets thoroughly melted.
- It’s a good idea to use a non-stick pan to fry it, so it flips easily and nothing sticks.
- I also like to preheat the pan to medium and then lower the heat to medium-low; this setting works best for making sure you get the perfectly golden brown grilled bread and having all the cheese melt evenly.
Try all of these tips to end up with the best Grilled Cheese Sticks you have ever experienced. And why do I make little sticks instead of a whole piece of bread at once? First of all, they are irresistibly cute to pick up and eat; they’re way more FUN than a whole sandwich. Secondly, it speeds up the process so everything is easily finished all at once. Win win! Plus, they are very rich, so a little goes a long way! So please try these little darlings over the weekend. If you really want to get exotic, try adding in some tomatoes, bacon, peppers, onions, jams, chutney, herbs or whatever your heart desires! Enjoy and let me know your favorite grilled cheese combination.
- Per Sandwich: Makes 4 sticks
- 2 slices sourdough bread, day old is better
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, divided
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons of extra sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of Jack cheese, finely grated, room temperature
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced, optional but good
- 2 teaspoons (about 1 green onion), very finely chopped
- 2 dashes cayenne pepper, optional but good
- Spread out the bread slices and spread one side of each slice with ½ teaspoon mayonnaise.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese on top of the mayo and press firmly into the bread.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 teaspoons mayo, cheddar and jack cheeses, garlic, green onion and cayenne pepper. Turn over one of the bread slices (so the mayo side is facing down now) and place the cheese mixture on top. Take the other piece of bread and place it on top with the mayo/Parmesan side facing up. So now, the mayo/Parmesan part should be facing out on the top and the bottom of the sandwich. Cut the sandwich into 4 equal slices (see diagram above).
- Preheat a non-stick pan over medium heat. After a couple minutes, turn the heat down to medium-low. Place the sandwich sticks in the pan and grill for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on that side. Flip the sandwich sticks over and grill the other side for 2-3 minutes. The cheese inside should be softly melted.
And don’t forget to try our PLEASE bring THAT Cheesy Bread or Cheesy Penne Pasta when you have a crowd for dinner!