How to Make High Street’s “World’s Greatest Grilled Cheese” at Home
Even if you don't have the exact ingredients, we've got the techniques to improve your at-home sandwich making.
We don’t often write about home cooking, but with restaurants reduced to takeout-only options, we want to continue to commune with our readers over food, which means celebrating the cooking that continues to happen in Philadelphia, both in restaurants and in homes. We’re working to keep you connected to your favorite chefs and restaurants, without needing to leave your own kitchen. So, until we can finally return to all those places that brought us joy, we’ll be publishing ways to bring that very same joy into your homes. This recipe is part of the Foobooz Guide to Home Cooking.
Back in the day, High Street used to serve a grilled cheese they called “The Best Grilled Cheese Ever.” It was super simple, as any excellent grilled cheese should be, but perfectly executed and eminently comforting. High Street’s ingredient list for their grilled cheese was specific, but the technique is just as important. Here, Chef Christina Mckeough has shared the steps to making the best grilled cheese ever, slice of tomato optional.
1. Roasted potato bread, sliced about about 1 1/4 inch thick.
There are two things at play here — the thickness of the bread, and its texture and flavor. Potato bread is flavorful but fine-textured white bread, and the thick slice allows it to stand up to the cheese and get crisp on the outside, while still keeping a pillowy texture in the middle. If you’re committed to an exact replica of this sandwich, Bon Appetit published High Street’s potato bread recipe back in 2014, or you can order it here.
2. Butter both sides with room temperature cultured butter.
It’s typical to make a grilled cheese by buttering the outside, but High Street’s version requires both sides to be buttered, which adds flavor, especially since they’re using a cultured butter with more tang and a higher fat content. Using room temperature butter is also key to getting a good, even layer.
3. Toast both sides of the bread in a skillet (cast iron works well) over medium-low heat.
Using low heat allows you to get even, golden caramelization. Toasting both sides gives you a little extra texture and crunch.
4. Top with a generous amount of grated, sharp, aged cheddar on both slices of bread. We use PA Noble from Lancaster Farm Fresh.
Chef Mckeough didn’t specify exactly how much cheese to use, but one of the great secrets of why restaurant cooking is better than home cooking is because professional cooks use more fat and salt than home cooks. To that end, add however much seems like a lot cheese, then add some more.
5. Transfer to a 400 degree oven to melt cheese.
This is a restaurant trick: transferring the sandwich to the oven melts the cheese faster than letting it melt while toasting the outsides, and gives you more control over the level of toast. It also makes it easier to make a large number of sandwiches at once, if you’re feeding a restaurant… or your own hungry family.
6. Sandwich the sides together, then slice in half.
High Street does a diagonal cut, but you can cut it however you’d like.