Simple Pleasures: Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese

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For many of you gluten-eaters out there, these photos don’t bear much significance or evoke strong emotions.  You’re probably thinking, “That’s a grilled cheese.”  For me though, this photo is so much more.

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On a cold, rainy Saturday, there’s not much better than eating grilled cheese and tomato soup in the warmth of your home.  Until this past weekend, I had not eaten a grilled cheese since my Celiac diagnosis.  While grilled cheeses aren’t the food I miss the most, this simple lunch dish triggers many fun memories for me of my time at camp and advisory lunches from my boarding school days.  David loves grilled cheese, and in fact we have designated one of our old pans as the ‘gluten pan’ and we keep a stick of butter in the fridge that’s labeled ‘gluten butter,’ which are both only used for making grilled cheeses.  Because I love David, and because he enjoys my grilled cheeses so much, I’ve spent the last 2 ½ years making gluten-grilled cheeses for David on many Saturday afternoons (and of course washing my hands, and the counter, well and often throughout).

For the most part I haven’t been too envious of David’s gooey, cheesy, buttery lunches because I had not yet found a gluten-free bread that I felt was even worthy of a grilled cheese.  Sure, you can make turkey sandwiches with gluten-free bread that are edible, but you need good bread in order to make a fabulous grilled cheese.  Density, taste, and texture are all important factors in finding the right bread, and well, let’s be honest, gluten-free bread is lacking in all of those categories.

Well good news, folks.  I’ve found the perfect bread!  Last week I purchased some sandwich bread from the newly opened  Sally’s Bakery in Roswell.  I had already tried other products from Sally’s, but had not yet sampled the sandwich bread. My first taste of this bread was toasted with peanut butter and honey.  Delicious!  After enjoying this bread a couple of times last week, I thought to myself, “This bread just might be good enough and the right texture for a grilled cheese.”  On Saturday, I decided to put this bread to the test.

My grilled cheeses are very simple.  Just bread, cheese (I use Cabot white cheddar) and butter (heated in the pan and on bread that starts out face up in the pan).  There’s nothing fancy or glamorous about this culinary creation, but they’re wonderful.

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The results of this experiment?  Amazing grilled cheeses.  Initially in the cooking process, I was nervous because the bread was browning too quickly and the cheese wasn’t melting.  Patience, Betsy.  Sure enough, the cheese started to drizzle onto the pan, making the sizzling noise that let’s me know it’s ready.  Served with a bowl of Amy’s tomato soup, this grilled cheese made for a perfect Saturday afternoon meal that David and I could share together.

The gluten-free world just keeps getting better!

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  1. David says:

    These sandwiches were amazing. As a gluten-eater, I couldn’t tell any difference between these and regular grilled cheeses.

  2. Thomas says:

    Yum. I want one. Can you FedEx to DC?

  3. Ellie says:

    ha, this is what we’re having for dinner with the la madeleine recipe for tomato basil. love this meal!!! glad you get to enjoy it now!!

  4. Ellie says:

    p.s. what are trashbacks?

  5. Kim says:

    Wow, any idea what they use for their flour? Rice, maybe? It’s amazing that they were able to create that doughy pliability without gluten. That’s awesome to hear (and great culinary chemistry at work!)

  6. Betsy says:

    Hi Kim,
    Sally uses a variety of flours and I think the honey definitely adds to the recipe. Pure deliciousness. Stay warm and dry this weekend!
    Here’s a list of the ingredients Sally’s uses for their bread: brown rice flour, eggs, cornstarch, tapioca flour, butter [pasteurized cream (milk), salt], almond meal, sugar, honey, potato flour, yeast, xanthan gum, unflavored gelatin, rice bran, egg replacer [potato starch, tapioca flour, leavening (calcium lactate, calcium carbonate, citric acid), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose], salt vinegar, palm oil shortening (to grease pan)

  7. Cristin says:

    Pics are great and a favorite of mine too. I love Glutino flax bread, butter, a touch of olive oil and Gruyere cheese… nothing better with a small cup of soup any time of the year. My favorite meal.

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