It's hard for me to meet a cheese I don't like, even the stinkiest blue cheeses make my heart sing. So imagine my delight when a generous 2½-pound block of aged cheddar arrived from my friend Barbara at Sargento. I used to work with them, and Barbara and I have remained friends.
Notes on the perfect grilled cheese sandwich
So I've been eating grilled cheese sandwiches for three days, trying various ways to showcase this aged cheddar, not available in any store, I might add. First, this jumbo block is perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches because a single slice almost covers the entire slice of bread. So here's the combo: caramelized onions, hint of Dijon-style mustard, thin apple slices. I like Gala apples for this, but improvisation is a joy on these occasions, so use what you have. Slice the cheese thinly so you can layer the cheese with the other yummies and avoid having anything squish out because it's not adhered.
Now, as will all fabulous sandwiches worth writing home about, be sure the bread is delicious, like the olive bread from the Journeyman Cafe in Fennville, Mich., where they buy ingredients from area farmers and bake amazing pizza (and bread) in their wood-fired oven. And if you have a panini press or grill pan, definitely go for the stripes.