Review: Grilled Cheese Please

Grilled Cheese, Please!: 50 Scrumptiously Cheesy RecipesGrilled Cheese, Please!
by Laura Werlin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grilled Cheese, Please! / 978-1-449-40165-8

Undaunted by the "traditional" place of grilled cheese sandwiches gourmand Laura Werlin has put together this exquisitely mouth-watering treatise on the many, many different ways to cook a grilled cheese sandwich.

This is the sort of cookbook that is an absolute delight to flip through. The instructions are clear, concise, well-organized, and feature a hint of color that really brightens the page. The recipe organization is intuitive - "just cheeses", cheeses-and-veggies, cheeses-and-meats, anything-goes combinations, regional and specialty recipes, and so on. Best of all, the full page color illustrations are so deliciously enticing, I can guarantee you'll be tempted to start licking the pages. My favorite part, though, is the introduction where Werlin takes a few pages to really deconstruct how to make a grilled cheese sandwich truly *pop*, and quickly converted me to the absolute importance of grating the cheese rather than slicing it (no wonder my cheese takes so long to melt!).

For foodies who love to sample lots of breads and cheeses from their local specialty markets, this book is truly a gift from heaven - Werlin provides nifty and easy-to-understand charts detailing what characterizes each cheese, and how to work them into a sandwich. Many of the recipes are delightful combinations of regional flavors - Italian cheeses on Italian breads with Italian meats, or "san Francisco Hog Island" sandwich that works in the taste of four locally favorite cheeses plus a flavorful sourdough bread. Best of all, Werlin's easy explanations and no-nonsense writing style make it easy for the reader to adapt and combine their favorite tastes into new sandwiches - this is a recipe book where the reader really learns how to master the craft and make their own favorites, rather than being afraid to deviate from the complicated pre-set instructions that many recipe books rely on.

If you like a variety of cheeses and breads, and particularly if you like them melted together into a yummy treat, I can almost guarantee that you will turn down more pages than not in this lovely book, and will come away both enthusiast to being grilling and confident that your creations will turn out wonderfully because this book has provided such a strong grasp of the fundamentals. I love using this cookbook, and I highly recommend it.

NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through NetGalley.

~ Ana Mardoll

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