A grilled cheese sandwich can be basic, using just bread, butter and one cheese, or a bit more gourmet - think blue cheese with apples and smoked bacon. Whatever type of sandwich you prefer, choosing the type of cheese you're going to use is the first (and in my mind most important) step.
You can be as snooty as you want about this cheese, but the fact remains that most of us grew up with American cheese on our sandwiches. While it's no longer my cheese of choice, when melted between grilled slices of white bread I have to admit it occasionally still hits the spot.
Cheddar has a crowd-pleasing flavor and melts well, making it a favorite choice for grilled sandwiches. Look for a sharp white Cheddar to bump the flavor up a notch or experiment with flavored Cheddars like spicy jalepeno or hickory smoked.
Fillings that pair well with Cheddar cheese include sliced apples, bacon, turkey, mustard, chutney, cranberry sauce and pickles.
Gruyere is the cheese of choice for the classic French sandwich Croque Monsieur, and for good reason. The sharp, sweet, earthy flavors of this cheese are irresistible. Two similar cheeses that are equally delicious are Comte, and Appenzeller.
Fillings that pair well with Gruyere include caramelized onions,mustard, sliced pears,ham and sauteed mushrooms.