Is the secret to a perfect grilled cheese sandwich substituting the butter with…mayo? According to Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of Prune, it is. Via Food52.com:
A grilled cheese sandwich is a perfect union of bread, butter, and melty cheese — so why would you ever want to turn your back on one of its key ingredients? Especially if that ingredient is butter?
Lots of reasons, as I learned from Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of Prune. Even diehard lovers of the buttery version (I am one) will find something new and valuable out of smearing their bread with mayo instead. As she says in this CHOW video, “This is the greatest cooking medium of all time for a grilled cheese sandwich.”
Mayo won’t burn as easily as butter does, which — just like that — solves the biggest challenge of grilled cheese: how to get the insides to heat through before the outside blackens.
But these are matters of convenience and reliability; what’s most important are the results, which are not like any grilled cheese that butter could make. The oil and egg in mayonnaise brown and crisp more evenly and lavishly than butter, creating a glossy crunch from edge to edge.