When I was young, I used to fantasize about grocery shopping. Not grocery shopping with my mum, which was rife with rules and restrictions, but grocery shopping as an adult, by myself, for the first time. In this fantasy, I would buy Oreos, Ben & Jerry’s, white bread, American cheese, and giant plastic clamshells of croissants (preferably from Costco).
I don’t remember my first grown-up grocery run, but I do routinely buy all of those things today, except the croissants. Something about buying a dozen all-butter croissants for household of 1-1/2 seems overly indulgent, especially if I already have a loaf of white bread in my cart. But this is mum thinking, and I am not a mum, nor do I live with one. In an act of rebellion against the mum in my head, I recently bought the croissants, and I made an incredible, overly indulgent grilled cheese sandwich with them.
Croissants are the best grilled cheese bread. You just have to turn them inside out first. Expose all the flaky layers inside the pastry (already pretty buttery) and brush them with more butter. Layer cheese between the two halves, pressed up against the former “outsides” of the croissant, and fry the whole thing in a pan.
The layered, flaky inside of the croissant sizzles and browns, resulting in an embarrassment of crispy spots and lots of textural contrast. If any cheese melts out and sticks to the sides and onto the pan, you can push the bread around to gather it up, creating crispy frico bits on the edges of your sandwich. The end result is incredibly rich, with a flavour I would describe as “butter-forward.” It is perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the whole process (except the frequency with which I buy big tubs of croissants).
Inside-Out Croissant Grilled Cheese
- 1 store-bought all-butter croissant
- 1-2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 slices American cheese (white American from the deli, if possible)
Slice the croissant in half and brush the insides with melted butter. Use a moderately heavy hand, and don’t leave any dry spots. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, and place one croissant half in the pan, cut side down. Place the cheese on top, then place the other half of the croissant on top of the cheese, with the cut side facing up.
Press down on the top of the sandwich with a spatula to smoosh it and flatten it a bit, and let cook for a few minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Flip and repeat on the other side. Enjoy immediately.
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