We're a pretty easy going bunch, but there are a few things we'll get into a fistfight over. One of those things is the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The cheese you choose for your sandwich says a lot about you as an eater. Do you prefer a gooey, creamy cheese or a chewy, stringy cheese that will put up a fight?
This iconic sandwich is so popular and so satisfying, we know we're not the only ones who have strong feelings about how to make them. So for now, lay down your weapons in regard to whether to toast with butter or dry, whether to butter the bread or the cooking surface: this battle is all about the cheese.
Here's how this thing will work:
Let the gooey battle begin!
Reinterpret your leftover chicken with this simple and satisfying panini. Shred any leftover chicken and toss with your favorite barbecue sauce. Layer the meat with Swiss cheese and red onion on sourdough bread and grill until the cheese is melted. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/pulled-barbecued-chicken-_n_1061489.html" target="_hplink">Pulled Barbecued Chicken Panini with Swiss and Red Onion</a> recipe</strong>
A savory homemade fig relish is the key to this amazing sandwich, which features layers of thinly sliced prosciutto, cheese, fresh basil and arugula. Make extra fig jam for assembling more sandwiches or try it as a condiment for grilled meats. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/fig-relish-and-ham-sandwi_n_1061271.html" target="_hplink">Fig Relish and Ham Sandwiches</a> recipe</strong>
These towering sandwiches are packed with Mediterranean flavor with a homemade basil pesto and layers of sliced avocado, tomato and buffalo mozzarella. If you're short on time, use store-bought pesto. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/triple-decker-tomato-and-_n_1057883.html" target="_hplink">Triple-Decker Tomato and Avocado Panini with Mozzarella and Pesto</a> recipe</strong>
This sandwich is easy to put together when you use store-bought caponata, mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. You'll find caponata, an eggplant and tomato condiment, in your supermarket's Italian aisle. Prepare the sandwich easily in a panini press or use two skillets -- one to cook it in and one as a weight. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/caponata-mozzarella-and_n_1057250.html" target="_hplink">Caponata, Mozzarella and Basil Panini</a> recipe</strong>
This recipe is great for using up leftover chicken, which gets layered with caramelized onions and melty fontina cheese to create this mouthwatering panini. A smear of Dijon mustard and some peppery arugula round out the flavors. Make some extra caramelized onions to use in other recipes. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/caramelized-onion-chicke_n_1057252.html" target="_hplink">Caramelized Onion, Chicken and Fontina Panini</a> recipe</strong>
Look no further for the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, because this recipe is the one to beat. This elite version features three cheeses (Manchego, Cheddar and Gouda) layered with roasted plum tomatoes on multigrain bread. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/multigrain-grilled-cheese_n_1058571.html" target="_hplink">Multigrain Grilled Cheese Sandwiches</a> recipe</strong>
Grilled zucchini, gruyere cheese and basil pesto make a terrific combo in these sandwiches. A touch of smoked paprika adds a nice smoky flavor to the homemade pesto (or use store-bought). Make the sandwiches on English muffins, which get exceptionally crispy when grilled. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-gruyre-and-zucch_n_1058447.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Gruyere-and-Zucchini Sandwiches with Smoky Pesto</a> recipe</strong>
The combination of pungent gruyere, savory ham and sweet honey make this panini very appealing. Sliced red onion and pickles add a sharp contrast and tang to balance out all the flavors. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/ham-gruyere-honey-and-_n_1057254.html" target="_hplink">Ham, Gruyere, Honey and Red Onion Panini</a> recipe</strong>
This sandwich is a meat lover's dream. You'll want to use a thin steak, which cooks quickly in a skillet. Slice the meat and layer it with fried onions and tangy mustard on a baguette and grill until the bread is crisp. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/minute-steak-sandwich-wit_n_1383220.html" target="_hplink">Minute Steak Sandwich with Fried Onions and Sweet Mustard</a> recipe</strong>
Take the average tuna melt up a couple of notches with this recipe. Instead of mayonnaise, the tuna salad mixture features sweet balsamic vinegar and olive oil. But the mayonnaise doesn't go away altogether -- it's spread on the rolls, which are layered with Swiss cheese and dill pickles, before grilling. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/oregon-tuna-melts_n_1058587.html" target="_hplink">Oregon Tuna Melts</a> recipe</strong>
Bring a bit of the bistro into you home with this fulfilling sandwich. It's spread with roasted garlic (prepared on the grill), grilled bell peppers and of course thin slices of grilled flank steak. Assemble it on whole-wheat country bread with a bit of mayonnaise and lettuce. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/bistro-flank-steak-sandwi_n_1056426.html" target="_hplink">Bistro Flank Steak Sandwich</a> recipe</strong>
Roasted eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers form the vegetable trio in this vegetarian-friendly panini, which also includes tofu for a boost of protein. Spread the bread with store-bought pesto and top with the vegetables and with provolone cheese. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/roasted-vegetable-tofu-a_n_1057197.html" target="_hplink">Roasted Vegetable, Tofu and Pesto Panini</a> recipe</strong>
A cannellini bean spread made with onion, garlic and white wine is a great match for braised kale in this vegan panini. Feel free to vary the recipe with another leafy green, like spinach or collard greens. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/braised-greens--cannelli_n_1311444.html" target="_hplink">Braised Greens and Cannellini Bean Panini</a> recipe</strong>
These vegetarian sandwiches are packed with flavor, all without the presence of meat. The baguette is spread with goat cheese and tapenade, then layered with grilled zucchini, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. The recipe serves eight, so it's great for entertaining. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-vegetable-sandwic_n_1058476.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches</a> recipe</strong>
The combination of sweet fig preserves, tangy goat cheese and tart-sweet balsamic vinegar really sets this sandwich apart from others. Make it with multigrain bread or walnut bread for some extra texture. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/fig-and-goat-cheese-panin_n_1057253.html" target="_hplink">Fig and Goat Cheese Panini</a> recipe</strong>
This panini features a classic pairing of sweet and savory flavors: brie, pear, mustard and turkey (you could also try it with ham). Make the sandwich on a baguette and grill lightly using a panini press or skillet until the cheese melts. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/brie-and-smoked-turkey-pa_n_1057251.html" target="_hplink">Brie and Smoked Turkey Panini</a> recipe</strong>
Strawberries and cheese? Yes it's a proven pairing. Savory ham and gruyere are the base for this grilled cheese, which is made on fluffy brioche bread. Mixing a few spoonfuls of red wine into the jam adds a unique flavor profile. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-ham-and-cheese-wi_n_1058449.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Ham and Cheese with Strawberry-Red-Wine Jam</a> recipe</strong>
Eggplant is a great vegetarian option for grilled sandwiches -- it has a meaty flavor and texture that even meat-eaters will have a hankering for. To make the sandwiches, you'll want to grill the eggplant (topped with cheese) and the bread separately, then assemble with red onion slices and jarred roasted red peppers. <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-eggplant-panini_n_1049197.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Eggplant Panini</a> recipe</strong>
Watch as Sam Talbot makes a delicious goat cheese grilled cheese with fresh roasted peppers and hand-torn basil that no one will be able to pass up.