A grilled cheese is one of life's simplest pleasures — bread and cheese, cooked until gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside. Boom. Done.
But if you give it just the slightest bit of TLC — and use one extra surprising ingredient — it can be a decadent delicacy, according to domestic goddess Martha Stewart.
In a Facebook live video from 2017, Stewart cooks up the classic comfort food pairing: grilled cheese sandwiches and creamy tomato soup.
Stewart shows a member of her team, Kevin Sharkey, who has incredulously never made a grilled cheese sandwich in his life — even though he eats them "two or three times a week" — how to make the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. Kevin selects his ingredients — Gouda cheese, bacon, tomatoes and pickles on white bread — as Stewart heats up a cast-iron pan on low heat.
Now, for the bread: "These are lovely bakery breads, which we slice," said Stewart, who prefers fresh bakery or homemade loafs. "I really never open a package of bread in my house." Be it whole wheat, brioche or country white, Stewart can confirm that they’re "all good for a grilled cheese sandwich.”
Between the bread, Stewart stacks tomatoes (sans skin), three slices of cheese, sweet-hot pickles, Dijon mustard and bacon.
And here's the big twist: She puts mayo — not butter! — on the outside of the bread before she sends it to the pan to sear.
Why? "Supposedly fewer calories and very tasty and the bread doesn't burn," she advises. Stewart does, however, add some butter on the inside of the sandwich later on.
You can find her official recipe here.
Of course, in the comments section of her video, a big mayo vs. butter argument took place, so we turned to our TODAY anchors Al Roker and Dylan Dreyer to make the call.
"I like butter. I'm traditional though," said Dylan. Al says liked 'em both. He said that he usually uses a little bit of mayo and butter — and he always adds bacon.
Left with no final verdict, we're going to try Stewart's mayo smear-and-sear technique for ourselves — and hopefully our lives will be changed forever.
This post was originally published Dec. 26, 2016.