GRILLED CHEESE, with its two slices of bread binding ooey-gooey cheese, is perfectly suited to the dark black surface of a cast-iron pan. The light coating of mayo on the outside of the bread makes the sandwiches extra-golden. Serve with tomato soup.
8 slices cheese, preferably American or a combination of American and cheddar
8 slices top-quality white sandwich bread
8 teaspoons butter, softened (plus more as needed)
Makes 4 sandwiches
1 Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat (or, if cooking outdoors, over a low campfire or on the cooler side of a grill).
2 Meanwhile, build the four sandwiches. Arrange two slices of cheese on each bottom slice of bread and top with the other slice of bread. Carefully spread mayonnaise on the top slice.
3 When the pan is hot, add 2 teaspoons of the butter and a nice sprinkle of salt and lower the heat to medium.
4 Add the first sandwich, mayo-covered slice down. Press down with a spatula and let cook for 3 minutes, or until golden.
5 Remove the sandwich from the pan and carefully spread more mayo on the top of the uncooked slice of bread. Flip and return the sandwich to the pan. Press and cook until golden brown, adding more butter as needed.
6 Remove the sandwich from the pan and set aside while you cook the remaining sandwiches, adding 2 teaspoons of the butter and salt to the pan each time. Cut each sandwich on the diagonal and serve immediately.