Some people say they can’t eat vegan because they don’t want to give up cheese. I get that. Cheese is AWESOME. And for years the only nondairy versions were weird gelatinous blobs that didn’t taste good and didn’t melt well on nachos. But now the vegan cheesemakers are starting to get it right.
Daiya Foods makes some amazing nondairy cheeses—one of which is used in the recipe you’re about to read—and so does Field Roast. There are others, too. But these are my staples because of their proximity to the real thing. (Another route is making your own cheese, which I might tackle and post about down the road. For now, though, I’ll leave it to the pros.)
I’ve been making grilled cheese sandwiches ever since I could work a stove. I was always OK with just putting slabs of cheese between two pieces of bread and throwing it into a pan. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to elevate it a bit, after watching the movie Chef. Have you seen it? If you like watching kitchen scenes straight out of a five-star chef’s happiest dreams and seeing fathers bond with their sons (I do, on both accounts), it’s for you.
The grilled cheese in Chef was created by kitchen superstar Roy Choi. Its secret: MAYO (vegan, in this case). Holy cats, does mayo make a difference! You put that on the outside and grill it into the bread and your mouth is going to do a happy dance.
I took notes as I watched the movie and made a few tweaks to come up with what I think is a darn good grilled cheese. Way better than how I used to do it, anyway. I think you’re going to love it.
This sandwich goes perfectly with a bowl of soup on a chilly night when you want to feel cozy. Thankfully it’s cold pretty much everywhere right now, so have at it!
- 4 slices peasant or sourdough bread
- 4 slices Field Roast Creamy Original Chao cheese slices
- 4 slices Daiya Foods Cheddar Style slices
- ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. oil
- Heat olive oil in frying pan until hot and spread to coat cooking surface.
- Spread mayonnaise edge to edge on 1 side of each of 4 bread slices.
- Place the bread slices mayo side down in pan and cook 1 minute.
- Add 2 slices Field Roast cheese and 2 slices Daiya cheese to each slice of bread in pan and let cook 1 minute or until cheese starts to melt slightly.
- Turn 2 slices bread over onto the other 2 so 2 sandwiches are formed.
- Cook 4 minutes, then flip sandwiches.
- Cook another 4 minutes or until you’ve achieved your desired level of bread crispness.
- Cut sandwiches in half and serve right away.
- Adapted from Roy Choi's recipe in the movie Chef.