On Tuesday night’s episode, Fallon invited the celebrity chef on the show to whip up his signature grilled cheese, and the late night host challenged him by making one himself. After cooking the sandwiches, Questlove conducted a very professional blind taste test to choose the victor.
While Batali used the fancy, higher-end ingredients you’d expect from a renowned chef (truffle honey, artisanal sourdough bread), Fallon appealed to America’s populist sensibility with a Wonder Bread-American cheese creation (and a little maple butter to jazz it up).
The trash-talking started the moment the face-off began, of course.
“Your cheese is already melting because it has an artificially low temperature because it’s not made of milk,” Batali said to Fallon. “Don’t you find that to be a problem, sir?”
After tasting both sandwiches, Questlove had a winner: Fallon’s. And we don’t necessarily blame him. No one, not even Batali, can compete with maple butter.
Here is our interpretation of the the two grilled cheese recipes — make them for yourself and see which you like best.
Mario Batali’s Truffled Grilled Cheese:
Sliced sourdough bread
Sliced ontina cheese
Sliced Graviera cheese
Black truffle honey
In a skillet, heat a couple tbsp. of butter over medium heat. Drizzle one slice of the bread with the honey and pile it high with each type of cheese. Top with another slice of bread and cook in the skillet until browned on each side and cheese is melted.
Jimmy Fallon’s Maple Butter Grilled Cheese:
Sliced Wonderbread (or any other similarly plain white bread)
Sliced American cheese
Heat a panini press to medium. On one slice of bread, add cheese, bacon bits, a drizzle of maple syrup, and more cheese. In a small bowl, mix butter and another drizzle of syrup. Spread maple butter on the outside of each bread slice. Place in panini press and cook until browned and cheese is melted.
(We’re still partial to the waffle grilled cheeses that Elmo made with Fallon in August.)
—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda