The Duchess of Sandwich

Grilling cheese expert Laura Werlin's latest book

You may not think you need a cookbook to learn how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. But then, Laura Werlin's latest, Grilled Cheese, Please!, is filled with 50 recipes that transcend the standard white-bread-plus-American equation.

This new book is the San Franciscan's second book on the subject (she also wrote Great Grilled Cheese). As one of the foremost authorities on cheese in America, she has much to say.

Though Werlin encourages the homemade sandwich, she has canvased the country in search of the best restaurant versions, recipes for which are included in Grilled Cheese, Please!. Here in San Francisco, her favorites include the one served at Hog Island Oyster Co., a cheesy triumph that gets a welcome, creamy boost from a smear of fromage blanc (click here to download the recipe).

She also gives high praise to the JalapeƱo Popper found at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen (which, it should be noted, just started delivery), a California concoction of apricot-green chili relish and goat cheese.

Lest you worry that the book contains only highbrow sandwiches, rest assured that Werlin has included a recipe for a grilled cheese, bologna and peanut butter sandwich, craftily engineered to appeal to nostalgia.