Look: it’s the bye week. There aren’t any fun Ovi highlights from the All-Star Game to rewatch, and there are only so many times we can have the same conversation about how Ovechkin-could-totally-maybe-break-Gretzky’s-goal-scoring-record-eh?
So here’s a story about the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux, and his storied history with the classic cuisine we call “grilled cheese sandwiches.”
Let’s begin by turning the pages of this cookbook back to simpler, more beautiful, less-Instagram-documented days: the 2010-11 NHL season, when now-captain of the Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux moved in with Danny Briere and his three sons.
When describing the divvying up of household duties, Claude’s cooking got its share of compliments. “Grilled cheeses, he’s really good at that,” said one of Briere’s three sons (who honestly are basically clones of Briere who we can’t tell apart).
Claude eventually moved out of the Brieres’ house but he took his recipe book with him.
Happy grilled cheese day 2013, everyone.
— Claude Giroux (@28CGiroux) April 12, 2013
On December 22, 2015 The Player’s Tribune released the first Giroux edition of their “What the (Blank?)” series, where they ask athletes to supply various pieces of information.
“Oh my goodness that’s so fun, I wonder what Claude Giroux’s New Year’s resolution was,” one might say, if one was a smart and interesting person. The answer, of course, is:
At one point, Claude Giroux read a tweet from a fan, who’d said “Oh you know, just making grilled cheese at 10:45 at night. Claude Giroux would be proud.”
Have a grilled cheese before bed tonight everybody. Claude Giroux would be proud. pic.twitter.com/lJs6c3Cstx
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 14, 2015
“Very proud,” Claude confirmed.
Before this season started, Sophia Jurksztowicz interviewed players for an NHLPA series asking what we wouldn’t be able to find out by Googling them. Giroux’s answer was how many grilled cheeses he can eat.
The interview also includes Johnathon Toews, who says Giroux’s fact about grilled cheese shouldn’t count because everyone–including Toews–already knew that about him.
Giroux also revealed that sometimes he mixes hot sauce in with his ketchup, and that the correct amount of crispy is “perfectly crispy.”
The subject of Claude Giroux’s Love of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches is not without its controversy. In December of 2018, the NHLPA did a Q&A with Giroux, subtitled: “Hate to disappoint you, but Claude Giroux’s favorite cheat meal is not a grilled cheese sandwich.”
The general consensus among scholars is that Giroux simply does not consider grilled cheese sandwiches to be “cheat” meals. When Claude Giroux eats poutine, he’s cheating on grilled cheese.
He also revealed that the best advice he ever got was “hard the hardest you can” which is a motivational poster just waiting to be made.
Okay, brace yourselves y’all: it’s about to get real cute up in here. In November of 2016 an adorable kiddo named Seamus Essl wrote Giroux a letter asking him to come skate with him, promising that his “mom will even make grilled cheese.”
A youngster writes to G and will meet him today. pic.twitter.com/JzYvl6UYdE
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) November 18, 2016
Giroux and the Flyers brought Essl to practice, and afterward, he visited the locker room and had a bite to eat with his favorite player.
“If only there was another camera angle with less gross open-mouth chewing,” says everyone who has seen that video, sighing wistfully and staring out a window. Well, it just so happens:
Now let’s get to the cheese meat of the matter: the sandwich itself. Cristina Ledra, a senior editor/fun story writer for NHL.com and unsung hero of our time, shared the recipe for Claude Giroux’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
2 slices white sandwich bread
2 slices American cheese
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spread a generous amount of butter on one slice of bread and place it butter side down in the pan. Top with slices of American cheese. Spread the second slice of bread with butter and place it on top of the cheese, butter side up. Grill until golden brown, then flip over and grill until the other side is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Slice diagonally and serve hot. To enjoy the sandwich like Giroux, serve with ketchup for dipping.
Have made. Can confirm: DELICIOUS.
Everybody raise a glass half-sandwich and toast to the weird, wonderful things we love way too much.
Headline photo: NBC Philadelphia
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