TOASTED CHEESE SANDWICH INSPIRED BY DAISY BUCHANAN
I can't quite believe it but Daisy has been the first person to pick a toasted cheese sandwich as her favourite sandwich. This seems like it can't be true...but I really think it is. Sure there are a whole myriad of sandwiches out there, and many many delicious ones, but it seems strange to have asked 29 people about their favourite sandwich (I love my job) and for this cult classic to only now be featuring.
I could wax lyrical about the toasted cheese sandwich and you'll have to forgive me because that is what I am about to do. Indulge me dear reader, for the toasted cheese sandwich deserves a bit of air time. There's just something wonderfully comforting and magical about a toasted cheese sandwich. Hand me a cheese sandwich, and sure, I'll eat it...it's food after all. But fry that same sandwich in a little butter until the cheese melts and the bread turns golden brown. Then? Well, then we are friends for life.
Now on the surface there isn't much to a cheese sandwich. And you could be forgiven for thinking that. But you would of course, be wrong. There are important things to consider after all. The bread is the first hurdle. Do you go fancy sourdough or plain white sliced, or perhaps you throw a curve ball and opt for a white bloomer? I am very happy with all of the above although everyone has a different opinion. I would say that a sturdier bread like a sourdough, or a bloomer sliced a little thicker than white sliced bread does mean it's a little more robust and can withstand the frying process a little better but I will leave this to you.
The cheese is the next big decision. Do you stick to good old Cheddar or mix it up and add a few different types in there? You have to consider the flavour of the cheese, the cheesey-ness of the cheese and importantly how stringy the cheese goes when it melts. It's important that you know that the stringier the melted cheese is...the better it is. That should go without saying, but I'm sorry to say, you may have been of the opinion that a cheese sandwich is simply a cheese sandwich just a few moments ago, so it's better I clarify these things. I find a blend of Comté, mozzarella, Cheddar and Taleggio the dream combination. But this list of cheese is not exhaustive.
Then you have to decide how un-alderated you want your cheese sandwich to be. You have the option to add some fried mushrooms, a drizzle of truffle oil, some sliced jalapeños, some sliced ham, or some sizzling chorizo. These are all delicious options and very worth considering.
Butter. Always butter your bread. On all sides. Any available surface. This is not only delicious, but encourages a gorgeous golden colour and a wonderful crunch to your finished sandwich which is important. It's not healthy, but really are we the type of people to be worried about being healthy when we are scoffing toasted cheese sandwiches? I didn't think so.
Up next is your method for "toasting" your sandwich. In my humble, but expert opinion you will want to use a heavy non stick pan, over a low-medium heat and you will want to be armed with a large, flat saucepan lid to lay over the frying sandwiches. The pressure from the lid encourages the cheese to melt and to ooze out in the most satisfying of ways. Press too hard however and you will have molten cheese flowing out of your sandwich and into the pan and you will feel like a fool. Gently does it. I have, incidentally, cooked many cheese sandwiches in a waffle maker and I can confirm this is absolutely delicious.
Condiments. It's entirely up to you of course but I always like a dollop of Ketchup to go with my toasted cheese sandwich. But you are either a ketchup enthusiast or you're not, so I won't badger you on this front.
And I think that's got you covered. You are now armed with all the knowledge and intricacies of the inner workings of a truly great toasted cheese sandwich and you are ready. It is worth noting that a cheese sandwich is a powerful thing, so use your new skills wisely. A toasted cheese sandwich was responsible for getting Daisy to move to Margate. Please bear this in mind. A perfect toasted cheese sandwich is a super power, so use wisely.
To serve 1
2 slices of sourdough
70g grated cheese: made up of Cheddar, Mozarella, Comte and Taleggio in any ratio you like
4 slices of jalapeños from a jar
Butter your bread and top with the slices of jalapeños and the grated cheeses.
Make a sandwich of the bread and butter the top of the sandwich.
Heat a non stick pan and when hot, place your sandwich buttered side down into the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the bread is lovely and golden. Butter the top of the sandwich and then flip over. Place a saucepan lid on top of the sandwich and gently press down and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Once its golden, and melting. Eat immediately, whilst trying not to burn your tongue. If you do, just bear in mind that it was totally worth it.