Apparently the internet is saying today is Grilled Cheese Day. So I’m doing a recipe for grilled cheese, aka a cheese toastie if you’re from the UK. If the internet told me it was International Jump Off A Cliff Day you’d probs see my Instagrams of the nearing coastline.
Cheese toasties are the numero uno treat lunch as a freelancer but most people make the mistake of doing them in a toastie machine. Wrong! If there’s one thing I learnt working in a fish and chip shop as a teen -apart from how to rock a foundation stained baseball cap- it’s that a cheese toastie made on a hotplate or in a frying pan beats any trad toastie hands down. Delicious dry crispness, even cooking and the contents don’t turn into that scary Brevillecano that has ruined many a student’s mouth-roof. Another tip is to quarantine your wet ingredients like tomato in ham or cheese to stop them leaking through and making the bread soggy.
Now that I’m deffo not a student I’ve moved on from your trad chedds and breads toastie, one of my faves is artichoke hearts, ham, mozzarella and comte for a weekday treat. It’s gooey, cheesy salty double cheese combo and the artichoke hearts make it feel a bit healthier. Gussy up a trad cheese and tom toastie with some spinach and basil and it’s a far cry from the snack that once accompanied a daytime TV marathon in uni halls. One problem with the toastie, one is never enough, but two is too much. Tough times.
Artichoke hearts, ham, mozzarella and comte on sourdough
3-4 artichoke hearts, sliced in half and drained
honey roast ham, 2 slices
1/2 mozzarella ball
Gail’s Sanetra sourdough
thyme, smoked paprika
Layer the comte on your slice of bread, then arrange the artichoke hearts and mozzarella. Add the ham, some thyme and smoky paps and more comte.
Super Winner Toastie Method
Heat up a half/half mix of veg oil and butter in a frying pan, until starts to brown. On a high heat chuck in the sandwich and let fry until it begins to engolden itself. Yeah that’s a word. Then you want to put a big lid over the pan, for a few minutes to help the cheese melt. Not too long otherwise it’ll burn. Then just flip the sandwich and let fry lid-less for a another minute or two. Cut in two cause it tastes better that way and serve with a dressed green salad or a beer depending on your FML levs.
If you’re not in fancyland, try a supermarket seeded with blanched, chopped spinach, basil, tomato and cheddar, toasties are also amazing with any old rubbish from the fridge which is why they’re the ultimate wfh lunch.
Isabelle O'Carroll: I’m a writer, content designer and consultant with 11+ years’ experience across fashion, food and drink and the arts.