I think grilled cheese sandwiches – or toasties asI’ve always known them – are one of the ultimate comfort foods and something that featured heavily in my childhood. When I was very little I discovered jaffles at my friend Georgie’s house, whose mum Rosemary always seemed to be producing the most wonderfully cheesy jaffles, with little slices of pear on the side (the sweet with the salty, much like this recipe). My mum then bought a little moo-cow jaffle maker and the experimentation began – different cheeses, different fillings… and then I eventually graduated to a proper sandwich press / grill. This is definitely my preference but I do still hold a torch for jaffles. If you don’t have one of these sandwich press machines, you can absolutely make this in a non-stick fry pan.
The good thing about toasted sandwiches as as long as you have some cheese and some bread you will generally be fine. You can generally use whatever cheese you like and whatever bread you have to hand (as long as it isn’t too crunchy and thick – nothing more than 2cm ideally). To be honest, plain white bread or soft ciabatta is often best – even if it is the most nutritionally void. Cheese-wise my favourites are cheddar, taleggio, mozzarella, all good! Or a mixture. I have used gruyère and brioche here because I think they work so well together, but lots of other variations can work equally well! And let face it, this is so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to buy special ingredients and rather just use what you have at home.
Another nice addition to this toastie is caramalised onions…. it’s excellent, if you have the time and patience.
Now just to step things up a little, I like to make my fig jam – the recipe is here. You can of course use store bought fig jam, just taste it first as it will likely be VERY sweet so use it sparingly.
- 2 slices of brioche bread
- 2-3 tsp fig jam
- 1-2 tsp butter
- 2-3 slices gruyère cheese
Butter one side of each bread slice (this will go on the outside against the hot grill).
Add the jam to the inside of one slice, place sliced cheese on top and put the the other slice of bread on top (buttered sides facing outwards).
Grill over medium heat (flipping when first side is nicely browned if grilling in a pan!). It’s ready when the outside is starting to brown and become crispy.
Fig jam recipe available here.