Makes 2 sandwiches
You don’t have to do much to delight your guests—olives and chips go a long way—but if you want to step up from room-temperature snacks, ooey-gooey cheese toasties (grilled cheese to us Americans) is a great start. They are so simple and so generous. For a crowd, just lay them on a cutting board and cut into strips for everyone to dig in. In this version, chile jam adds sweet tanginess and heat. I also learned a tip from my co-writer Sara’s daughter, Adele, who at twelve is a prolific griller of cheese: Mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich makes it easier to get a perfect crust.
¼ cup (60 ml) mayonnaise
¼ cup (55 g) softened unsalted butter
4 thick slices good sourdough bread
1/3 pound (150 g) sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
4 tablespoons (60 ml) Fresno chile jam or other hot pepper jelly
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and butter. Heat a heavy iron skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Take two slices of bread and spread one side of each with the mayonnaise mixture. Place the slices, mayo side down, into the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Distribute the cheese evenly between the two bread slices. Making sure to align the bread slices, cover one side of the remaining two slices with the chile jam. Lay jam side down on the cheese. Spread the top of the slices with the remaining mayonnaise mixture. Cook until the bottoms of the sandwiches are nicely toasted, about 4 minutes, and then carefully flip. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cut into halves or slender pieces for sharing and serve right away.
Reprinted from GETAWAY: FOOD & DRINK TO TRANSPORT YOU by Renee Erickson. Photography copyright © 2021 by Jim Henkens. Published by ABRAMS.
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