My ultimate cheese sandwich is made in a pan rather than a snackwich griller. This is the real good, old fashioned toasted cheese sandwich, the one that’s simply made with slices of government loaf and cheese (such as Woolies’ The Big Cheese); the one that’s often not on menus but have been replaced with gourmet door stoppers.
All you need for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich is two slices of white bread (buttered on the outside), sandwiched together with Cheddar cheese and then pan-fried on both sides in a blob of butter until golden, buttery and crispy.
The cheese should be stringy and oozy as you pull the slices apart. I like to weigh the sandwich down with a plate and a can of beans while it’s cooking to make sure it’s perfectly flat.
While this is my all-time favourite, there is always room for a gourmet toasted cheese sandwich like a divinely decadent deep-fried fior de latte cheese sandwich.
It’s quite simply made: two slices of white bread are layered with mozzarella and a few anchovies (optional) and then coated in semolina.
The semolina increases the crispiness and prevents the bread from absorbing too much oil. It also prevents the bread from browning before the cheese is melted. It’s then tipped into hot oil and comes out perfectly crispy and oozy.
My next favourite toasted cheese is a braaibroodjie made on the braai. I make them with Gouda, sliced tomatoes, onion and white pepper. I love the smoky flavour from the fire.
All you need to have with them is a coil of Woolies’ juicy lamb boerewors and a skilpadjie or two.
There is also something quite special about open grilled cheese sandwiches. They definitely taste different than the closed ones – I think it has something to do with the open grill and the little extra scorched bits that form around the crusts.
I like to mix grated Cheddar with some torn mozzarella, a beaten egg and some Dijon mustard. I spread this over a toasted baguette and grill it until it’s golden and bubbling.
It’s also delicious with slices of tomato layered on top. We burn our mouths every time, but it’s worth it!