This one was too good, I just had to share!

Toasted cheese sandwiches, or ‘toasties’, are the official go-to meal for a lazy midweek dinner at my house. It’s not something we have often, which makes it that much better when we do. Winter is looming and this is perfect for a cold, dreary evening in.

Recent acquisition of Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food (insane cookbook) has taken our toasted cheese sandwich to a new level with some simple changes that make the heart sing. It’s now something we don’t even make unless we have the right items for making it Jamie’s way. For us this means:

  • Thickly-sliced (but not too fancy) white bread
  • Red Leicester and Smoked Cheddar cheese
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Smoked paprika
You can of course change it up with whatever cheese you like, just make sure you get one with a savoury, bitey flavour that melts well.
Start by buttering two slices of bread on both sides.
Lay them out and grate a generous amount of both cheeses onto one of the slices. If using smoked cheese, maybe go easy on this one if it has quite a strong smokey flavour. Grating makes it look like a big pile of cheese, but it will melt and flatten to nothing at all, so go to town on it!
Warm up a wide, non-stick frying pan over low to medium heat and cook lightly on both sides until the bread is golden and the cheese is oozing out of the sides. Medium heat will get it there faster, but low heat is safer to avoid burning. After this remove the toastie from the pan.
On the same heat, grate a thin but wide layer of cheese directly onto the frying pan and sprinkle with a small pinch of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika, where the toastie was sitting before. Place the toastie on top of this bubbling cheese.
After about 1 minute when the cheese starts to crisp around the edges, carefully lift up the toastie for a few seconds and let the cheese on the sides around the edges of the bread hang down. This will form the crown – easily the best part of this whole sandwich! Set it aside (cheese side up), grate cheese into the pan again, add your spices and cook the second side the same way.
Serve with your favourite chilli sauce. Let it cool for a few minutes before eating! Enjoy the crunch.

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