At times, the British penchant for national food days does hit a point of extreme absurdity: national split pea soup day, anybody? But 24th February marks the celebration of a foodstuff we can all get with: toast. Whether eaten with a smear of Nutella, topped with melted cheese, converted into croutons or simply smothered with butter, it’s a versatile snack that can be enjoyed at any time. To honour this day we are sharing Jamie Oliver‘s toasted cheese sandwich recipe, in all its crunchy, gooey glory. The key to this recipe is to keep it simple: this dish is just as much about the quality of the toast as it is the richness of the cheese, but that needn’t mean artisan bread; a couple of thick slices of simple white bloomer bread will do. Try not to jam too much cheese inside; the more there is, the less likely you are to get that smooth, lava-like ooze spilling out from the middle. Napkins will most definitely be required.
2 slices of white bloomer
Lightly butter both sides of each slice of bread. To one slice, add a mixture of the grated cheddar and Red Leicester, then put the second slice of bread on top and and fry in a non-stick frying pan for around three minutes on each side. As it cooks, rest something with moderate weight on top to ensure that maximum surface area is toasted by the pan. Once toasted, remove the sandwich and add a little sprinkle of cheese to the pan before placing the sandwich back on top. Toast again until the cheese begins to bubble and spill out. Add a touch of cayenne pepper and then lift the sandwich out of the pan on a fish slice until the cheese started to hang and then harden. Flip over and toast again, until golden. Allow to cool before serving alongside a few healthy dollops of mustard, ketchup or tabasco to dip the sandwich in.