Let me make something clear. A grilled cheese is not the same as a cheese toastie. For thirty-three years I thought they were the same thing, until my boyfriend Jamie made me one on my birthday last week for breakfast (I know, he’s the best).
So the main difference is that the grilled cheese is essentially the bigger, fatter, American cousin of our more humble cheese toastie. Traditionally it’s made with shitty white bread but as I can’t bring myself to buy that (mainly because I love shitty white bread and would end up eating the whole loaf) I’m sticking to the less traditional, more rustic wholemeal loaf. Not only is it the healthier choice but it’s all I have in the house and can’t be bothered to go to shops. I think if I had planned this better, I would have chosen sourdough but my wholemeal loaf is just as robust and will give a good textural contrast with the oozy cheese.
The other main difference between the two, is that you butter the outside of the bread and fry it in a frying pan, no grilling involved – not sure why it’s called a grilled cheese but there you go. Buttering the outside of the bread gives the grilled cheese a deliciously crisp, golden coating unlike it’s dryer cousin. I do love a cheese toastie though and regularly make one after a drunk night out. Although I nearly always opt for a cheese and Branston pickle filling like my mama used to make. Good old Branston.
Anyway, unlike the traditional grilled cheese, I’m filling mine with cheese and Marmite but if you’re not a Marmite fan, then simply leave it out, I won’t be offended.
Marmite grilled cheese
Serves 1 / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 15 mins / V
You’ll need… A non stick frying pan – preferably with a lid
2 pieces of bread (white is the traditional choice, although I prefer brown)
60g medium vegetarian cheddar, finely grated
1 tsp Marmite
2 tsp boiling water
Spreadable unsalted butter
TIP: You don’t just have to stick to cheddar, feel free to mix it up and add up to 3 melty cheeses of your choice. Personally I think a mixture of red Leicester and Emmental would be momentous.
1. In a small bowl, add 1 tsp of Marmite and 2 teaspoons of boiling water. Mix together to loosen the Marmite until you have a brown watery liquid. Finely grate the cheese (finely grating helps the cheese melt faster) and pop in a bowl. Pour the Marmite liquid over the cheese and stir well. Put to one side.
2. Butter each slice of your chosen bread (you can use any bread you like really, just make sure it’s not too thick or your cheese will struggle to melt). Heat a medium sized saucepan on a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes until hot and add a knob of butter. Once the butter has melted and is sizzling, place both slices of bread carefully in the pan butter side down and spoon the cheesy Marmite mixture evenly onto both slices. Top the frying pan with a lid (if you have one) or place a large heatproof bowl over the top of the slices – this helps the cheese to melt.
3. Once the cheese has melted, remove the lid and sandwich the slices together. Press the sandwich down with a spatular and turn the heat down to medium. Keep the sandwich moving in the pan and continue to press down on it for a couple more minutes before flipping over. Once the crust is nice and golden and the cheese is suitably oozy, remove from the pan and enjoy immediately.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.