Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with These Gooey, Delicious Sandwiches

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with These Gooey, Delicious Sandwiches

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April 12 is one of the most important holidays of the year: Grilled Cheese Day. Here at Bookish, we’ve never needed a reason to melt some cheese between two slices of bread along with our favorite fixings, but we are thrilled to celebrate with some of the recipes from Fern Green’s Melts. Get festive with these oozy, cheesy, melty concoctions from the book!


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Mature Cheddar & Garlic
A good mature cheddar should make your mouth water uncontrollably. If you are making this in spring, try using wild garlic instead of a clove.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Toasting methods: Frying pan/skillet or toasted sandwich maker or panini press
Best bread: Sourdough or brown

2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
4 slices rye sourdough or brown bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 1∕2 oz mature cheddar, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Chutney, to serve (optional)
Gherkin, sliced, to serve (optional)

Butter each slice of bread on one side and place butter-side down on a clean work surface or plate. Cut the clove of garlic in half and gently rub the cut side of the garlic over the unbuttered sides of the bread.

Lay the cheese over 2 slices of bread, season with pepper and top with the other slices of bread, butter-sides facing out.

Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over a low–medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan, butter-side down, and fry for 3–5 minutes until golden on the outside and the cheese is partially melted on the inside. Flip over and fry for another 3–5 minutes to cook the other side until toasted and golden on both sides and the cheese is fully melted.

Alternatively, cook the sandwiches in a toasted sandwich maker or panini press.

Serve with chutney and slices of gherkins, if desired.

Vintage Cheddar, Bloody Mary Butter, Bacon & Rocket
This early morning hangover melt is the perfect cure.

4 slices bacon
4 slices brown sourdough bread
4 1∕4 oz vintage cheddar, sliced
Handful of rocket (arugula)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bloody Mary butter
4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 drops of Tabasco sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Toasting methods: Frying pan/skillet or toasted sandwich maker or panini press
Best bread: Brown sourdough

Cook the bacon using your preferred method, until nice and crispy. Set aside.

To make the Bloody Mary butter, mix 2 tablespoons of the butter in a bowl with the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Pop the Bloody Mary butter in the fridge and chill for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the remaining butter on one side of each slice of bread and lay them butter side down.

Spread the Bloody Mary butter on the unbuttered sides of the bread, then lay the cheese on 2 of the slices. Season, top with the bacon and rocket, and close the sandwiches with the remaining bread so that the Bloody Mary butter is on the inside and the plain buttered sides are facing out.

Heat a large heavy-based frying pan (skillet) on a medium heat and transfer the sandwiches into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes then flip them over and cook for a further 2–3 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crispy and golden.

Alternatively, cook the sandwiches in a toasted sandwich maker or in a panini press if you have one.

Macerated Strawberries, Cream Cheese & Black Pepper
Summer sunshine? Make yourself this melt, and enjoy the flavors while you soak up the sun outdoors.

2 handfuls strawberries
1∕2 tbsp granulated (raw) sugar
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 slices white bloomer
3 1∕2 oz cream cheese

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
Toasting methods: Frying pan/skillet or toasted sandwich maker or panini press
Best bread: White bloomer

Slice the strawberries in half, or if they are really large, into quarters. Pop them in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Leave for 15 minutes to allow the strawberries to macerate.

Mix the butter with the black pepper in a small bowl and spread over one side of each slice of bread. Turn the two slices over and cover the unbuttered sides with the cream cheese. Top with the macerated strawberries and drizzle any juice at the bottom of the bowl over them.

Warm a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and place the sandwiches into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes and use a spatula to press down on the sandwiches to encourage a golden crust. Flip them over and cook for a further 2–3 minutes until both sides are crisp and golden.

You can also cook them in a toasted sandwich maker or a panini press if you have one.

Slice in half and serve.

Fern Green is a food stylist, writer, experienced chef, and boutique hotel owner. She regularly writes and styles for magazines and works with various high-profile brands on food styling for editorial, packaging, advertising and video content. She has written a series of cookbooks, including: Green Smoothies and Breakfast Morning Noon and Night. When she’s not food styling or recipe writing, she cooks for her guests from her Italian kitchen garden at Fireflies and Figs, in Central Italy.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Melts by Fern Green, photographs by Jacqui Melville, published by Hardie Grant Books April 2017.

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