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    Title Page


    Our Ten Commandments of Grilled Cheese

    The Bread

    The Cheese

    Cooking Methods









    Copyright Page


    We are two friends who love cheese. There is NOTHING better than melted cheese oozing out of golden buttery bread.

    Food has always been a huge part of our lives, but it wasn’t until we moved in together that we really developed a passion for creating delicious cheese toasties. In May 2013, we decided to follow our hearts (and our stomachs) and open Grill My Cheese.

    Our friends and family got the goods of our experiments and after some great feedback from them, we decided to hit the streets. We began our journey at a council-run market in West London. After a horrific first day trading (tears, tantrums and failing equipment) we discovered people were excited by our menu and genuinely wanted to eat our food. We were thrilled! Street food was the ideal platform for us to get started on our journey and although it hasn’t been plain sailing, we wouldn’t change it. So this is us, still learning, still eating and having an amazing time as we go along (as cheesy as that may sound).

    This book is all about trying new ideas. Although there is always a place for a standard white bread toastie, we knew we could do better. Taking inspiration from classic combinations and the foods we love, we make them our own, creating sandwiches like the Slumdog Grillionaire. This is based on both our mums’ recipes with our own special twist – our take on a Bombay sandwich.

    We also love sweet and salty combinations. One of our favourites is the PB&J but don’t forget to give the Doughnut Grilled Cheese a go, too.

    We set out to make people happy with our food. There’s no better feeling than when someone comes up to us and says it was the best toastie they’ve ever had. We are so excited to be able to share our recipes with you in this book and hope you feel the same when you try them at home.

    Nisha Patel & Nishma Chauhan



    There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ toastie. Everyone has their own version, and we hope these recipes will give you the inspiration to create your ideal toastie.


    Spending a little more on your ingredients will make a big difference to your grilled cheese. There is always a time and place for the nostalgic ‘white bread’ toastie. It’s a comforting classic. That being said, you deserve better.


    Buttering the outside of your bread is a MUST to ensure a golden buttery crust. We recommend using a small amount of unsalted butter.


    Melty, Stretchy, Cheesy – this is what you want from your grilled cheese. Experiment with different cheeses.


    Without getting too scientific (not really), cheese melts quicker when it’s grated. Ultimately, resulting in a perfect cook, especially when you add more ingredients.

    6 MIX IT UP

    Hams, jams and pickles – most things taste better with cheese. Play around with different flavour combinations and don’t be afraid to try new things. Some of our best sandwiches have come from having fun with flavours.


    All our sauces and chutneys work great with grilled cheese, either inside or as dips.


    Cook on a medium heat to ensure your sandwich is golden on the outside and fully melted to gooey perfection.


    There are very few don’ts to making a grilled cheese. The main one is using hard cheeses that don’t melt, such as halloumi and paneer. Cottage cheese is also a no no. We do use some ‘non-melty’ cheeses in some of our sandwiches, such as ricotta and cream cheese. These add texture and richness.


    Grilled cheese is simple and honest. Don’t take it too seriously, it should always be made with love.


    When it comes down to it, the humble cheese toastie is made using three vital ingredients, bread being one of them. There needs to be enough texture to withstand the mounds of melted cheese and all the crispy bits.


    Our personal favourite. We find sourdough the best type of bread for a grilled cheese sandwich – its slightly sour flavour cuts through some of the richness of the cheese, and its firm and slightly waxy consistency makes it sturdy enough to hold all your components together. The fantastic air pockets also mean loads of cheesy crispy bits post grilling. There are many sourdoughs you can use and even mixed flour sourdoughs (which are more likely to come in a friendlier shaped loaf). We recommend you buy your loaves sliced, and would suggest a medium thickness of about 12mm (½ inch) as an optimum.


    Sometimes, there is nothing better than white bread for a cheese toastie. Growing up on generic supermarket white sliced is something we all remember and it does bring you back to the nostalgic toasties of your younger years. Fortunately, we now live in a time where great bread is more accessible. If you must (and sometimes you really must) use white bread, then a farmhouse loaf is that little bit more special than a generic supermarket brand. The soft doughy yieldyness of the bread really soaks up all the cheese and gives you a great crisp and crunchy toastie. We recommend a thick slice for these recipes. Granary and wholemeal also work well.


    Most supermarket bloomers will be very similar to farmhouse loaves, the only difference being that they are free-formed, meaning they are allowed to prove without a tin. However, if you get a good bakery bloomer, then you will get something slightly different – a denser loaf with a thicker crust. This makes it a great bread for toasties and sandwiches, as, like with sourdough, there is enough sturdiness to hold the components. The bloomer is also given a longer proving time, sometimes overnight, and, – as with sourdough – this results in a much more flavourful bread and a beautiful, pillowy white interior. A bloomer works well with all the recipes in this book, unless otherwise stated.


    More traditionally used in cafés up and down the country, the ciabatta works as a good foundation for most of these toastie recipes. There are many variations of ciabatta throughout Italy, some with a dense crumb and some with more air pockets. The ciabatta that is most commonly used outside Italy, however, is a spongy soft bread, slightly chewy, which crisps up once toasted.


    A full-flavoured loaf. Go for a dark rye for all of its malty flavour. Rye bread is usually a lot denser than normal wheat bread loaves and works well in simple toasties – any from the Easy Cheesy section would work well with rye. Traditional rye bread is made very much like sourdough, using a starter and slow fermentation. Any rye breads using a mixture of both rye and wheat flour will be much lighter and more like wheat bread in texture.


    We love brioche, mostly because it’s packed with loads of butter. When it comes to our recipes, however, we would only suggest having it with simple fillings (mostly in the Easy Cheesy section) or toasted with our ice cream on top or inside it. There is a high fat content in brioche, so, depending on the grilling method, the toastie could be very greasy and very flat. We suggest toasting lightly in a frying pan and using slightly less cheese than we have suggested in these recipes. Available as buns and a loaf, it also works well with burgers, fried eggs and our candy bacon butter.


    For our sweet toasties, a fruit loaf works best. Most fruit loaves are smaller than regular loaves, making them the perfect size for a dessert. Our sweet treats are quite rich, and having them made up in a smaller portion is ideal. The loaf is not overly sweet, and is sturdy enough to toast, providing a great base. Cinnamon loaves also work well in this instance.


    As of yet, we have sadly not been able to find a great gluten-free substitute for our toasties on the stall. The breads we have sampled have either been too cake-like, with the crumb too delicate, or too sweet. But, of course, if you do have any intolerances then use whatever substitute you like best.


    Now for the second most important ingredient, the cheese. In order to figure out the best combination of cheese for your toastie at home, we have broken it down into three simple categories. There will be some overlap in some of the categories, as a number of ‘cheesers’ are good ‘melters’, but if you ensure you have a good ratio of each in your blend, you are bound to have a winning toastie.

    1) Cheesers: These are cheeses with a stronger flavour profile and are there predominantly to give flavour to your toastie.

    2) Melters: A toastie is not a toastie without melted cheese. Some cheese, no matter how much you try, will not fully melt. This includes the likes of halloumi and paneer.

    3) Stretchers: These are a must for getting melted cheese on your chin. Everyone loves to ‘pull’ a grilled cheese and see the web of cheese strings.


    Blue Cheese The softer ones (like dolcelatte or Castello Blue) are rich, creamy and almost sweet like caramel, with the harder varieties sharp and salty. Great on a cheese board or in a salad, blue cheese is incredibly versatile. It can be spread, crumbled or melted into sauces.

    Chèvre Goat’s Cheese A generic French term for goat’s cheese, chèvre comes in many forms, with the most common being a slightly crumbly and creamy fresh cheese with a complex, buttery flavour profile.

    Comté A French pale yellow, creamy cheese often likened to Gruyère, this is matured in the darkness of caves and aged for a minimum of four months and up to 24 months. Considered to be one of the finest cheeses in the world, it has a great melt with notes of roasted nuts, fruity pepper and brown butter, with a sweet finish.

    Cream Cheese Soft, mild-tasting cheese made from milk and cream, this is incredibly versatile and can be used in sweet and savoury foods. A slick of cream cheese in a grilled cheese adds an indulgence factor that, once you try it, will change your life.

    Feta This Greek soft-brined cheese is creamy and crumbly with a sharp, salty and almost sour finish. It is very good in salads, but when melted becomes creamier. It works really well paired with sweet olives.

    Gouda A Dutch semi-hard cheese that is renowned for its rich, unique flavour. It has a mild, salty yet fruity flavour with a sweet finish and elastic texture.

    Manchego A rich, creamy, firm Spanish sheep’s cheese with a mildly gamey flavour and a hazelnutty sweetness. The flavour varies significantly depending on age – the younger the cheese, the more supple and moist in texture with a fruity, tangy note. As it matures, there is a more caramel, nutty and almost sweet taste. It is aged for up to a year and becomes more crumbly.

    Parmesan A hard, granular Italian cheese with a rich umami flavour that is also fruity and nutty.

    Ricotta This Italian soft fresh cheese can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. It is low in fat but carries a creamy texture that is mild in flavour.


    American Cheese Also known as ‘processed cheese’, made from a blend of milk, solids, fat and whey concentrates. This is your typical Kraft/Dairylea slices but it also comes in tube form (Velveeta/Cheez Whiz). It has a mild, salty and faintly sweet flavour and a low melting point. The taste and texture vary by brand.

    Brie Named the ‘Queen of Cheese’, this French soft cheese is pale in colour with a white edible rind. Buttery, runny and soft-ripened with a mild, slightly fruity and nutty taste, it is a great, versatile cheese. There are many varieties of Brie, now made internationally, but only Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun can be classified as Brie. There is a great British version called Waterloo.

    Cheddar There are many types of Cheddar, ranging from mild to medium and extra mature, but as a general rule, they are all great melters. They can be an excellent way of adding flavour to your toastie; this will depend on the type you choose. Mild Cheddars are gentle and creamy in flavour, with mature versions tending to be sweet and nutty, with a longer finish. You can even get smoked Cheddars as well as Cheddars that have been blended with herbs or flavourings.

    Double Gloucester A traditional semi-hard cheese with a smooth, buttery texture and a rich, nutty flavour. Typically aged for four months, you will find that the more aged the cheese, the more complex the flavour and harder it becomes.

    Aged Goat’s Cheese We are referring here to the soft variety covered in an edible ash. It has a fluffy middle with a gooey texture when left at room temperature. Creamy with a strong flavour profile, it works well with caramelized onions and roasted vegetables.

    Gruyère A hard, yellow, semi-smelly Swiss cheese, Gruyère is buttery sweet with a slightly salty finish and, as with most cheeses, its flavour becomes more robust with age.

    Provolone An Italian semi-soft smoked cheese that intensifies when melted. Typically used in a lot of Italo-American cooking, it is rich, milky and mildly nutty, with a sharp saltiness.

    Raclette A French cheese commonly served melted over potatoes and pickles.

    Reblochon Known to be a devotional cheese offered to Carthusian monks by farmers in the 1500s in return for the monks blessing their crops, this great tasting melter is used in the dish tartiflette (which is DELICIOUS).

    Red Leicester Formally known as Leicestershire cheese, this hard, pressed cheese with a rich orange colour has a sweet, mellow flavour with a creamy texture. A great alternative to Cheddar, it melts well and, like most cheeses, gets stronger in flavour the longer it matures.


    Buffalo Mozzarella The kind you will find in bags or tubs of water to retain its freshness. Made with the milk of a water buffalo, it is a soft, delicate cheese with a unique stretchiness when melted. One of our favourite cheeses, with its milky, creamy flavour profile, it works really well un-melted in salads or alone with a drizzle of good olive oil and some black pepper.

    Mozzarella (low moisture) This is the kind you find in supermarkets, in blocks or pre-grated packs. It is much firmer than fresh mozzarella, due to the curds being left to sour slightly before being placed in hot water to loosen the protein structure and then left to dry out. Slightly salty and dense, it carries very little flavour unless melted, but has a great stretch that makes it perfect for melting.

    Emmental Yellow, mild, fruity-flavoured hard Swiss cheese known for its holey characteristics. When melted it has a buttery taste often likened to Gruyère, and is commonly used in fondue.

    Fontina Semi-soft Italian cheese with a pungent smell, quite unlike its balanced, complex flavour. Rich and creamy with a slight fruity taste, it has an elastic texture that produces the perfect stretch when melted. Considered to be Italy’s answer to Gruyère, you will also find varieties made by the US and Denmark. American fontina is more yellow in colour and less aged, resulting in a buttery taste.

    Taleggio Semi-soft, stinky Italian cheese with a sticky rind that is great when crisped up on top of a macaroni cheese. Despite the smell, the flavour is balanced, complex and nutty, with a slight saltiness. Once left at room temperature or melted, it becomes oozy and glorious.


    At Grill My Cheese, we use a signature blend of four different cheeses that we have created to give the best flavour, melt and stretch. It is a blend that works great on its own but at the same time has been created to complement all the other fillings we use.

    Keen’s Cheddar (1 part) – an unpasteurized, strong-flavoured Cheddar matured for a minimum of one year. It has a creamy, smooth and firm texture and long, earthy, rich, nutty flavours with a sharp finish.

    Farmhouse mature Cheddar (2 parts) – a great flavour enhancer to mellow out the blend slightly.

    Swiss Gruyère (1 part) – a buttery, sweet, slightly nutty cheese with a flavour that varies widely with age. We use one of the younger varieties; the more mature it is, the more earthy and complex the flavour.

    Cow’s ‘low moisture’ mozzarella (2 parts) – known for its mild flavour and great ‘stretch’, this is one of the most versatile and best cheeses to use when adding stronger flavours to a toastie (see opposite).


    The goal when making any toastie is to make sure you have an even, golden, buttery crust and a gooey pile of melted cheese in the centre. When adding other fillings, they also need to be heated through. If you get the heat wrong, you could be left with a burnt, unmelted or soggy toastie.


    We use a tiny amount of butter on the outside of our toasties. Our cheese blend has a decent fat content so we don’t want our toasties to be greasy and cloying. By using a scant buttering, we assure you that you will get a golden buttery crust without any of the excess grease. Unsalted butter is our recommended choice.


    To cook the sandwiches on the stall we use a flat-top grill (plancha), with some traditional meat presses. These can be purchased online (we had ours shipped in from the US) and they cook bacon, steak and other meat really well. These presses can also be used instead of the spatula in the frying pan method below.


    When making a single toastie, or a few for friends, we would recommend the frying pan method. Everyone has a frying pan (we hope), and all you require is a spatula and some patience.

    Heat your frying pan to a medium heat and place your toastie in the dry pan. Either push down gently with a spatula, or use a saucepan (or any other weight) to hold the toastie down. This ensures an even cook with melted cheese in the middle. Depending on the fillings, the toastie should take about 3 minutes a side.


    Place the prepared sandwich in the grill and cook on a medium heat for 3–4 minutes, depending on the strength of your machine. The good thing about panini presses is that they are generally easy to check for ‘toastie readiness’. We prefer flat plates (they’re easier to clean), but ridged plates also work just as well, and give you a slightly crunchier toastie. All breads work well in the panini machine.


    There are only certain types of bread that work in this machine, and a white or brown standard sliced loaf would be our only suggestion. The machine can either deliver nostalgic wonders, or result in molten cheese explosions and soggy crusts.

    Always use pre-softened butter on the outside of the bread to avoid any rips in the bread. Don’t overfill your sandwiches if you’re using this cooking method, as the machine does restrict how much filling you can fit inside your toastie. Make up your toastie as per the recipe and then carefully place inside your toastie machine. Close the clip and leave to toast for 4–5 minutes. The sandwich is ready when the bread has crisped up into two beautiful triangle pockets. Leave to cool for a while before taking your first bite; the steam inside the toastie could lead to serious injury.

    Given the nature of this method, the sandwiches that won’t work as well are the Fresh Tuna Melt and


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