A very dear relative, who was here recently for the Christmas holidays, gave me this recipe for an upscale grilled cheese sandwich. Upscale, perhaps, is the operative word here. Unlike the classic grilled cheese sandwich which uses plain cheddar, this one is made with mozzarella and Gruyère, Italian and Swiss cheeses. But the real surprise in the sandwich is the mango jam. Tart and sweet, it harmonizes with the cheeses to create a perfectly balanced and delectable flavor.
Upscale Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices white bread
¼ c butter
2 tbsp mango jam
¼ c grated mozzarella cheese
¼ c grated Gruyère cheese
If desired, trim the crusts from the bread. Spread about one tablespoon butter on one side of a bread slice. Spread one tablespoon mango jam on the unbuttered side of the same bread slice. Spoon two tablespoons each of the mozzarella and Gruyère cheeses over the mango jam. Spread one tablespoon butter on a second bread slice and position it over the cheeses, buttered side up. Repeat with remaining bread slices, butter, mango jam and the cheeses.
Heat a nonstick skillet to medium-low. Put the prepared sandwiches, buttered side down, on the skillet and press their tops with a heat-proof spatula or a wooden spoon to flatten the sandwiches slightly.
Heat until the cheeses start to melt and the bottom sides of the bread become golden brown, about 30 seconds to one minute. Flip the sandwiches over to brown the other side. Remove from skillet and serve.
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Good quality bread is key to making flavorful sandwiches. For this recipe, use bread that’s fresh and of high quality. Try those in specialty shops like the French Baker, Ji-Pan and hotel bakeshops.
You can also use sourdough or a loaf of French baguette instead of sliced bread. If using baguette, cut the loaf on the diagonal so you get bigger slices of bread.
For easier spreading, make sure the butter is at room temperature. Remove it from the refrigerator around 30 minutes before you start to cook.
You can grill the sandwich in a sandwich maker or, better yet (if you’re lucky enough to have one), use a Panini maker.
To make a complete meal, serve the sandwich with soup and a vegetable or potato salad.