I hear that it’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month so I made my first one EVER last night to celebrate… I guess in the UK we’d call this a Cheese Toastie, although I’ve never cooked one in a frying pan before. Only in my mum’s Breville sandwich toaster, back in the early 1980s…
I guess confusion arises over the different meanings of grilled here in the UK and the States. I would personally call this a FRIED Cheese Sandwich but it wouldn’t sound as nice would it?
Anne’s recipe is basically this. Put some cheese on a piece of bread, then put some sliced Mexican chili on it. Sprinkle over a pinch of chili powder and a pinch of cumin powder and a little salt. Put another slice of bread on top and fry it both sides in tonnes of butter and a little cooking oil. It was, as you might expect, totally delicious. Oh MMMMM!
It’s difficult to get Mexican chilis here, but luckily for me, Heather and Nathan brought me back a little haul of things I’d been hankering after, from their trip to the States. Including a couple of tins of Hatch chilis. Nathan wouldn’t let me pay him what I owed, but only on condition that I NEVER make him something that has Cheddar Cheese Soup in it. This, my lovelies is for a BETTE DAVIS recipe. Now, who shall I inflict that upon?!
Nice! An American classic! Comfort food at it’s best when paired with a bowl of tomato soup. I was very confused when moving here (due to the number of British ex-pats living in Greece) by the British “cheese toasty.” The only place we can get an actual “grilled cheese” is at home. There are many variations, and Anne’s sounds delicious (I have to try it SOON!) but my childhood memories always included American cheese (a melty, process cheese food, often the individually plastic-wrapped squares produced by Kraft) and soft, white WonderBread. Now it’s whole-grain bread with cheese combinations that include Gouda, smoked Provolone, Cheddar, blue cheese and sometimes accented with a smear of mayo and/or horseradish.
And you can invite us over ANYTIME for anything made by you and Bette Davis involving Cheddar cheese soup 🙂
Greg – that is a DATE! I have two tins of Cheddar cheese soup so will save one for when you are in London and can squeeze in a dinner at Silver Screen Suppers Towers. It’s an open invitation! The can of soup will no doubt work its way to the back of my cupboard to sit alongside the can of baked beans I won in a tombola a couple of years ago with my friend Ben. It still has the raffle ticket stuck onto it. I can’t imagine EVER eating those beans. They will live for ever in my cupboard, reminding me of a lovely day out…
Tinned food lives forever, right?!
I am FASCINATED by the way there are certain things that are considered to be quite normal in America that to us here in the UK are a MYSTERY. Grilled Cheese Sandwich with tomato soup? Well I never! This is news to me. but actually, makes perfect sense.
When I was a nipper in the 1970s I totally remember Kraft cheese “Singles” being a big new thing, and I always wanted my mum to buy some. I think I’d had them at friend’s houses and thought they were very, very sophisticated. WonderBread is beyond my ken – I’m going to look it up!
Waffles have this kind of mystery for me too. About once every 6 months I contemplate buying a waffle iron and then think better of it. I have NEVER eaten a waffle outside Belgium apart from a “Birds Eye Potato Waffle, so W’awfully versatile” (TV jingle from the 70s) – another thing I pestered my mum to buy….
I think we should start planning a Bette Davis dinner incorporating the fish / cheddar cheese soup dish!!!
Although I am supposed to be doing some proper writing and am procrasinating like crazy, I have just read this whole BRILLIANT blog post on American Cheese. Am linking here so I can find it again when I want to read it again…
I totally resonate with The Cooking Geek”…so many foods are history in our household…waffles? Did you say waffles? I almost forgot I missed them until now… all those little square pockets to hold melting butter and maple syrup? Yum! Here you get some cold, dry, thing with ice cream and nutella plopped on top…
My cookbook project has been a challenge without so many products (I’m sure you run in to this problem all the time too!) I even had to resort to making my own cheese powder (the little packet of neon orange stuff that comes in the box of Kraft Cheese and Macaroni)…it can be done, but coming home from the market with the biggest block of Cheddar I’ve ever bought and two days later ending up with an empty Mayonaisse jar full of powder?
Wonderbread (which I do not miss) was just a brand name for the ultra-white, “enriched,” sliced, sandwich bread. Now I have a bakery on every corner, fresh bread every day 🙂
The joys of vintage recipes 🙂 (and I mean that in a good way)
Mmmmmmmmmmmm – you are making me crave a waffle now. And I’ve fairly recently had a fish finger sandwich! I’m sure that fish fingers are called something else outside the UK but I can’t think what…
You make your own cheese powder? You are AMAZING!
I have just paid an insane amount of money to have 3 cans of Campbell’s Condensed Beef Consomee to be sent from the USA to London. This sounds crazy but it is the condensed nature of it that I can’t replicate. There are so many Campbell’s products we can’t get here – including the Cheddar Cheese Soup of course.
If I ever get to go to the States again, I am going with an empty suitcase and plenty of dough to pay for excess baggage fees…
There are indeed many joys to be had from vintage recipes – but you gotta be resourceful!