Grilled cheese sandwich with tomato-onion jam and arugula
Cuisine: American
  • 2 slices from a crusty sourdough bread – don't buy the pre-sliced stuff on the shelves. Buy the kind in the bakery.
  • 3 thin slices (or so) from a block of sharp cheddar cheese – don't use "cheese product"; it should really be cheese. (They try to trick you with their low prices!) ;)
  • 2 spoonfuls of tomato-onion jam.
  • A small handful of arugula (enough to cover out all the cheese so that very little yellow would peek through if you mounded the arugula)
  • 1 tbsp room temperature butter
  • salt, if your cheese isn't salty enough
  1. Texture is a big thing with grilled cheese, so I like to toast both sides of the bread. One side is toasted lightly, to harden the outside surface and get some golden brown edges. The other side is toasted a LOT. We'll start with the lightly toasted sides first (which are the inside-facing sides).
  2. Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Take half your butter and spread it evenly on one side of the bread slices. Lay them in the skillet. (You don't have to butter the skillet.) Let them toast up and turn a light golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Don't press down on them too much while they'r toasting because you might create indentations in the slices.
  3. Once lightly toasted, remove slices from the skillet and lay them toasted side up. Turn the heat down to medium-low to low. Spread tomato-onion jam evenly over both slices, stopping a little short from the edge (otherwise your jam might leak out, caramelize, and burn in the skillet when you're cooking the grilled cheese.).
  4. Lay the pieces of cheese evenly across the sandwich, also staying within the edges. You can break up the cheese slices, no problem.
  5. Lay one slice on top of the other, making the sandwich. Then take half of the butter that's left and spread it over the top. (There won't be very much actually, but you don't need too much, thankfully!)
  6. Over low to medium-low heat, placed the sandwich, butter side down on the skillet. Spread the rest of the butter on the other side of the sandwich.
  7. Now begins the slow griddling of the grilled cheese. An issue with a lot of grilled cheeses is that the outside gets all beautiful and toasty but the cheese on the inside is nowhere near fully melted. So, it's important to cook the sandwich over low heat for a longer amount of time, to allow the cheese to melt without burning the bread.
  8. Use a flat spatula to press own the sandwich as it crisps. As the cheese melts, it will flow into the nooks and crannies of the bread and perhaps, bits will even start to come out of the outside of the bread. I love this. I think it's awesome.
  9. After a minute or so, flip the bread and do the same thing to the other side. This isn't a burger where you flip only once. You'll be flipping over and over, trying to get both sides of the cheese to get gooey. I may have gone through about six rounds of flipping when I made my sandwiches.
  10. Periodically, peek in between the bread slices to see how close the cheese is to being full melted. The whole process may take 10 minutes, depending on what kind of cheese you are using.
  11. Once your cheese is fully melted, it's likely the bread is perfectly toasted. But if it's still a bit pale to you, then increase the heat to medium and brown it on both sides to your liking.
  12. The rest happens fast. You have to finish the sandwich and eat it soon after it's done because that's when it's the best! So start moving! You want to pull the sandwich off the skillet and onto a cutting board. Pull the two sides apart. They should be sticking to each other due to the melted cheese, but the crusty bread should withstand your manipulations.
  13. Take your arugula and shove it on a toast slice. Add salt, if your cheese isn't salty enough naturally (but it should be). Top with the other slice. Cut in half. And eat soon after! It will be piping hot and wonderful.
  14. (If you're feeding a lot of people, you can probably make 2-3 sandwiches at a time in a skillet and hold them in a warm oven at 250 degrees F while you work on another round of 2-3 sandwiches. Wait until all the sandwiches are done before you pry them all apart and stuff them with arugula.)
Recipe by heo yeah yum at