The Greatest Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled cheese doughnut

Nisha Patel and Nishma Chauhan show just what can be achieved with some cheese and bread. Trust us, these aren't your standard sandwiches.

  1. Buttermilk Mac 'n' Cheese Pancakes

    If it weren't already obvious, we love a bit of carb-on-carb action. The pancake batter has cooked macaroni in it as well as a generous amount of Cheddar. We serve ours with crispy bacon, hot sauce and maple syrup.

    Serves: 6 (makes about 12 pancakes)

    What You'll Need:

    • 200g (1 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
    • 65g (1/2 cup) wholewheat flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 240ml (1 cup) whole milk
    • 320ml (1 1/4 cups) buttermilk
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tbsp butter, melted
    • 300g (2 1/2 cups) cooked macaroni
    • 150g (1 2⁄3 cups) grated Cheddar
    • Melted butter, for greasing


    To serve (optional)

    • Crispy bacon
    • Maple syrup
    • Hot sauce

    Directions:

    1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (the batter will be slightly lumpy). Fold in the cooked macaroni and grated Cheddar.

    2. Preheat and lightly grease a griddle or large frying pan over a medium heat. Spoon the batter onto the griddle, one ladleful at a time; it should spread into a pancake about 7cm (2 3/4 inches) in diameter. Cook until the underside is golden brown and slightly stiff, about 3–4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter and serve warm with crispy bacon, maple syrup and hot sauce, if you like.


  2. Doughnut Grilled Cheese

    grilled cheese donut

    Doughnuts are sweet. Should they be used in a grilled cheese sandwich recipe? Hell, yeah! Sounds odd, but have faith. We love sweet and salty combinations at Grill My Cheese, and we couldn't help but give this a go. The sweet glaze on the doughnut combined with the blue cheese and the hot sauce fills a massive craving you didn't even know you had. This is one that you will make on more than one occasion.

    Serves: 1

    What You'll Need:

    • 2 rashers (slices) of streaky (lean) bacon
    • 1 plain glazed ring doughnut
    • 1 slice of Mexicana cheese (chilli cheese)
    • 1 slice of American cheese
    • 20g (3/4 oz) creamy blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
    • 2 tsp hot sauce
    • 3 slices of gherkin
    • Handful of salted matchstick crisps/fries


    Directions:

    1. Grill or fry the bacon until crisp, then break up into pieces.

    2. Slice the doughnut in half horizontally, so that you have two rings as the base of your sandwich. Place them glaze side down.

    3. Place the Mexicana cheese slice on one of the rings and the American cheese slice on the other. On top of the smoked cheese add the bacon, blue cheese, hot sauce and gherkins. Top with the matchstick crisps/fries and close the sandwich. Cook in a dry frying pan over a low-medium heat (the glaze on the doughnut can cause it to burn quite quickly so be careful) until squished and caramelized, and the cheese is fully melted.

  3. Pizza Grilled Cheese

    We love traditional pizzas with sourdough bases cooked in wood-fired ovens but, when feeling low (or hungover), nothing quite beats a beautifully melty 'delivered to your door' pizza. This lives up to the filth factor: it's made on standard white bread and we include a Frazzle crust for added crunch! Mix up the toppings with your own selection. Just make sure you don't overfill the toastie, or it will fall apart.

    Serves: 1

    What You'll Need:

    • 3 slices of basic white bread, buttered on one side
    • 1 slice of smoked Cheddar
    • 2 tbsp ready-made pizza sauce
    • 2 slices of American cheese
    • 50g (scant 1/2 cup) grated mozzarella

    For the toppings

    • 1 tbsp sweetcorn
    • 3 slices of pepperoni (optional)
    • 5 jalapeño chillies from a jar, roughly chopped


    For the Frazzle crust (optional)

    • 2 handfuls of grated Cheddar
    • 2 handful of crushed Frazzles (bacon corn snacks)

    Directions:


    1. Place one slice of bread buttered side down. Lay the slice of smoked Cheddar on the bread, then 1 tablespoon of the pizza sauce. Scatter the sweetcorn on top then follow with another slice of bread.

    2. On top of the second slice of bread, add the American cheese, a second tablespoon of pizza sauce, the pepperoni, if using, the grated mozzarella and the jalapeños. Finish with the third slice of bread, buttered side facing out.

    3. If you are not including the Frazzle crust, simply cook using your preferred method (frying pan, panini press, toasted sandwich maker, oven, toaster bag.

    4. For the Frazzle crust, first cook the sandwich using the frying pan method. Once cooked, set the sandwich aside and place the pan back over a medium heat. Sprinkle in 1 handful of the grated Cheddar and, when it starts to bubble, add 1 handful of the crushed Frazzles and immediately add your closed sandwich to the pan. Press down with a spatula or heavy pan to ensure an even melt and leave to cook for 3–4 minutes before flipping and repeating on the other side, adding the remaining Cheddar and Frazzles to the pan before adding the turned sandwich, to achieve the crust on both sides.

    5. Cut and devour immediately. You won't regret it!

  4. Buy the Book

    Grill My Cheese: The Cookbook, $12, Amazon.com

    Recipes excerpted with permission from Grill My Cheese by Nisha Patel and Nishma Chauhan, published by Quadrille October 2017, RRP $16.99 hardcover.