I often make toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch (actually I make grilled cheese sandwiches, but I call them toasted cheese sandwiches), so I was intrigued by a hundred-year-old recipe for Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.
The old recipe called for toasting the sandwiches in the oven (or over a coal fire!). It also called for making a cheese filling that contained grated cheese, dry mustard, and paprika – rather than just using slices of cheese.
The sandwiches turned out well. The Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches were crisp and toasty, and nice and gooey in the middle. The cheese filling had just a hint of the spices.
Here’s the original recipe:
The recommended way of softening the grated cheese by putting it in a bowl that is then placed over another pan containing hot water seemed very old-fashioned, but I followed the directions and it worked well. The cheese softened quickly so that the spices could be easily stirred into the cheese, and it was very spreadable.
Since I know that cheese contains a lot of salt, I skipped adding salt when I made this recipe. Also, I used a level teaspoon of dry mustard instead of a rounded one that was called for in the recipe.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches
1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar cheese. American would also work well.)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
6 slices bread
Put grated cheese, dry mustard, and paprika into a bowl; stir to mix. Put the bowl in a shallow pan of hot water for 2-3 minutes (or put in the microwave for a few seconds). Once the cheese has begun to soften, stir again to get the spices evenly spread throughout the mixture.
In the meantime, butter the bread on one side. Place three slices on a baking sheet with the buttered side down. Spread the slices with the cheese mixture. Top with the remaining bread slices. The buttered side should be up.
Put under the broiler in the oven, and toast until the bread is lightly browned. Flip the sandwiches and return to broiler. Toast until the second side is lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.