Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I've never met anyone who didn't smile at the thought of a grilled cheese sandwich. Just one bite and you're back to being in that magical place where sandwiches cut into triangles tasted better, where Mum could kiss all your boo-boos away, where boys had cooties...
The only thing that makes a grilled cheese sandwich better? Dipping it in a bowl of creamy tomato soup! In this summer heat though, the very notion of hot soup sets my anti-perspirant working double-time.
And so, I present you the tomato chutney: whole grape tomatoes cooked in a little vinegar, onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro and brown sugar, finished with a mustard seed-infused oil. Drop a dollop in your grilled cheese, and prepare yourself for explosions of savory tomato flavour every time you bite into a whole tomato. It's great when you're in the mood for something a little different.
Not in the mood for grilled cheese? This chutney is a great one to have on hand for these grill-happy days. Make a batch, and keep it in the fridge for your cookout days: smush some of this chutney on grilled chicken, pork, veggies or even a burger!
Oh, and don't miss a funny little trick to make grilled cheese sandwiches taste even better, that I learned at Burning Man from my friend Graham. It's an odd one, but try it once and see if you like it... it'll make it crispy but not greasy!
Best Grilled Cheese with Tomato Chutney
2 cups grape tomatoes
a little more than 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup red onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar
Handful cilantro, minced
2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
1 tsp urad dal (optional)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Pinch of red chili flakes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Cheese of your choice, freshly grated (I used cheddar)
1) Throw tomatoes, vinegar and onions in a pot over high heat. Season with salt, boil for 5 minutes.
2) Add garlic, ginger, cilantro and brown sugar plus a splash of water if it's too dry. Stir and boil for another 5 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, in a small skillet, warm oil until shimmering. Add urad dal and red chili flakes. When dal has turned a little darker, add mustard seeds, and stand back! They'll splutter! Once they're done spluttering, pour into the tomato mixture (which should be done boiling).
4) Turn the heat down, simmer 20 minutes until the tomato mixture takes on a jam consistency. Try to keep some of the tomatoes whole.
5) Allow chutney to cool. Then make grilled cheese.
6) Heat nonstick or cast iron skillet over moderately low heat. Make sandwich with cheese and tomato chutney. Slather some mayonnaise on the outside of one side of the sandwich. Place it mayo-side down in the skillet. Slather mayo on the other side. Wait a couple of minutes, until it's browned, then flip and brown the other side.
7) Cut into triangles and serve!
at 10:17 PM