6 banana shallots, peeled and sliced lengthways
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 thick slices of bread
2 tbsp olive oil
160g extra mature Cheddar, grated
In a small saucepan, combine the shallots, balsamic vinegar and caster sugar, and season with pepper. Simmer for 15-20 mins until softened and sticky, then set aside.
Preheat the oven to 100°C/80°C fan/gas mark ¼. Brush both sides of the slices of bread with the olive oil.
Divide the cheese between 2 of the slices, then divide all but 2 tbsp of the shallot mixture between them, evenly layering the shallots over the cheese. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread, then heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Place 1 sandwich, so the cheese layer is nearest the heat, in the frying pan and lay a large heatproof plate on top, followed by a 400g weight or a tin of tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 mins, then remove the plate and weight, and turn over the sandwich and weigh down in the same way. Cook for 1-2 mins, then keep warm in the oven while repeating the process with the second sandwich. Place the second sandwich in the oven, then take out both after 5 mins.
Cut the sandwiches in half and serve with the remaining balsamic onion mixture.
More recipes for melt-in-the-mouth toasties are in the February 2022 issue of LandScape magazine...
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