Cheese and pickle sandwich really is a British treat. As the name implies, it features either pickled or sliced cheese, usually grated, between two bread slices. The inside slices of the white bread can be covered with margarine or butter, and the outside slices may be filled with salad ingredients like lettuce and tomato. Typically, the pickles are eaten on their own, while the cheese is enjoyed later (sometimes well ahead of time). In the United States, a similar sandwich has been made using ham and turkey instead of cheese and pickles.
Although it appears that the ingredients for this type of sandwich are the same, in actual fact, different types of cheese and pickles have different ways of curdling and making a nice sauce for the sandwich itself. Therefore, no matter which cheese is to be used, each piece must be thoroughly cooked before filling the bread slice. At the same time, the amount of butter and oil added to the slices must be carefully watched, because too much of any one of these ingredients will make the cheese curdle and cause the sandwich to collapse.
One of the oldest recipes for cheese sandwiches is called “Hammers and bacon.” This recipe calls for lard, smoked bacon, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions cut into strips, placed on top of a grilled bread slice. The mixture is allowed to slowly cook in a skillet over a low heat, until the vegetables are soft. Then the mixture is removed and served with a dip.
Another variation of this popular recipe involves grilling tomatoes and onions sliced diagonally instead of sliced greens. (Other good choices for the base of a grilled cheese sandwich are cucumbers and radishes.) A thick slice of tomato and onion sandwich is prepared by adding half a cup of sour cream to the warmed up bread slices. Stir in chopped olives and pimento, and garnish with sliced dill pickles. This sandwich really tastes great when made with a bit of melted Swiss or Canadian bacon.
Ham and Swiss are also excellent choices for sandwich fillings. In this recipe, ham is sliced slightly and placed on a half bread slice, with two generous teaspoons of Swiss or Canadian bacon slathered on both sides. Then the thin sliced ham and Swiss are topped with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and served. This sandwich is absolutely divine when served with fresh salad and some freshly squeezed lemonade.
Of course, nothing could quite compare to the authentic New England style of grilled cheese. In this recipe, you have to grill the three pieces of cheese together until they are light brown and crisp. Then add some ingredients to help keep the cheese moist such as a cup of sour cream or mayonnaise, chopped dill pickles, and chopped dried cranberries. Grill until the cheese is golden brown and then serve with your favorite drink.
Cheese and pickles go well together in so many ways that it’s almost impossible to name them all. From macaroni and cheese bites, hot dogs, pastrami rolls, flat bread sandwiches, corned beef and cabbage, potato salad, stuffed bellies and so much more… there’s really no way to say how many ways pickles can be added to a savory meal. Simply use your imagination! You’ll probably end up with more pickles than you can eat!
Cheese and pickles are a match made in heaven. Whether you’re a cheese lover or not, you’re sure to fall in love with this delightful combination. Cheese and pickle sandwich will quickly become one of your all-time favorites… and you’ll be thinking about it again when the next craving hits.