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Jamie’s Grilled Cheese from The Scottish Prisoner

Jamie’s Grilled Cheese from The Scottish Prisoner

The Lord John Series

Breakfast was even more cursory than supper had been, though Jamie toasted two pieces of bread with cheese between, so that the cheese melted, something Grey hadn’t seen before but thought very tasty.  Quinn mounted up without comment afterward and headed back to the road.

Grey sat on a moss-covered rock, watching until the Irishman had got well away, then swiveled back to face Fraser, who was tidily rolling up a pair of stocking into a ball.

“I woke up last night,” he said without preamble.

Fraser stuffed the stocking into his portmanteau and reached for the heel of bread, which followed the stockings.

“Did you,” he said, not looking up.

“Yes.  One question – does Mr. Quinn know the nature of our business with Siverly?”

Fraswer hesitated a moment before answering.

“Probably not.”  He looked up, eyes a startlingly deep blue.  “If he does, he didna hear it from me.”

Diana Gabaldon, The Scottish Prisoner (Chapter 16 – Tower House)

It’s hard to imagine a time before toasted/grilled cheese sandwiches, and yet, there was.

Fast forward 200+ years and here we are, near the end of National Grilled Cheese Month — at least in the States.  But as I’m in Canada, and I know there’s more than a few of you in other places, I propose we make it an international celebration of cheese in toast…because, really…is there anyone, anywhere (excepting those with a dairy allergy) who doesn’t love melted cheese between 2 crunchy, buttery pieces of bread?

I thought not.

grilled cheese - bacon and tomato jam

My grilled cheese breakfast sandwich is a little more elaborate than the one Jamie made LJ — but then again, I’m not an 18th C prisoner, forced to travel against his will, on limited rations.  My spoiled, 21st C self can afford to be a little more creative.

I used day-old foccacia bread and filled it with grated aged cheddar, bacon, tomato jam and a light spreading of mayonnaise.  I spread the outside of the slices thick with butter and then toasted it on a grill pan with a small cast iron frying pan on top as a panini weight. (That helps the cheese to melt evenly and it also gives the bread good grill marks.)

On the weekend, I might add a fried egg in there too.

What’s your favourite grilled cheese?


  1. Chelsea Kinjorski (@chelseakinjo)
    April 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I tend to do meunster cheese, feta and homemade pesto in between two thick slices of rye with parmesean butter. Is there a recipe for the tomato jam? Sounds amazing, but the link leads to Jocasta’s Munchies!

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 7:28 am

      Chelsea..that is some great sounding grilled cheese! And yes, there is a recipe for the tomato jam…the link is now fixed! 🙂

  2. Aaron Brown
    April 26, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I like bacon and avacado in mine. Thanks for the reminder of LJ and Jamie, I like it when they are together.

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

      That sounds super tasty, Aaron! Yes…they make good buds. I think so too.

  3. OutlanderFan
    April 26, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I LOVE the tip about using a cast iron pan to weigh down the bread for even grilling- This is one of my favorites for sure!

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Like I said…it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese!

  4. Gisela Giussi
    April 26, 2012 at 6:37 am

    YUM!!! I have to try this recipe!!!! looks easy enough even for me to try!!! THANK YOU again for this! you are doing such a wonderful job!

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

      You’ve got me blushing, Gisela! Thank you!

  5. Heather Grant
    April 26, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Has to be REAL cheese, first of all… then lots of homemade chutney or onion relish on the side.

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

      there seem to be a few of us chutney/relish/pickle lovers around here! Yum.

  6. Shannon
    April 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

    That looks yummy! Where do you get your bacon? It looks really good too!

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Shannon, this is Red Barn bacon, from Saanich on Vancouver Island. Ethically raised, double smoked and super delicious.

    • Sharon
      November 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Red Barn is the best – I don’t buy my meat anywhere else!

  7. restlessexile
    April 26, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Good strong cheddar and Branston Pickle… Mouth watering just at the thought.

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

      now mine is too…that would do verra nicely for lunch. 🙂

  8. lionartcreation
    April 26, 2012 at 8:13 am

    When I worked at Friendly’s, back in High School, the smell of melting cheese and grilled bread used to inspire me to come home and make grilled cheddar with salami…SO DAMN GOOD. In fact, now I want one. I might forgo my brown-bagged lunch and go downstairs for a panini instead 😉 Tomorrow is payday after all!

    • Theresa
      April 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

      sounds like a plan to me, Lee Ann!

  9. Konnie
    April 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Here in America, we’re so obsessed with grilled cheeses, people publish new recipes in magazines. My absolute favorite is equal parts Fontina, fresh Mozzarella and Asiago. So yummy!

  10. Mana
    April 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Ha I have a dairy allergy (mind you not as severe as some people) but I love my cheese lol I think the fanciest I’ve gotten with mine though is just bacon, cheddar and onions lol

  11. Laura
    April 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I had mine for dinner with chicken, pepper-jack, chard, and peppercinis with a side of your cold-oil fries and a Dana Stabenow short-story—an author whose well-read character has also fallen in love with Jamie Fraser.

  12. Paschendale
    April 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

    My taste in grilled cheese is fairly basic, but I do like to use homemade herb wheat bread when I can. My favorite way to do them is to spread a bit of mustard on one side of the inner surface before putting the cheese (preferably a cheddar) on and then sprinkling a bit of parsley and garlic powder over the cheese before forming and toasting the sandwich. I agree that weighing it down with a heavy pot is almost a must-do, though. I am going to have to try the bacon with one in the future; that sounds excellent.

    I ran across an excellent recipe a few months back for a four-cheese grilled cheese and when I tried it I was very pleased with the flavor (it called for cheddar, parmesan, swiss and mozzarella). Frankly it was a bit much for a day-to-day sandwich but made a pleasant change of pace for a more-special-than-usual sort of day. It used a sliced sourdough bread that gave a very nice flavor to the sandwich.

  13. deniz
    May 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Yum yum. I like to put an egg on mine!

    • Theresa
      May 16, 2012 at 7:39 am

      that sounds like my type of breakfast sandwich, Deniz!

  14. Esther
    November 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I use my waffle iron for grilled cheese sandwiches. Lovely crunchy exterior and melty insides. Enjoy!

  15. Sharon
    November 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I like to use cinnamon bread (usually Cobs) and maple-flavoured cheddar – a bit sweet, but great for breakfast!

  16. Judy
    February 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Theresa, I was just browsing some of your recipes and tried the link for Tomato Jam. Is the booklet it’s in currently available? I always have huge amounts of toms in the summer (- planning ahead here!) Thanks!

  17. Teri
    May 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    One of my favorite, Sharp Cheddar on Sourdough Bread. Where I live in the San Francisco Bay area, there are even a couple of cafes specializing in different grilled cheese sandwiches. Yummy!

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