Yield: 12 sandwiches
2 cups (drained) Gills Diced Pickled Red Onions, plus 1 cup pickling liquid
2 tablespoons cooking oil
24 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds (optional)
1 1/2 lb firm tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and diced
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups white or cider vinegar
3/4 cup softened butter
24 thick slices crusty artisan-style bread
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 lb sliced or shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cloves, cinnamon, and coriander (optional), then cook while stirring until toasted, about 1 minute.
2. Add onions, pickling liquid, apples, sugar, and vinegar and cook while stirring until sugar dissolves.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is the consistency of chunky applesauce, 30 to 35 minutes.
4. Set aside to cool. Add salt to taste, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
5. For each sandwich, spread about 1 1/2 tsp butter on each of 2 slices of bread. Top non-buttered side of one slice with 1 tsp mustard and 2 oz cheese. Spread non-buttered side of second slice with 2 1/2 tbsp chutney (avoiding cinnamon sticks and cloves) and place on top of cheese (buttered side up).
6. Grill, pan-fry, or use a panini press to cook until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side (or 3 minutes total for a panini press).
7. Serve with about 1 1/2 tbsp chutney on the side.