A crunchy toastie with molten cheese. Even the worst cook can’t screw that up – but perfecting it is an art.
Yes, your toastie is always going to be good, but lets aspire for greatness. To find that trifecta of ooze, crunch and a magically buttery bread, we asked Analiese Gregory of Sydney restaurant Bar Brosé for her secrets. Here’s why:
We’re not looking are re-creating this guy here, though you’re welcome to. For reference, it’s decked out with Christmas-style glazed ham, pineapple, a generous slab of Comté cheese, and smears of mustard and spicy ‘nduja, a spreadable salami.
Since that probably proves a little luxe for your binge-streaming snack or tipsy culinary creation, Analiese shared her number one tip.
MAKE IT MOIST
Okay, so not exactly this, but same ballpark.
While moist is usually a word to avoid at all costs, we’re embracing it here because a dry toastie is real hard to swallow. It’s also a waste of cheese, which is an objective evil.
Analiese’s tip here is pretty simple, but often the best things are.
“I think the secret to any sandwich is enough moisture…,” says Analiese. “When I make toasties, I spread the outside with butter and the inside with créme fraîche. Oh, and a really nicely seasoned béchamel doesn’t go astray either. It adds moisture but is stable enough so it doesn’t melt out during cooking.“
A super light sour cream, créme fraîche plays off the savoury notes of your cheese of choice and helps caramelise the bread as it soaks in, resulting in a wonderful contrast of crunch ‘n’ cheese.
So now we’ve got that straight (thanks Analiese!), let’s get to work. If you really want to do things right, test the waters with two personal favourite recipes. They’re slightly more effort than you’re probs used to, but nothing ridiculous. The hardest part is picking between the two.
One bite, and you’ll never mistake it for grilled cheese again. (Photo: Delicious.com.au)
What you’ll need:
- Béchamel cheese (cheddar will get the job done, though)
- 2 eggs
- 150 g créme fraîche
- English mustard powder
- Thick sourdough (rye is A+)
- Worcestershire sauce
We can thank Wales for this indulgent mess. Some call it a ‘Welsh rabbit’, but that feels a little misleading. Either way, there’s no need to split hares. This recipe makes 4, because it’s the ultimate hungover breakfast after a house party.
Start by whisking the egg yolks (just the yolks, folks!), créme fraîche and mustard powder together, then add in the cheese, grated. You’ll want around 100 gms. Chop some chilli in, too – it’ll help break you out of your daze.
Butter up that bread and add a bit of chutney on both sides. Then top it with the cheesy mix, right to the side. Grill it up! Worcestershire sauce is good for a drizzle. If your hangover is really strong, a fried egg on top does wonders.
TRIPLE-CHEESE MOTHER OF YOUR CHILDREN
Stack it up. (Photo: Berlyskitchen.com)
We’re going with a tried and tested trio: firm ricotta, vintage cheddar and Taleggio, a soft Italian cheese with slightly fruity notes. No need for créme fraîche here, since the ricotta is creamy enough as is. Spread your bread of choice with butter on both sides, add a base of ricotta, then add in Taleggio and cheddar. When it’s oozing with a sexual tension you didn’t know cheese was capable of, it’s ready.
Those are just suggestions. Experimentation is key. Find what works for your late-night cravings and hungover head – just remember to keep things moist.