29 Jul 2017
Still one of Australia’s most loved DIY snacks, the toasted sandwich has come a long way from its humble cheese and ham roots. If you’re looking to take your toastie up a notch, take inspiration from our five favourite combos.
WORDS: Jessica Zoiti
Thanks to Breville’s jaffle maker, almost every 1970s Australian household understood the complete satisfaction of melted cheese and ham, or a tin of Heinz spaghetti, pressed between two pieces of buttery white toasted bread.
Today, toasties remain an Aussie favourite – they’re acceptable breakfast, lunch and even dinner fare. And while Kraft singles and Tip Top bread may have cut the mustard 40 years ago, today toasted sandwiches can be found on café menus far and wide, with all manner of gourmet fillings.
Even the jaffle iron is back in vogue with hipster-run kitchens peddling up-market versions like pulled pork with béchamel sauce and smoked cheddar, and sweet options like dark chocolate, banana and marshmallow.
Of course, you can recreate these flavour sensations and others at home, but before you go slapping ingredients between bread, there are a few simple rules to toastie perfection.
- Your toastie will only be as good as the quality of the ingredients. Use premium bread, deli meats and cheeses and you’ll create a premium toasted sandwich. Simple.
- Avoid raw vegetables – they won’t cook through and can dry out your sandwich. Instead, use pickled eggplant, zucchini, artichoke and even semi-dried tomatoes.
- You may like to give your toastie a helping hand by pre-heating fillings like baked beans, left-over spaghetti Bolognese, lasagne and mac ‘n cheese.
- Toasties are no place for leafy greens, with the exception of baby spinach and rocket. Leave the lettuce for your side salad.
- When it comes to bread thickness, err on the thin side. Thick slices will prevent the fillings from cooking through.
- Make sure your sandwich press, jaffle or frypan has come to the desired heat before placing your sandwich inside. This will ensure it cooks evenly and quickly.
- Always butter the outside (mayo can be used too if your plate is extra hot). It keeps bread moist, adds flavour (try a yummy salted French butter) and gives it a gorgeous golden-brown crust.
- Let it rest! Toasties are best enjoyed warm – no one enjoys scalding tomato dribbling down their chin.
Flavour combinations are only limited by the scope of your imagination, but if you’re looking for inspiration here are our top five toasties to try this winter.
1. Truffle mac ‘n cheese
Truffle season is drawing to the end, but before they’re gone, grab some fresh truffle and grate it through mac ‘n cheese made with good quality melting cheese, like gruyere. Press it between sourdough bread and voila!
2. Tastiest tuna melt
Our version of this tangy toastie features good quality tuna (try Good Fish Tuna, $7), whole egg mayonnaise, Dijon (try The Regimental Condiment Co.’s Mustang Dijon, $9.50), capers (try Chef’s Choice capers in vinegar, $4), tarragon leaves, parsley, lemon zest and Australian cheddar.
3. Rueben with a twist
Finely sliced pastrami and pickled kraut are the heroes of this toastie (we use Green St Kitchen’s ginger and turmeric kraut). Other ingredients include Worcestershire sauce, Greek yoghurt, artisan tomato sauce, dill pickles (try McClures Pickles, $15.95) and Jarlsberg.
4. Gourmet three-cheese
Simple and simply the best, this sandwich oozes with cheesy goodness. For our ultimate cheese toastie we use red Leicester, a sharp tangy Australian cheddar and mozzarella (for stringiness).
5. Classic ham and cheese
The traditional combination of ham and cheese has stood the test of time for a reason… it’s delicious! Our version uses a sharp Australian cheddar (try the Mafra aged cheddar, $7.95), WA free-range leg ham and Kinky Kondiments’ tomato, basil and chilli relish ($9.95).
Got a toastie craving? With our extensive range of deli meats, cheeses, condiments and gourmet fillings, we can meet any request. Let your imagination run wild!