What is better after a long night out then having a hearty and filling meal that won’t curdle the alcohol? However, if you’re like me, there’s nothing worse then having to not only do the dishes while you’re experiencing the “I wont drink again” hangover but the actual preparation of the food.
I went out to a friend’s birthday party the other night and while my poor sober boyfriend was able to reign in my want for cheap-and-easy chicken nuggets, he was not able to stop the 3am hunger for a warm cheese toastie.
The first step is your ingredients. If you’re lazy and tired, then cheese only will (sometimes) be acceptable, but not recommended. My favourite is the duo of ingredients that is in a ‘standard’ cheese toastie. Cheese and tomato. You cannot beat the gooey cheese and the salty tomato.
After gathering the ingredients, make sure that your bread is at room temperature or slightly warmer as frozen or cold bread will impact the way the cheese melts. I do not butter the bread, as I like to pretend that I am health-conscious and worrying about my dieting habits at 3am – hence the multi-grain bread.
Layout of your ingredients on your sandwich is an important thing. Cheese and then tomato. This allows the cheese to stay in its own half as the tomato blocks it from seeping through. While the idea of a sandwich is to combine ingredients, the separation of them ensures that you can taste each element. (Don’t forget to salt and pepper your tomato. If you forget, you will not have a Perfect Cheese Toastie).
My sandwich press has been with me for a couple of years so I know its routine enough to know when to turn it on. I turn it on just before I start to put the sandwich together as it then clicks angrily at me if I let it get too hot. Like most appliances, it becomes angry when you take more than .3 seconds to respond to it (looking at you, microwave).
The cheese toastie takes approximately 3 minutes to cook evenly, checking often and making sure to put any cheese that drips out the side back onto the sandwich. You can do this thanks to the handy parchment paper that catches it. The bread should be a golden brown colour, cheese gooey and melted and the tomato warm.
PRO-TIP: Put parchment paper between the bread and the hot surface to eradicate any extra cleaning that may occur. Hardened cheese is no-ones friend and it is also soul crushing to have to leave half your cheese behind as it, like Rose on the Titanic, let go.
Serve with a beverage of choice – mine is usually a cup of tea when I have Got Things Together, but more often than not it is a glass of cordial, or I will eat it without a beverage to fully ensure that I am aware of what my life has become.
Photo credit: Sarah Mulvena
Please drink responsibly