Monday, 1 April 2013

Procrastination With Food #1: How To Make The Perfect Toastie

Procrastination is one of those things that starts as something really small... a passing comment, a shared post on facebook, a retweet on twitter or an article in a paper or magazine. Which then becomes almost an art form as it grows and grows in to a small project... which then turns in to a blog post, and then perhaps a blog feature (TBC).

My latest project, as you can reliably assume from the title of this post, is how to create the perfect toasted sandwich, or toastie for short.

This projected started with a simple tweet from @TheFoodNut who mentioned that he was existing solely on cheese toasties and coffee today (Easter Monday). This started my craving and the beginning of my project. Two other fellow tweeters joined in on the conversation and when I found out that a toastie machine from Argos would set me back just £4.54 I had to go out and purchase one.

A quick call to the supermarket on the way back from Argos and I was ready to go.

Here is my new shiny toastie maker... (not longer shiny but a bit of a greasy mess)

There are other toastie makers available in Argos with a price range from £4.54 to £49.99... the more expensive ones have heavier and bigger plates to make more than two sandwiches at once, and/or removable plates that are dishwasher safe, and non-slip feet. Whether you would want to pay the additional £45.45 for these added extras I will let you decide...

On to the sandwich making!

I chose wholemeal bread purely due to personal preference (and the fact I will be using the remaining bread for my packed lunch this week), cheese slices (for ease), chorzio slices and grabbed a jar of sun-dried tomatoes from the cupboard.

Now to look at the instructions...

The instructions said to put margarine or cooking fat straight on to the plates... a quick check with twitter on the best way to do this and I was left stumped with how to proceed. Thus began the perfect toastie project!!!

So first of all I buttered the plates closed the toastie maker and began to prepare my sandwiches.

This toastie maker is quite small and I wasn't sure that a regular slice of bread would fit with the crusts on. I was right.

But fear not I gave the discarded crusts to a bunch of ducks which have set up camp outside my window.

Next to place the unbuttered bread into the toastie maker on its buttered plates.

The toastie maker wouldn't quite shut at first so I had to hold it for a minute or so until the cheese melted a bit.

There was a slight cheese explosion (slight dramatisation).

I scraped the sandwich from the toaster and Toastie number one was complete!

The next method to try was butter on the plates and butter on the bread. In case you are unaware when making a toasted sandwich the buttered side of the bread goes on the outside not on the inside.

Turns out that over buttering your toastie leads to a soggy mess.

Determined to rescue the moist cheesy sandwich I carefully (the plates are very hot!) replaced the pieces of bread and closed the sandwich maker again. I decided to leave it a little longer in the hope that the toastie would eventually be okay and form a reasonable toastie shape.

This just made it burn a little.

Next up was to try the most recommended method on twitter - buttered bread only.

Here is the result:

Nice crispy cheese around the edges and soft bread in the middle.

Perfect washed down with a cup of tea.

How do you like your toasties?