Toasted sandwiches (toasties) make a great, simple lunch any time of the year. Being warm makes them especially welcome in the cold winter months – but always be careful to check that they’re not too hot to eat. You can either cook them in a dedicated toasted sandwich maker or buy toastie bags to put into a normal toaster. Just don’t try to cook them in a microwave, even without the metal toastie bags.
When using meat it should always be cooked first, before adding to the sandwich. The heat of a sandwich maker alone isn’t enough to cook it safely.
Here are some ideas for a variety of different toasted sandwich maker recipes for lunch or a quick snack meal:
A cheese toastie is the classic toasted sandwich, good cheese has a subtly different flavour when toasted. Personally I like to use a strong (sharp) cheddar. It should be grated rather than sliced to bring out the best of the flavour.
The basic cheese toastie can be varied in numerous ways by adding just a touch of flavouring. Try a few drops of your favourite chilli or barbeque sauce, maybe a little mustard. Some people might prefer to spread a little tomato puree/ketchup on the bread before adding the cheese. Or Worcester Sauce adds a completely different feel. And, of course, there’s always Marmite.
Experiment but don’t overdo it – you only need a touch of sauce to completely change the flavour.
Cheese can also be combined with various meats including thinly sliced dried sausage, salami, leftover ham, etc. A cheese and ham toastie is knwon as a ‘croque monsieur’, although the French recipe often includes mayonnaise, mustard or even a bechemal sauce.
You don’t have to restrict yourself to basic cheese. These days you can buy a huge variety of flavour combinations such as cheddar and balsamic onion or double gloucester with chives.
If you can prepare in advance then cook some good, meaty sausages then slice thinly, combine with other ingredients and freeze as individual portions.
There are loads of things you can add to the sausages, for example mustard or some lightly fried onion. Again, don’t overdo it; a little goes a long way.
Cheese is obviously another great addition to a toasted sausage sarnie. As a change from plain cheese, I like to use a blue cheese like Danish Blue or Stilton. Is it healthy? Best not to ask…
Mix the sliced sausages with some pizza sauce and a little grated cheese and voila: sausage pizza toastie!
These days you’re not restricted to plain pork sausages, there are a large variety available with all sorts of tasty gourmet fillings. Pork with apple, herb, red onion etc are widely available as are non-pork sausages made with beef or chicken.
I find plain chicken to be rather dull in a toastie. However indian style cooked chicken is delicious. You can buy chicken pieces with spicy coatings such as tikka or tandoori sauce, however these tend to be rather expensive. Another option is to use any leftover cooked chicken and combine it with some pre-made sauce.
Personally I think that chicken is the one ingredient on this page that works best without cheese!