Growing up we always had a toasted sandwich maker on the go whenever we wanted or needed something quick and tasty. My Dad was quite the experimenter when it came to different sandwiches and it was him that first introduced me to the concept of cooking raw egg in a sandwich. As you seal up the sandwich the beauty of it is that you create an envelope of goodness as it cooks everything inside in a sort of steamed pocket.
Then of course when you move out of home and onto college the sandwich maker got to come with ye….the baked bean and cheese sandwich is so easy, quick, tasty and cheap that it was a regular back then.
Nowadays the toasted sandwich makes a regular appearance on a weekend morning/afternoon for brunch. I have definitely over the years perfected many different types. I will outline below the 3 different types
- Egg/Cheese/Red Onion – All sandwiches here have these 3 ingredients as their foundations…
- Student/Hangover – Baked beans and cheese
- Sweet – Banana & grated chocolate
It’s very important however that when you do get a sandwich maker that you get the correct one. The type you want is the one that is a large single shallow sandwich. The main reason here is that you can seal up the bread and create one large sandwich. The 2 half triangle ones do work but are annoyingly small when you want to use egg and other things like that. The cost of a sandwich maker is also relatively cheap and trust me when you get one you will never regret it.
In Holland they are mad into their ‘Tostis’ but the toasted sandwich they make here are not sealed…the ham/kaas tosti is so unbelievable boring and devoid of any real taste and flavour but the dutchies for some reason are happy with that. My sandwiches are the opposite really as you will see below.
Some very important things to remember though on the toasted sandwich
- Use real butter – NOT THAT SPREADABLE STUFF…..the butter will form a beautiful crust on the outside of the sandwich and also stop the sandwich from sticking to the hot plate….also let the butter get to room temperature for spreadability (if that is even a word)
- Make sure your bread does not have any holes in it – when using eggs, beans, cheese etc this will all escape from the sandwich if there is a hole in the bread. If you do have holes in your bread put a slice of ham over it to seal the sandwich but the general rule is “no holes in your bread”
- The bread should remain in sequence – so the bread seals completely
- When cooking for children remember the contents will be very hot, especially tomatoes and beans…..do not serve immediately and let cool before serving
- Make sure your toasted sandwich maker is completely pre-heated
- Butter the bread on the outside and keep in sequence
- With Mayonnaise form a circle on the outside of the bread – this will make the beaten egg stay within the bread
- Let the egg sit here for 30 seconds or so..the heat from underneath the bread will start to slowly cook the egg even now
- Add your chopped red onion and with a fork spread all the egg to the edges of the bread and mix everything together
- Add your other ingredients if you plan too, here I have added some cooked bacon with tomato & mustard
- Finely add your slices of cheese. Leave the cheese to the end as then you will have the egg and the cheese on the outside of your sandwich.
- Leave cook for aprox 5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown
- Cut in a half triangle and serve with tomato ketchup
Some of my favourites:
Here the basis of these is a beaten egg, cheese and chopped red onion
- The Veggie - egg, cheese & onion (try spring onion instead of red onion)
- Spicing up with jalapeño chillies or mixing sambal in with the egg
- Adding Ham & Tomato
- Breakfast sandwich of Bacon & Egg
Very simply this is mayo, baked beans directly from the tin, salt & pepper & slices of cheese
- Try adding a slice of ham on outside of the sandwich with baked beans and cheese in the middle
- Add sambal to your mayo or jalapeño chillies to spice things up
This one is pure genius for that late night snack.
Chopped banana with a sprinkling of brown sugar and now add some grated chocolate. Seal and cook – the taste is very similar to a banana chocolate crepe
Serve with Ice-cream
- Add cinnamon instead of chocolate
- Add nutella instead of chocolate
- Other fruits can be used and experimented with if you so wish