The ultimate toastie: Melt butter, go easy on the cheese, and give it four minutes each side

Six-ingredient supper: A treat from the owners of Loose Canon cheese and wine shop

A Coolea and Derg cheddar filled tasted cheese sandwich from Loose Cannon

A Coolea and Derg cheddar filled tasted cheese sandwich from Loose Cannon

 

The key to a perfect toastie is that it is crisp on the outside but gooey on the inside. It should have a nice balance of cheese and some other things to help make it extra enjoyable. Preferably, it has been left for a few minutes to cool before you tuck into it.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times. You will find food-related content in all of our sections, plus reader events, competitions and lots of exclusive content at irishtimes.com/foodmonth
November is Food Month in The Irish Times. You will find food-related content in all of our sections, plus reader events, competitions and lots of exclusive content at irishtimes.com/foodmonth

We love a bread that can take a bit of melted butter on the outside and is soft enough to be pressed down: one that doesn’t have too much of a chew but has a nice crust and good flavour. We use a buttermilk granary at Loose Canon and it works a treat. It’s nutty and soft, with a tangy flavour, and it toasts well too.

The home cook often adds too much cheese. The goal for your toastie should be a sandwich that is wonderfully toasted on the outside and melted to perfection on the inside. If you over fill the sandwich, the cheese won’t melt properly, or you’ll burn the bread and dry it out. So, the moral of the story is, make a balanced sandwich and give it time in the pan to get it where you want it.

Brian O’Caoimh and Kevin Powell outside Loose Cannon on Drury Street in Dublin 2
Brian O’Caoimh and Kevin Powell outside Loose Cannon on Drury Street in Dublin 2

Patience is important. We toast our sandwiches for about four minutes each side and tell people to let it sit for a few more before they get stuck in.

We make different seasonal chutneys and jams to go with and in our toasties at Loose Canon. We find something a little vinegary helps to cut through the cheesiness. We also serve a small glass of kefir or kombucha, as we don’t serve wine and toasties at the same time.

What you’ll need and how to cook it

2 slices of your favourite bread

50gr Coolea cheese

50gr Derg cheddar cheese

Handful of chopped scallions

3 tbsps of melted butter

2 tbsps of béchamel

1 square of baking paper

FOR THE BECHAMEL:

50gr butter

50gr flour

200ml warmed milk

To make the béchamel:

1. Melt the butter in a small pot and once it’s melted and foaming add the flour and stir for about 60 seconds.

2. Slowly pour in the milk and continue whisking until the sauce is smooth and thick.

3. Place in a container and cover the surface with clingfilm. Allow it to cool down and then pop it in the fridge for later.

To make the sandwich:

1. Spread two tablespoons of the béchamel on the first slice of bread, add your cheese and scallions.

2. Top the sandwich off with the second slice of bread, and brush butter on each side.

3. If using a frying pan, get it nice and hot but don’t put any oil or butter in it. Instead, place a disk of baking paper in the pan and sit the toastie on top of it, this stops the cheese burning and sticking to the pan.

4. Turn it after about 4 minutes and press down gently. Remove from the pan, let it cool for two or three minutes and enjoy.

5. If you are using a sandwich press or grill, cover both side of the toastie with baking paper and allow it about 4-5minutes in the press.

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