Because toasted sandwiches are merely an irregular snack/meal for us, when we do them we like to do them right.
That usually means a good loaf of bread – most commonly some sort of ciabatta loaf.
Good cheddar, too, and ham – but not too good of either.
We tart ours up with onion rings and Dijon mustard, but others’ mileage will vary.
We’ve tried other ingredients, such as tomato, but enough is enough. The tomato was a soggy overload.
In this case, we used a Zeally Bay hightop loaf.
So because the rectangular slices had less surface area than we’re familiar with AND because these sandwiches were going to be the mainstay of our evening meal, I sliced the bread quite thick.
The pan heat is a very variable matter and all down to the kind of bread, its thickness and the depth and number of ingredients.
You want it hot enough to cook your sangers a toasty brown and melt the cheese to goo without taking all night about it.
And without burning the bread.
It’s a balancing act.
Such is life …
Because we don’t have one of those fancy toasted-sanger machines, and we actually like doing them by hand, the layering process becomes important – cheese on last so it gets the heat treatment first.
These sandwiches were a lot more filling than they looked.
1 loaf of good bread
2 slices of good ham per sandwich
onion slices (optional)
Dijon or other mustard (optional)
1. Pre-heat pan on low-medium heat.
2. Slice four slices of bread.
3. Arrange ham on two slices, then the onion slices.
4. Slather mustard on the other slices.
5. Place cheese slices on the onion.
6. Place mustard-slathered bread on the cheese.
7. Butter top of sandwiches.
8. Holding sandwiches firmly so innards don’t cascade to the floor, put them in the pre-hated pan buttered side down.
9. Toast sandwiches, checking regularly to make sure they’re not burning.
10. When nice and toasty on the bottom, butter the top slices of bread and flip the sandwiches with care.
11. Cook and check until done, giving them a blast of higher heat right at the end.
12. Cut sandwiches in half and serve with garnish such as pickled onion, pickled cucumbers or olives.