Ode to the toasted sandwich

As a student living in catered halls of residence a staple part of my kit was a toasted sandwich maker. Value bread and plastic cheese, voila hot lunch without having to leave my room. Ah those were the days when I could eat a cheese toastie, packet of Wotsits, Fuse bar and can of coke for lunch on a regular basis (all for £1) and still comfortably get into a size 8 pair of trousers. The mid 1990s for me saw the introduction to the exotic sounding panini in Long Cat Cafe housed in basement of C&A, Liverpool or the ‘Hot Baguette’ of student union bar days but for me it still has to be a proper triangular toastie.

Our tiny house means we are limited to what appliances we have and recently when we had a few vouchers that needed spending the toasted sandwich maker was deemed more important than a toaster; though it is stored out of sight due to the fact it doesn’t match the rest of the kitchen. Nope, no kitchen vanity here.

You’d think working from home means I have a whole kitchen at my disposal. I don’t have to jostle with workmates for the crusty microwave or pray that someone hasn’t half inched my lunch. Well working with food can sometimes kill your appetite. Some days all I need is a simple toasted sandwich. Not melted filling sandwiched between two pieces of toast, but a toastie made in a proper sandwich toaster that makes a quick hot lunch with filling that is sometimes comparable molten lava.

I’m a bit of an unadventurous toastie fan. Here the ultimate toastie filling is cheese & beans, trust me it’s delicious, closely followed by a toastie pizza made with a spoonful of tomato ketchup, cheese & salami. However toasties don’t need to be just savoury. As a student I may or may not have eaten banana, nutella & peanut toasties during late night revision sessions.

Rules of toasted sandwich making:

  • Fine artisan crusty bread just won’t work. It pains me to say this but often the cheaper and pappier the white bread the better.
  • Don’t take your filling right to the edge of the bread unless you want to clean up caked on gooey mess.
  • Don’t forget to butter the outside of the sandwich rather than the inside if you want to get the toastie out in one piece.

Kavey recently blogged about toasties with combinations I’d never heard of. The hot dog toastie will be made here soon.

So, do you own a toasted sandwich maker? What’s your favourite fillings?