Rose's February Shop Watch: Breville toasted sandwich maker
Breville toasted sandwich maker
Robert Dyas, Currys, Argos
Breville Deep Fill Sandwich Toaster
Lockdown lunches a doddle
Lockdown. All those extra meals to think about. Made worse if you are home schooling. How often does toast feature? Or sandwiches? But rather than treating them as a fallback make them centre stage with toasted sandwiches. For the toastie is the height of fashion.
Over the last few years, it seems that any chef worth his salt has invented a toastie with increasingly interesting ingredients from black pudding to foie gras. However, the most famous restaurant in the world, Harry’s Bar, has always known that toasted cheese and ham sandwiches are de rigueur, since they have been on their bar menu for ever. But back to making them at home, you will need a Breville toasted sandwich maker to make the perfect toastie. This machine has become iconic - every family seemed to have one back in the 80’s and 90’s and every student took one to university. Then they seemed to fall out of favour, but they are one of those forgotten kitchen gadgets that you feel a real buzz in rediscovering. They are now back with a vengeance to make the ultimate comfort food.
Whilst I think of a toasted sandwich as a cheese toastie – the cheese oozing from the centre - there are lots of opportunities to be creative. Simply by adding ham you make a croque monsieur, and with an egg on top a croque madame. Then tomato can go in with the cheese or bacon or sausage slices. Just adding a pickle like capers or cornichons gives the cheese a tart note, or a dash of Worcester sauce or Dijon mustard can’t hurt, or add heat with chilli jam. Experiment with different cheeses like red Leicester or Stilton or Brie or Camembert. You can even make a quattro formaggi and use four types of cheese, or staying with the Italian theme fill the sandwich with tomato and mozzarella with a little oregano for a pizza taste. Or use prosciutto instead of cooked ham and an Italian cheese like fontina. Try cooking chopped mushrooms with garlic and parsley for a filling, or go a bit more exotic with feta and tahini. And your beans on toast can become a baked bean toastie. Breville even suggest a banana and chocolate toastie. You see what I mean about being inventive.
The Breville makes two sandwiches using 4 slices of bread. It also comes with very detailed instructions and diagrams of how to place the bread (I had to cut off a little overhang), where the filling should go, buttering the bread on the outside, even the amount of cheese to use (60g – which is loads), and that the filling is very hot once cooked. Another plus, they recommend white supermarket medium sliced bread (although you can use others) – again good when shopping at the moment is limited. There is also a recipe section with sandwich ideas but also using the machine to make other things like an omelette or a cake. Cleaning afterwards is also a cinch. If you have one lurking in the back of a cupboard, now is the time to dust it down. If not buy from the stockists below. So that is lockdown lunch sorted.
Toastie by name, toasty by nature.
Breville Deep Fill Sandwich Toaster VST041
robertdyas.co.uk (£29.99 - will deliver)
currys.co.uk (£21.99 - click and collect)
Price and availability as at 31st January 2021