Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fancy Cheese?

We’re expecting snow and that means comfort food. Cheese on toast is comfort food royalty when it’s made right. In this case, a thick slice of toasted breadmaker granary reclining under a soft quilt of cheese and egg.

Simpler and quicker than Welsh Rarebit, this recipe doesn’t need a roux. Plus there’s a surprise: not just cheese but cheese and onion; not just any old food royalty, but the king and queen of flavour combinations. It doesn’t get more comforting than this.

Here’s what you need: a thick slice from a large granary loaf, some strong cheddar (say 30g), a medium egg, Dijon mustard (a teaspoon), single cream (about a tablespoon), a spring onion.

Heat the grill. Sorry but a toaster won’t do. Separate the egg. Grate the cheese finely and add it to the yolk. Add the mustard and a grind of black pepper. Mix well, then loosen it a tad with some cream. You need a soft mix but not a slop. Chop the spring onion finely. Set the bread under the grill to toast normally on one side and only lightly on the other. Meanwhile, whisk the egg white until stiff. Make sure your grill is adjusted to take the height of your toast and topping. (I forgot and there was a toast crash). 

Now work fast. Gently fold the white into the yolk mix. Sprinkle the spring onion over the lightly toasted side of the bread then pile on the cheese mix, spreading it right to the edges. Get the lot under the grill and keep watch until it's puffed up and browned on the top - a few minutes. Serve with more pepper, a dash of Worcestershire Sauce and a mug of tea.

Cook’s note: some of you might like to add a scrape of Marmite to the toast right before the spring onion. I can’t see why not. Everyone knows cheese and Marmite are also not-so-distant royal cousins.

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