Saturday, 12 March 2011

Toasted Cheese and Salami Sandwiches

Heston Blumenthal did the ultimate toastie as part of his foray into food trends in the 1980s. One of the problems he faced was sourcing for a cheese that is stringy enough and also up to his gourmet standards. To that end, he went as far as to recreate the manufacture of stringy cheese (or so he claims) using two different types of cheese that he found acceptable, to great effect. I had some leftover cheese and the other ingredients necessary to recreate it in my own home, and I have not had a toasted sandwich in the longest time, so I thought to myself, why not?

Some quick research into the topic reveals that toastie makers are the least-used but most-acquired item found in the kitchen. My personal brush with the toastie was during my years in university, when helping out with the Christian Union. Our household currently does not have a working toastie maker now, so I will be using the oven to grill my sandwiches.

Heston Blumenthal starts by heating some white wine and lemon juice in a pan. He did not specify at what heat level he set the stove to, so I just set it such that the liquid was bubbling but not boiling.

He then adds the cheese and lets the entire mixture thicken. I'm not sure of proportions, so I'm afraid that you're on your own this time.

A word of warning, constantly stir and watch the pot, or your cheese would burn and discolour, like below.

Add slices of salami to 4 slices of Basics white bread, and grill until done.
The sandwiches were good. I suppose that the cheeses I used (Basics British Blue and Italian Hard Cheese) were crumbly in texture, so attempting to make them stringy is difficult, to say the least. Still, if I had some cheese more suited to this, I would not mind trying this again.

For those of you who want to see him in action, look no further than below.

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