Anyone who knows me will realise that posting a proper recipe made at Pigeon Cottage HQ this week would have been a bit tricky. The cottage is very old and the ceiling in the kitchen was looking decidedly dodgy; the whole lot had to be replaced this week and a new lighting grid installed. It’s a scary project given the amount of unknown crud that lurks in a roof void; every cupboard had to be emptied, every adjoining door and room sealed off. Dear Reader, it was epic! More dust and dirt than you can imagine came raining down with the old plaster, plus several very large old wasp nests.
The whole house has looked like a jumble sale all week and I had to set up an emergency kitchen in the utility room. So, how have we survived food-wise? Breakfast was sorted, porridge in the microwave. Dinner? Lasagne and moussaka out of the freezer zapped in the microwave. Builder’s elevenses? The banana cake I posted the recipe for last week (voted very yummy by my workmen). Lunch? Ahh, now we’re talking. I unearthed my old sandwich toaster (which hasn’t seen the light of day for quite some time) and whipped up some old favourites and a few new varieties. Delish! I think I may keep using it even after the decorating work has finished.
- You probably know how to do this but remember to get your sandwich toaster good and hot while you prep the fillings.
- Cut the crusts off some good quality sliced white bread and butter the outsides. Lay one slice in each toastie space, buttered side down. Add the filling. Top with another slice of bread. Put the lid down and toast until golden brown and crunchy. Let them cool a little before you tuck or you’re likely to burn your mouth!
- When it comes to the fillings, just remember to put it either side of the line where the toastie splits in half and don’t overstuff them or it will run out and leave the toastie pocket empty.
My favourite toastie fillings
Syms bacon and chilli jam with chopped cherry tomato and grated Cheddar. I’m a big fan of Syms bacon jam, particularly the chilli version. I bought my first jar at the Suffolk Food Hall originally but they stock it in Waitrose now – only the small jars though. Spread a generous helping of the bacon jam on the bread, sprinkle a little chopped fresh tomato over the jam and then some grated vintage cheddar.
Bavarian smoked cheese and salami. Most cheeses go really well in a toastie but the Bavarian smoked cheese melts beautifully and complements the salami perfectly.
Feta cheese and chutney. I used my own plum and lime chutney which has a lovely sweet and sour flavour that complements the saltiness of the feta cheese perfectly.
Mozzarella, pesto and sundried tomato paste. This one is a little bit of Italy in a toastie. A little squirt of the tomato paste in each toastie pocket is just enough to give a concentrated tomato hit to the pesto and melted mozzarella.
M&S tinned chunky chicken with chopped ham. I love this tinned chicken in a savoury white sauce from M&S. I guess it’s a pie filling really but a generous dessert spoonful of chicken and sauce with a little sliced cooked ham makes a delicious toastie. The chicken curry version is pretty good too with a spot of mango chutney.
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