Lockdown may be easing but if you’re still going to be working from home for the foreseeable future and you need a quick and comforting lockdown snack lunch, you just can’t beat a cheeky bit of cheese on toast. It’s often a snack I forget about and then when I have it again, I just can’t understand why I don’t have it more often. I tend to use hard cheeses like Cheddar or Red Leicester but you can mix it up with any leftover bits you have in the fridge. Sourdough or bloomer loaves are my favourites for toasting bread, thickly-cut. Welsh rarebit, chutney cheese, chilli cheese or pizza cheese on toast – all delicious! You can make up the cheese mix for the first three recipes and keep it for two or three days in the fridge; that way you’re always good to go as long as you’ve got a decent slice or two of bread to hand. Enjoy!
Chilli cheese toast (enough for 4 slices)
200g grated Cheddar, 6 finely chopped spring onions, 1 large fresh green chilli, finely chopped and half a teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper, toasting bread.
Preheat the grill to 220°C. Mix the grated Cheddar, finely sliced spring onion, chilli and pepper together in a bowl. Work it into a kind of paste to make it easier to cover the toast right up to the edges. Place the bread on a metal baking tray and toast lightly on both sides. Spread generously with the chilli cheese paste. Grill until bubbling and golden. Serve on its own or topped with a fried egg like they do at Dishoom. Crisp bacon also works a treat.
Welsh rarebit (enough for 6 slices)
2 egg yolks (save the whites for omelettes or meringues), 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, 225 gms of grated hard cheese (I use a mixture of mature Cheddar and Red Leicester but plain Cheddar is also perfect), 50ml of double cream, 2 tablespoons of dark beer, 6 large slices of bread from a good quality cut loaf.
- Preheat the grill to 220°C.
- Bring the cream to the boil in a non-stick saucepan.
- Whisk in the beer once the cream has thickened.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the grated cheese, egg yolks, mustard and Worcester sauce.
- Once melted and thoroughly incorporated, leave the rarebit mixture to one side for at least an hour for the flavours to mingle. You can make a batch to use over 2 or 3 days provided it’s refrigerated.
- Place the bread on a metal baking tray and toast the bread lightly on both sides and then spread generously with the rarebit mixture.
- Put the toast under the grill and leave it until it is bubbling and golden.
- Serve on its own or with a side of crispy bacon.
Chutney or tomato and chive cheese toast (enough for 4 slices)
200g grated Cheddar or Red Leicester/ chutney or fresh tomatoes, toasting bread
Grate a generous amount of your favourite hard cheese into a bowl – Cheddar and/or Red \Leicester. Cover any you don’t use and store in the fridge for another time. Preheat the grill to 220°C, toast the bread lightly on both sides, spread with your favourite chutney or sliced tomatoes and snipped chives. Top liberally with the grated cheese. Grill until bubbling and golden.
Pizza cheese on toast (makes 2 slices)
150g ball of mozzarella cheese (not Buffalo mozzarella, it’s too watery), 2 fresh tomatoes, 2 dessertspoons of basil pesto, 6 thin slices of salami, 2 large slices of thick-cut toasting bread. Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle.
Preheat your grill to 220°C. Place the bread on a metal baking tray and toast it lightly on both sides. Spread with a thick layer of pesto, cover with salami, then thinly sliced tomato and finally the mozzarella – torn into pieces to cover the bread evenly; it will spread as it melts. Grill until bubbling and golden. Drizzle with olive oil to finish.
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