Monday, January 25, 2016

Toastie Pockets: A Demonstration

Good Morning, Lovely People.

MsCaroline would like to express her thanks to all her kind readers who expressed sympathy and concern about her Lingering Cough as a Result of the  Flu Bug From Hell, and would also like to assure them that she is, in fact, clearly on the road to recovery. The clearest indicator of this is the fact the MrL is no longer doing all the laundry, which, while a bit sad, is a small price to pay for an unrestricted airway, and MsC will take it.

A surprising number of you also expressed interest in/amazement at the Toastie Pockets MsC mentioned in her last post, which was extremely gratifying, since she brought them to nearly everyone last summer when she was in the US and felt like the general response was more 'puzzled' by them than 'thrilled.'  In all fairness, maybe people just are not thinking 'toastie' quite as much in the summer as they are in January, so the takeaway here is this:   it's all about the timing.  

In any case, after such a warm reception, MsCaroline had the bright idea of showing you step-by-step how these nifty little things work ,because this will be easier than writing an entirely new blog post.
Of course, I am neither a food blogger nor a food photographer, so you'll have to use your imagination to a certain extent. But we all know that's better for you anyway.

In any case, without further ado, I give you

How to Make a Toastie Using a Nifty Toastie Pocket

Step 1:  Sort out your bread:  As far as I can tell, the toastie pocket is sized to fit slices of typical pre-sliced, commercial bread.  Since we buy bread in big, hearty farm-style loaves that looks like it was made with pieces of bark and twigs with as few processed ingredients as possible, the slices are invariably too large to fit in the pockets, so you want to make sure your bread fits in the pocket before you get started. In our case, I always have to cut off a side or an end or something.  If you don't like crusts anyway, you are ahead of the game:

Hard to tell because I took the photo from a stupid angle, but this bread is a bit too wide for the pocket.  I shall cut off one side.

Testing for a good fit.

Step 2:  Decide what you want on your toastie, and make your sandwich.  You can put what ever you want in your sandwich, including condiments and sauces.  The pocket catches the drips, so you don't need to worry about your toaster getting mucked up with mayonnaise or what have you.  If you like butter on the outside of your toastie (more like a grilled cheese), then, by all means, have at it.

Mozzarella, ham, and some roasted red pepper bruschetta, because that's what we had.

Assemble as usual.
Step 3:  Insert sandwich into Toastie Pocket:  (I squash mine a bit first, due to crazy thick bread.)

Ready for toasting.

Step 4:  Pop it in the toaster. I don't like my toast very dark, so our toaster is usually turned toward the lighter end of the toast spectrum.  Putting mine on #2 usually works.

I have never put my toast on anything darker than #3, and even that was pushing it.  I imagine #6 would give you ashes.  Or embers or something.

  In this case, since the cheese wasn't as melty as I liked when it was finished, I popped it back in for a few more seconds until I reached my personally-preferred level of meltitude:

Step 5:  1) Marvel at the fact that you have lived an entire life without knowing that this was even possible and 2) eat your creation.

You can see where the bruschetta leaked through a bit - no problem, it was all in the toastie pocket.

As with everything in cooking, of course, results will differ, based on your toaster, your bread, your fillings, and who knows what else.  I have burned a toastie or two trying to find the perfect balance between the level of bread toastiness and cheese melty-ness(final assessment:  better to put the setting on low and check at intervals than put it on high and risk burning.) I will also concede that a toastie made in the toaster might possibly taste less awesome than one made in a skillet or in a panini press, but no one can deny that this method requires much less effort, and I am all about minimal effort.

While I'm confessing, I should add that I have also only concocted cheese-based sandwiches thus far.  Yesterday, however, a comment from Nance on my last post suggested a banana-and-Nutella combination that had never, ever occurred to my own limited imagination - but has been haunting my every waking thought intriguing me ever since.

I'll let you know how it turns out.