- 2 slices farmhouse/bloomer bread thickly sliced
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 200g EDC – Everyday Cheese
- 3 good slices roast ham
- 1 teaspoon garlic mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- 1 small red onion
- 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar
- Smoked Paprika
Prep:4min – Cook:15min – Ready in:20min
- Grab some EDC knives
- Preheat a frying pan on low adding a nob of butter, once the butter starts to turn colour add the finely chopped red onions and brown sugar and sweat off until soft taking off the heat once caramelised.
- Preheat a panini press to medium-high heat.
- Open a beer to enjoy the experience
- Cut 2 medium or thick slices of bread making sure to keep the slices even
- Thinly spread one side of each slice of bread with butter.
- Spread the garlic mayonnaise to one side and a small amount of wholegrain mustard to the other
- Enjoy more beer
- Place some cheese into the centre of one slice and layer half the ham onto the other slice and top with the caramelised red onion.
- Top the onions with more cheese and the remaining ham.
- Seal everything together closing the sandwich
- Lightly butter one side adding just a fairly dust sprinkle of smoked paprika to the buttered side.
- Butter-side down place onto the Panini press base, repeat the buttering to the top and close the press carefully.
- Cook until the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes is enough to be cooked and also have more beer.
- Carefully remove the toastie and slice in to two.
- Add sides of crisps and another beer.
The EDC COOPERATIVE science behind it all
Bread is the foundation of a good grilled cheese & ham sandwich, the protective parents of the joy that’s inside. Coop Beans on Toast Chef and food eater J. Wiggles advises “there’s no point in using anything else but amazing white bread … you’ll struggle for a good seal otherwise, which is essential in producing the grail of toasties”. he suggests “something more robust such as a none pre-sliced bloomer or farmhouse loaf”. However, in the heat of the moment when all else fails a seeded grain loaf will do”. World renowned fry cook J. Ball also has strong feelings on the subject, writing in his new (and excellent) book, “Cooking with Balls”, that “It’s important to go for something neutral, and in my eyes, only a white bloomer will do.”
Here the cultural divide becomes apparent with many options preferred all around the world. Camp Chef P. Clegg who says he “swears by … average supermarket red leicester for the cheese. Just tangy enough. Add cheap mozzarella for some extra stringiness as I just love stringy white cheese dribbling down from my toastie,” most British recipes go down Elliots’s “good-quality” route with the man himself preferring a mixture of chedder and smoked cheese with some soft Italian taleggio (which has excellent melting qualities). Lincolnshire farmer Radders recommends a Linconshire Poacher or good cheddar mixed with gouda and a high quality Alpine-style cheese. So as you can see the choices are varied, but the cooperative suggestion is a strong cheddar with emmental and a cured smoked cheese. After all no one likes crusty cheese in their toastie.
Now a good quality ham is required. Vegies such as Captain Culshaw would not include ham replacing it with air or a lettuce leaf but for the rest of the world a good quality roast or honey roast ham is essential. This is the corner stone, the thing that makes it tick, the Romeo to Juliet, the Michael to slipjoints. So don’t go buying some rubbish, a good sliced ham is what will make this epic. Camp Chef Clegg once said “The right ham in a toastie take time to get it right, the first time it may be limp and dry but with practice you will find a nice moist thick ham that you’ll remember for days, and that’s what you want”. We don’t advise pack ham in a toastie due it being so thin.
So we wouldn’t be too prescriptive here and you should find what works best for you, because the world really is your oyster. Modders puts braised ox cheek and pickled fennel with hollandaise sauce in his and food critic Fletch explains “to obtain outrageously good results. I’m still haunted by the memory a good week on, so if you have any leftover slow-cooked meat in the fridge, bear this in mind.” We suggest slow cooked caramelised onions as these will add sweetness and texture to an already amazing mouth hole snack. Indeed, pickles are a popular choice to cut through the richness of the cheese, with Allana growing his own spicy pickled cucumbers and shallots as an accompaniment and also suggesting adding pickled jalapenos or capers. All are definitely a good thing, but not today sunshire..not today!. Fletch is a big fan of a layer of leftover mashed potato, which he describes as “insanely good” (but we don’t believe him and think he was drunk!!); mash is never a bad thing, I’ll grant you, but here it is not needed taking up room that, by rights, should be devoted to cheese and ham. He also adds a sprinkling of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika, which we are a far bigger fan of and would whole heartily recommend adding.
Add what you will and practice makes perfect, just enjoy and tell us all about it adding comments and suggestions in the comment below.