Food

Best alternative and experimental cheese toastie recipes

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Megan Murray
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How to make the ultimate cheese toastie, according to the experts. And, three alternative recipes we bet you’ve never tried before.

Cheese toasties are just one of those foods. You know the ones we mean; comfort foods that make you feel all cosy inside. Warm, melty and deliciously moreish, you could say that a cheese toastie is the ultimate snack for wintertime. 

But if you’ve already nailed whipping up a standard cheese toastie, you might be ready to try an alternative recipe which is where Pilgrims Choice and flavour expert and food designer Dr Johnny Drain comes in.

These two big names in the cheese game have come together to get creative when it comes to cheese toasties to celebrate the launch of Pilgrims Choice’s new Megablock. You see, just as a cheese toastie is the ultimate snack, the Megablock is the ultimate cheese to make it with. It’s an all-round delicious cheddar which has been created in a new shape that’s easier to grate and slice and comes with 40% less plastic packaging. 

Here, you’ll find three experimental cheese toastie recipes which you can start making at home now.

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Method for all recipes:

1. With a kitchen towel, wipe a little vegetable oil across the surface of a frying pan and place over a medium heat.
2. Place your toastie in the pan and cook on a medium heat. While it’s cooking, place a plate on top and push down gently.
3. Cook for approximately 4 minutes or until the cheese has sufficiently melted. Remove the plate and flip the toastie over, before putting the plate back on and pressing down firmly. This will maximise the crunch and meltiness!
4. Cook for a further four minutes until golden brown all over.
5. Remove the plate and cut your toastie into halves or quarters. Stack on your plate and top with the garnishes of your chosen recipe.
6. Serve while piping hot!

Top tip: for extra melted-ness, instead of grating your cheese, you could simply cut 1 centimetre-thick slices from the Megablock and heat them in a frying pan until they have melted. Then, scrape the melted cheese onto your bread, add the toppings and cook the toastie as per the steps above.

  • Bloody Mary next gen toastie

    Eat your drink! Crunchy pickled celery and Pilgrims Choice cheddar is paired with punchy Bloody Mary sauce. Made with tomatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, a kick of chilli and black pepper, it’s certain to fire up your lunch.

    Ingredients:

    For the toastie: 
    55g Pilgrims Choice cheddar 
    2 slices of thick white bread
    Unsalted butter
    Bloody Mary sauce
    Celery pickles

    For the Bloody Mary sauce:
    330g tomato passata
    0.8g cayenne pepper
    0.8g black pepper
    4.5g sea salt
    1g celery seeds
    3g white wine vinegar
    20g Worcestershire sauce

    For the celery pickles:
    1 stalk of celery
    100ml white wine vinegar
    30ml water
    2g smoked sea salt
    2g caster sugar
    2g whole black peppercorns 

    Method:

    To make the Bloody Mary sauce:
    1. Pour the passata, peppers, salt and celery seeds into a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to bubble.
    2. Take off the heat and stir in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
    3. Decant into a clean glass jar or bottle and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

    To assemble and serve

    1. Grate the cheddar – Drain recommends Mature Lighter for a hit of flavour whilst making a healthier toastie, but you can use whichever variety of cheddar you like.
    2. Spread the butter evenly on one side of one slice of bread, right to the edges.
    3. Flip your bread butter-side down, then scatter half your grated cheese over the top. Layer with the Bloody Mary sauce, reserving two teaspoons for plating, and spread evenly across the cheese.
    4. Add the majority of the celery pickles, then scatter the remaining cheese on top before placing the other slice of bread on top, butter-side up.
    5. Follow the method above to cook your toastie. Once it’s on your plate, spoon the remaining Bloody Mary sauce on the side and scatter over the rest of the celery pickles.

  • Fig, granola and creme fraiche toastie

    Hack your day the right way with a breakfast toastie! Layers of Pilgrims Choice cheddar and fig jam inside, topped with creme fraiche and scattered with crunchy granola on the outside. It’s the ultimate combination of sweet and savoury.

    Ingredients:

    55g Pilgrims Choice cheddar
    2 slices of thick white bread
    Unsalted butter
    50g fig jam
    2 tbsp creme fraiche
    Granola, a handful

    Method:

    1. Grate the cheddar – Drain recommends a vintage flavour for its mellow sweetness.
    2. Spread the butter evenly on one side of one slice of bread, right to the edges.
    3. Flip your bread butter-side down, then scatter half your grated cheese over the top. Layer with the fig jam and spread evenly across the cheese.
    4. Scatter the remaining cheese on top before placing the other slice of bread on top, butter-side up.
    5. Follow the method above to cook your toastie. Once it’s on your plate, spoon the creme fraiche onto the top of the stack and scatter over the granola. For extra deliciousness, add berries or fresh fruit.

  • Kimchi and chive toastie

    Bursting with deliciousness, this toastie combines Pilgrims Choice cheddar with a sharp and fiery ferment that’s right on our radar. Garnished with finely cut chives for a burst of colour, this kimchi toastie is full of future flavour.

    Ingredients:

    For the toastie: 
    55g Pilgrims Choice cheddar
    2 slices of thick white bread
    Chives, a bunch
    Unsalted butter
    40g kimchi or follow recipe for JD’s Kimchi

    For JD’s Kimchi:
    500g napa cabbage
    325g daikon radish
    325g carrots
    40g salt
    1 onion, peeled
    1 apple, cored
    60g ginger, peeled
    12g dried chilli pepper or gochugaru

    Method:

    To make JD’s Kimchi:

    1. Gently wash the cabbage and chop into 1cm ribbons, then grate the daikon and carrots on a box grater.
    2. Add the vegetables to a large bowl and sprinkle over the salt, mixing well. Leave for at least 40 minutes, turning once.
    3. Blend the onion, apple, ginger and chilli pepper in a blender, then stir thoroughly through the vegetables.
    4. Transfer to a sterilised 1 litre jar and seal well so no air can enter.
    5. Leave at room temperature for 7-14 days, stirring and tasting every day until it reaches your desired tanginess.

    To assemble and serve:

    1. Grate the cheddar – Drain recommends extra mature for a flavoursome punch.
    2. Chop the chives as finely as you can.
    3. Spread the butter evenly on one side of one slice of bread, right to the edges.
    4. Flip your bread butter-side down, then scatter half your grated cheese over the top. Layer on your kimchi, then scatter on the rest of the cheese, before placing the other slice of bread on top, butter-side up.
    5. Follow the method above to cook your toastie. Once it’s on your plate, scatter the fresh chives over the edges.

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.