Garlic mushroom toastie

The latest darling of the food market world, the toasted sandwich is continually being reimagined in new and increasingly glamorous ways. Sandwich queen Helen Graves opts for a sophisticated filling of garlic mushrooms in her sourdough toastie recipe, smothering the lot in two different types of cheese.

First published in 2016
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It’s hard to know where to start with this, as there are so many excellent variations on the standard cheese toastie. The ‘classic’ (just cheese and perhaps onion) is actually the hardest of all to get right. The best example of its kind is to be found at the Kappacasein stall in London’s Borough Market. There they use a combination of Montgomery’s Cheddar, Comte and Ogleshield, combined with garlic, red and white onions and leeks. It’s a masterpiece and a lesson in finding the right blend of cheeses for the perfect flavour, melt and – technical term coming up – goo.

‘Posh toasties’ have well and truly become a thing, then, and although I have fond, misty memories of subsisting on hot lava pockets fresh from the Breville in my student days, there comes a time to move on. Dedicated stalls are springing up all around town, and they’ve started adopting the American name for the sandwich: the ‘grilled cheese’, perhaps as a gesture to say ‘we now take this heating up of cheese business as seriously as you guys do.’

I was overwhelmed with ideas for this sandwich, so in the end I used what I could lay my hands on at the time. That is, after all, standard toastie practice. This recipe uses a mix of Montgomery’s cheddar and Comté cheeses, which together give an intense flavour. The topping is chestnut mushrooms cooked briefly with onions, garlic and white wine, and mixed with parsley. I added some spring onions for a bit of bite, and also because they looked sad in the fridge. This would be even nicer with wild mushrooms, if you’re feeling flash. On the bread front – sourdough only for the posh toastie, please.

The ideal way to cook this sandwich is, unsurprisingly, in a sandwich toaster, but if you don’t have one, it’s easy to cook it in a heavy-based pan – just weigh it down with something heavy on top (like another pan) and then flip it halfway through.

This will be enough mixture for one very large sandwich, or two smaller ones (so it depends on the size of your loaf).

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Garlic mushroom toastie

Method

1
Add some butter to a small pan and soften the onions and garlic gently and briefly in it. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring for a minute or so, then splash in the wine. Season with pepper, let the wine cook away, and turn off the heat.
2
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Turn it over and on the unbuttered side add your cheese, then the mushrooms, then the spring onions and top with the other slice of bread (buttered side up). Toast in a sandwich toaster or in a dry, heavy based pan until golden and oozing
First published in 2016
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Helen Graves is Content Editor at Great British Chefs. She's also the author of the cookbook Live Fire: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions, Old and New, and the editor of Pit, an independent magazine with roots in live fire cooking. She is based in South East London and loves carbs, cats, crabs and kebabs.

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