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Change this ingredient in your toasted cheese sandwich

Tristan Lutze knows there’s a secret ingredient to improve the cheese toastie. You've been making cheese toasties wrongSource:Supplied
Tristan Lutze knows there’s a secret ingredient to improve the cheese toastie. You've been making cheese toasties wrongSource:Supplied

THE toasted cheese sandwich, also known as the 'cheese toastie', 'cheese jaffle' and, if you're not from around here, 'grilled cheese', is the most deeply comforting, warmly familiar of foods.

While at its heart it's simply bread, buttered on the outside, filled with cheese and toasted until golden and melty, it's a generations-spanning classic that's as perfect for a snack as it is a whole meal.

And while the classic bread/cheese combination is unbeatable in its simplicity, most of us have experimented with extra ingredients at one time or another.

Tomato is a common intruder, as are mushrooms. Some like to add a slice of ham or salami, while others manage to squeeze a deli-full of olives, roasted capsicum and other antipasto delights in among the cheese.

Perhaps you like a sprinkle of chilli flakes or a dash of Worcestershire sauce, or you've Frankensteined a mad fusion of toasted cheese and garlic bread by adding crushed garlic and parsley.

However you like to fill your personal toasty creation, one thing is probably certain: you use butter on the outside of the bread to keep it from sticking, to help it brown and crisp, and to add a bit of extra flavour.

But what if we told you there was a better way?

There's something else in your fridge that's far more effective as a coating for your toasted cheese sandwich than butter.

It browns the bread more evenly, burns less quickly (so you can melt that cheese properly), tastes just as good and, most importantly, spreads easily on even the softest of breads:
Mayonnaise.

Once the outside of your bread hits the heat of the sandwich press, a thin layer of mayo will transform into a perfectly even coating of oil that toasts any bread - be it soft white, hearty ciabatta or luxurious brioche - to crispy perfection.

While butter splits into oil and solids, the latter of which burns quickly against the hotplate, mayonnaise is perfectly emulsified, meaning no more blackened patches. And whole egg mayonnaise - the kind you buy in a jar - has the same ratio of salt, so you won't be sacrificing any flavour.

So, whether you're a bread-and-cheese purist or a toasted cheese artisan, don't let butter tear another hole in one more slice of bread.

Perfection, they say, is impossible to improve on. But if anything could do it, it's mayo.

Tristan Lutze is a food writer and photographer. You can see more of his work on Instagram, Facebook or at TristanLutze.com

Topics:  food hack recipes



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