During July the toastie — a lunchtime favourite — is being celebrated nationwide. The third Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover has attracted over 80 entries from restaurants, cafés, bars and even supermarkets throughout the country. Each toastie must include bread, cheese, McClure’s pickles plus loads of imagination.
We have the prolific American inventor Thomas Edison to thank for the electric sandwich-maker in the early 1900s. The first toasted sandwich recipes used cheese with a dash of salt and pepper. A far cry from the 2019 Toastie Takeover winner from the Hokitika Sandwich Company, which contained corned beef, pickles, harvati and cream cheeses, red onion and their own secret sauce.
American brothers Joe and Bob McClure discovered their grandmother’s recipe for her unique pickles. They produced a batch for friends who demanded more. Now two million jars are sold annually and they have developed an international cult following.
This is the first year where home cooks are able to enter their own toastie creations. Simply tag it on social media with #toastietakeover to enter the draw to win a year’s supply of McClure’s pickles.
You can use run-of-the-mill sliced bread, or ciabatta, tortillas (Mexican bread), brioche, Turkish, naan, wraps, pita and panini to add interest to your creation.
CURRIED POTATO & PICKLE TOASTIE WITH SALSA VERDE
Salsa Verde: 1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large shallot, diced
1 teaspoon grated root ginger
Potato: 250g mashing potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons finely diced McClure’s pickles
Toastie: 4 large diagonally-cut ciabatta slices
25g butter or table spread
1 cup grated maasdam cheese
Place all the ingredients for the salsa verde in a small blender and mix until smooth.
Cook the potatoes until soft (or use leftover spuds). Drain. Add the butter and curry powder. Mash well then mix in the diced pickles.
Spread the bread with butter. Top the base slices with 1-2 tablespoons salsa verde, then the potato, then the cheese. Top with the remaining bread and spread with more butter.
Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium. Place the toasties butter-side down. Cover and cook until golden on the base, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the toasties over and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Great served topped with McClure’s pickles and sliced tomato. Serves 2.
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
4 small flour tortillas
3/4 cup grated soft cheese eg havarti
1/4 cup tomato-based Mexican salsa
1/2 cup sprouts or mesclun
2-3 tablespoons butter or table spread
1 medium tomato, sliced
1/2 cup mashed avocado
Place the chicken on the base of two of the flour tortillas. Top with the cheese, salsa and sprouts. Top with the remaining tortillas.
Melt the butter on a ridged frying pan or sandwich-maker.
Cook the toasties until they are golden on the base then carefully turn them over and cook the other side
Cut in half and serve topped with tomatoes and mashed avocado. Serves 2.
CAPSICUM, GOAT’S CHEESE & SPINACH TOASTIES
I used a red capsicum from a jar and goat’s milk feta.
60g (1/2 packet) baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 chargrilled red capsicum
50g goat’s cheese, sliced
1-2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
4 slices seed bread
Steam or microwave the spinach until limp. Cool a little then squeeze dry and chop. Combine with 1 teaspoon of butter and the garlic and black pepper.
Drain the red capsicum well and pat dry. Thinly slice and pat dry. Ensure the goat’s cheese is also dry.
Spread two slices of bread with the mustard. Top with the capsicum, goat’s cheese and spinach. Cover with the remaining bread slices. Butter the top.
Cook on a non-stick frying pan until golden then carefully turn over and cook the other side. Serves 2.