When you say comfort food I immediately think hot cheese. Any kind of dish that involves melted cheese is sure to soothe my soul. Enter my go-to for when I really need a food hug: the lazy cheese toastie. Best of all, it only involves three ingredients that are pantry staples.
The key players in the lazy cheese toastie
I am not at all ashamed to admit that I have several kinds of cheese in my fridge at any one time. One that is an absolute mainstay is Devondale’s Shredded 3 Cheese Blend. The mix of mozzarella, colby and parmesan is so good I use it in everything from pizzas to mac and cheese. It is, of course, the MVP in the lazy cheese toastie.
Step away from the fresh bread, though. It will ruin your cheese toastie just as quickly as it ruins your French toast. Stale bread is your best friend here, and most of us have a loaf hanging about in the freezer. I like to use sourdough for the flavour and weight — it’s a hefty bread — but you can use any white bread really as long as it’s cut fairly thick (you don’t want skinny slices of bread, that’s not what a toastie is about).
And last but by no means least: real butter. None of this margarine crap. As my wise five-year-old niece put it: butter is the best. I consider it the meaning of life. Ok, maybe a step too far, but you get my point.
Now the secret weapon in all of this is a skillet. The even heat distribution produces a beautifully golden, crispy toastie that a regular pan just can’t quite achieve. Do not use a sandwich press. Leave that thing for the mangy office kitchen.
How to make lazy magic happen
Start by melting a good chunk of butter in the skillet on medium heat. While the butter is melting, pile up your bread with the grated cheese. Pop the top slice on, and when the butter is starting to bubble, place the sandwich in the skillet. Press it down with a spatula / egg flip / whatever-you-call-that-utensil-that-always-gets-stuck-in-the-drawer to get the toasting action going. Keep an eye on the bottom — you don’t want to burn it. When it’s a gorgeous golden colour, lift the sandwich, and some more butter to the skillet, and cook the other side until the cheese starts to ooze out.
That’s it. That’s all it takes. Now just enjoy the warm hug that is hot cheese.