Friday, September 12, 2008

Photos! Of Cheese! And Toast! Together!

I have to admit I was taken a little bit off-guard by the many people who've never once in their entire existence partaken of cheese toast.

After a some very intense of research and consulting many knowledgeable Cheese Toast Sources, it's my conclusion that cheese toast is a decidedly southern cuisine.

Therefore, I've constructed a tutorial about cheese toast so that your life may be enhanced by its goodness.

(At least no one can accuse me of focusing on the unimportant things in life.)

The people-pleaser in me wants to apologize in advance for all of the photos because they are terrible. I'm not trying to be P-Dub or anything, but I am just trying to be helpful.

Unfortunately, "helpful" takes horrible pictures. AND, I should add, cheese is really hard to photograph. Any sharp cheddar-loving girl can tell you how amazing perfectly melted cheese looks right out of the oven. That beauty, however, was lost on my mad photo skillz.

So tie on your apron and let's go!

First of all, turn on that broiler to high. Whoo hoo! Go broilers! If you have a toaster oven, by all means, use it. But please don't use your regular ol' toaster. Trust me.

Ok, start with two pieces of bread (if you're trying to cut back on grease and carbs. If not, you may want more.)

Now, I know many grilled-cheese lovers enjoy a slice of buttery white bread with their grilled cheese, but this is your warning that white bread isn't the best companion of cheese toast. And we're not making grilled cheese. This is his fun-loving cousin.

Go with a grainy (but not too grainy), sturdy, whole wheat.

Next, the cheese.

This is key.

There are two ingredients in cheese toast, y'all, so it is extra-important not to mess them up.

DO NOT, in the name of all that's cheesy, use American cheese. 


You need something that can be sliced.  And nothing too fancy. Save your goat cheese with fig for another occasion.

The Cheddar Family & Kin are best suited for this type of work. Since I wasn't prepared to give a full-on Cheese Toast Tutorial, my fridge wasn't adequately equipped with the ideal cheese. But I didn't let that get the cheese toast down.

You know those ginormous blocks of cheese in the refrigerator case that look breathtaking and nauseating all at the same time? Call in those dogs for cheese toast because the slicing of the cheese is a secret to the amazing taste.

Look, I'll demonstrate:

(No, there isn't mold on the cheese. I had just dropped it in some flour I had out on the counter from baking pumpkin bread.)

By my best estimations, that cheese is about one-quarter of an inch thick. And honestly, you could go thicker.

Next, lay the cheese out on the bread.

I know that if you're new to this, you're wondering how something with  a 2.0 degree of difficulty could be so tasty? Well, trust me, it can.

Cheese Formation is critical at this juncture. I worked with the skill and precision of a dairy engineer to fit those slices perfectly on the bread. If there are spots where too much bread is exposed or the cheese is too thin, you will have dire consequences.

And if you have to take a bite of cheese amdist the engineering, go right ahead.

(By the way, are those pieces of bread mocking me? Why do they remind me of my deceased Mickey Mouse toaster?)

Next, pop those beauties under the broiler.

This next step is very important for those of you who, LIKE ME, have incredibly short attention spans: DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE BROILER.

I know that is hard not to forget (trust me, I've burned my share of cheese toast), but don't do it.

It only takes around 2 minutes for the cheese toast to reach it's broily perfection.

I understand that you could unload the top rack of the dishwasher, transfer the laundry from washer to dryer, rearrange the pillows on the couch, and save a child from choking in that amount of time.

BUT DON'T because your cheese toast will be lost.

(I risked melting my mascara to get that photo so you'd better enlarge it to fully appreciate the temperature and wondrous powers of the broiler.)

After your entire life has flashed before your eyes in two minutes (or whenever the cheese is melted (but NOT bubbly...that is too long), take it out right away and go save that choking baby.

Look at those deliciously lumpy gobs of sharp cheddar cheese. It started to run over the edge, but didn't evacuate too much.

The cheese performed splendidly and melded together just like it's supposed to.

There are some days I feel led to eat it with a fork, and other days I need to pick it up and eat it like a slice of pizza. Today I felt forkish.

Have. Mercy.



Lisa @ Take90West said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I have never seen anything like that before. I will try it this weekend after I obtain the necessary supplies. Not white bread and not american cheese. Got it.

Mandie said...

Even though I have never lived in the South, I have enjoyed Cheese Toast on several occasions. I must say my favorite variety is sourdough bread, pepper jack cheese, and pepperoncinis. It's the spicy sister to what you made in your tutorial. It's even better dipped in soup.

Carrie said...

I think I made something like that in Europe when I was too lazy to make grilled cheese in the pan and it was really amazing in the oven broiler...I regret having read this post before eating.

Shelley said...

Throw some bacon on there and it's heaven in your mouth!