Food of some sort is needed by all life forms to survive. Happily, for humans it can also be rather fun, and one food group in particular is ideally suited to this - convenience food.
The Need for Munchies
In the world of convenience food are many products suited to all people and ages - from the pub dweller to the busy mum. If you are in a hurry to feed yourself, your friends or your offspring, convenience foods are indispensable. You need bottomless pockets if you are going to rely on Chinese or Indian take-away food after a hard night out. This is where stalwart kitchen veterans like baked beans, tinned ravioli and toasted cheese enter the fray. Sturdy stand-bys, all; but perhaps a little unexciting. Is there really no alternative for the discerning snacker?
So What Exactly Are They?
These little delights come in a tin with a ring-pull - the same size as a baby-food tin and, on a practical note, have a shelf life of over two years. Toast Toppers transform toast from heated bread to hearty meal. However, instead of the basic covering of butter, peanut butter or cheese, Toast Toppers actually require a little patience to make them 'work' properly.
There are three varieties of Toast Toppers:
- Ham and cheese
- Mushroom and bacon
- Chicken and mushroom1
Taming your Toast Topper
First of all you'll have to make the toast. You have to make a choice of what type of bread to use, and as you will be toasting the bread, it doesn't have to be purchased the day you intend to use it. The type of bread used is up to you - white, brown, pitta or naan - but white bread is probably the best.
To save time, it's possible to make the toast in a toaster - but it's somehow nicer to make the toast under a grill that has been pre-heated for at least five minutes. You'll probably want to make two slices of toast, but this can be stretched to three. Once the toast is nicely browned on both sides:
- Lift the toast out from under the grill but keep the grill on.
- Spread butter or margarine on the toast2
- Spread the chosen Toast Topper evenly, making sure you cover every bit of the toast3
- Replace the covered toast under the hot grill, and continue to heat for about two minutes, until the topping is piping hot.
- Your toast is ready to eat - hooray!
Your Toast Topper is great on it's own - but you can serve it with salad or chips (oven chips can be grilled alongside your Toast Toppers - it doesn't get much more convenient than that). You may also want to 'dress up' your toast. Here's a few ideas for extra toppings:
- Sliced, cooked sausages placed on top of the Toast Topper and heated through until piping hot.
- Sliced stuffed green olives, placed on top just before serving.
- Slices of salami, chopped tomatoes or grated/cubed cheese.
So eat up! And enjoy!