I have always been a fan of Leerdammer cheese. Sweet and nutty it's long been a choice of mine for in salads and sandwiches . . . and yes, I confess, I have even been known to just snack on it neat . . . without anything else. It just has a nice mellow flavour which I enjoy. That's why when I was recently asked would I like to participate in the Leerdammer Toastie Challenge, I jumped at the chance!
I was sent several packs of the new Leerdammer Toastie cheese and challenged to come up with a new toastie sandwich. This new Toastie cheese is creamier than the original and comes in a new square shape, the perfect size for fitting into a toastie. The original sweet and nutty flavours remain!
First I played with it a bit, creating a panini pressed sandwich, which had several slices of the leerdammer toastie slices, along with some sliced Italian ham, some grainy mustard and a pickled red onion relish, and whilst it was good . . . I felt it was lacking in some way. It wasn't quite pushing all of my taste buttons and so I went back to the drawing board.
I decided to stick with the panini bun because I like their texture . . . crisp and yet chewy. I love a toasted panini, don't you?
Something smokey goes really well with the sweet and nutty flavour of Leerdammer cheese, but the ham wasn't quite doing it so I scrapped that as well and decided to go with something a bit smokier and a tad sweet . . . rich dry cured smoked streaky bacon. Cooked until crisp . . . 4 rashers because I am greedy that way.
I liked the idea of the pickled onions, but they were too sharp I thought and so I decided to replace them with a really good red onion marmalade. I had a jar of this particular brand in my larder just waiting to be opened and this is what I chose, but you could use another brand if you wanted to, or even make your own from scratch. There is a lovely recipe on the BBC Good Food page.
The red onion marmalade added just the right touch. It is sweet, but not cloyingly so . . . there is just a small hint of sour and a smack of spiciness that goes so well with the bacon and that creamy sweet nutty cheese . . .
So . . . with each bite you get the crisp chewy panini bread . . . buttery (or if you really feel hedonistic, you can pan grill it in the bacon fat from cooking the bacon. mmmm . . . I was and I did.), the sharp sweetness from that lovely red onion marmalade, the crisp smoky saltiness of that lovely bacon . . . all intermingled with that oozingly rich sweet and nutty Leerdammer!
In short, this was a toastie that rang all my bells and tooted all my whistles! This was a winner/winner toastie dinner! I just adored it, and I think you will too! To me, this is the perfect Toastie! Oh so incredibly scrumdiddlyumptiously good. The perfectly tasty toastie!
*Bacon, Onion Marmalade & Leerdammer Toastie*Makes 1
Don't be surprised if you are addicted at first bite! Many thanks to the Leerdammer people for sending me this wonderful toastie cheese and inspiring me to stretch my creative toastie wings!
Leerdammer Toastie is the latest addition to the Leerdammer range, which also included the original and light slices, as well as the original block. Leerdammer Toastie is now available nationwide in Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Asda, prices at a RRP of £1.75 for a pack of six slices.