The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Revisiting oven baked cheese toasties


Photo: Cheese crunchies

Photo: Cheese toasties

I was going to write about Darina Allen’s toasties and when I looked the recipe up on the Internet I discovered that I’d written about them before. On Friday, faced with two crusts of bread, a lump of cheese and two bantam eggs I made them again using Andrew this time. They were scrummy. If you are going down the Andrew route put the toasties on the metal tray on the lowest rack and grill for 12-15 mins at 200c. Just enough time to have a shower and dress before brunch!

And of course, cheese on toast is the perfect excuse to tuck into some homemade piccalilli. I made loads of this late summer and I’m so pleased that I did as it is totally moreish.

On the Andrew front we are using him a lot. Our electricity meter is difficult to get to but it’s worth snaking into the wardrobe where it lives to check our electricity use. This has dropped significantly – we were using a large family style oven to cook for two. It took 20 minutes to heat up before starting to cook – Andrew takes 5 minutes max. I’ve found that it’s not really worth cooking vegetables in Andrew – except roast veg and baked potatoes. Vegetables like calabrese take an age wrapped in tin foil and they can be cooked very quickly in a steamer on the stove top. We are still getting to grips with cooking on two levels and using the extension collar. I’ve discovered that he can make a mean fried egg. To date I’m delighted with our kitchen assistant.

I can’t wait to use Andrew for making bread as you are able to prove the dough in Andrew – this is fantastic as it’s always difficult to find somewhere warm enough to do this in the cottage.

  Leave a reply


  1. Caroline Barr

    but it doesn’t look like the mother ship
    does it it looks like a gas oven

  2. Jillian Stelling

    When I lived in London in the Eighties, everyone had a gas cooker with over & broiler. Now it seems everyone’s switched to electric. Why the change? I bought my house 4 years ago & the first thing I did was get rid of the electric range & install a gas one. It takes about 5 minutes to heat up & costs me 1/2 what an electric one would…

  3. I have just joined The Club – Andy (he™s seems rather informal!) arrived today and, having been œset up I decided to be really adventurous and cook some Oven Chips (to make a Chip Buttie)- I am certainly adventurous! Reason being I had a migraine mid-morning – so missed lunch and felt peckish around 3:30pm! Pleased with my first attempt – and they™re much better than cooked in an ordinary oven.
    Will try the Cheese Toasties tomorrow – as the song says œOne Step at a time!
    Bib – what a great description: œI love the way he looks like the Mothership coming in to land on the worktop, all lit up and space-age – so true! Will probably play the œStar Wars Theme or œET tomorrow whilst in the kitchen!

  4. Danny Carey

    What a lovely comment, Bib:
    “He heats up so much quicker than my electric oven, and I love the way he looks like the Mothership coming in to land on the worktop, all lit up and space-age.”
    Yes, indeed, the halogen bulb going on (when the temperature drops) and off (when it has heated up again) is quite fun. You definitely will not fall asleep! Andrew is now our default chef 🙂

  5. I’ve used my Andrew twice now – once for a chicken and mushroom pie and once to revitalise some stale-ish muffins. Both sucesses. He heats up so much quicker than my electric oven, and I love the way he looks like the Mothership coming in to land on the worktop, all lit up and space-age. I’m intrigued by the thought of using him for breadmaking – any tips and hints would be, as always, very gratefully received; I make bread 4 or 5 times a week, and as you say, it’s always the proving that’s the tricky part. Thank you for recommending Andrew, and the slow cooker; both have been great additions to my kitchen, and I’m definitely going to invest in a dehydrator next time I’m in the UK – again, thanks to you.

  6. I dont think that Halogen ovens have reached South Africa yet. I have a small microwave with a grill and convection oven which makes cooking for one easier. My old electric oven was enormous.

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