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TAFE BUDS: Paying homage to the humble toasted sandwich

TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga

TAFE BUDS: Paying homage to the humble toasted sandwich

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Berry, mascarpone and honey toastie, anyone?


On the pyramid of comfort foods, the humble toasted sandwich sits right near the top for most of us (somewhere between chocolate ice cream and mac and cheese).

There’s something decidedly soul-soothing about biting into this flavour-filled parcel of ordinariness.

And as TAFE NSW cookery guru Sara Morley told ABC Riverina this week in her popular TAFE Buds segment, what’s wedged between the two slices of toast is limited only by your imagination.

So go forth and toast.

Poke around your cupboard, search your fridge forensically, reach into the darkest depths of your freezer.

If you’re still struggling for inspiration, have a crack at one of these recipes below.

Oh, and if you’d like to sharpen your kitchen skills or consider a career in cooking, there are a smorgasbord of courses available at TAFE NSW. For more information, visit


Croque Monsieur (makes 4)


Béchamel sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 cups (500mls) milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic


  • 8 slices sourdough
  • 20g butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices leg ham
  • 100g Swiss cheese (gruyere), grated


Béchamel sauce

Place the milk in a small saucepan and add the bay leaf and garlic. Place it over a low heat and let it come very slowly up to simmering point. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours. Strain the milk into a jug, discarding the garlic and bay leaf.

Wash saucepan and place back over gently heat. Melt butter in small saucepan, add flour and stir over medium heat using a wooden spoon.

Add the infused milk a little at a time and stir until combined. Keep adding slowly until all the milk is combined, and the sauce is thick.


Preheat oven to hot (220C)

Butter the bread.

Place on a baking tray butter side up and toast one side under a grill until golden.

Turn the bread over and spread 4 slices with mustard, and then spread over about a tablespoon of béchamel sauce on each slice.

Top with ½ the grated cheese, then a slice of ham. Top with the other slice of bread.

Sprinkle remaining grated cheese over the top of the sandwich.

Put the sandwiches in the oven and bake for 10-15 mins or until golden.

Berry, Mascarpone and Honey Toasties (makes 4)


  • 10 strawberries, 10 raspberries, sliced
  • Loaf of Brioche or ciabatta bread, cut into 8 thick slices.
  • 4 tablespoons Mascarpone or ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons Nutella
  • 50g butter
  • Icing sugar and ice-cream
  • *optional – crispy prosciutto or bacon


Slice strawberries and halve raspberries and set aside.

Mix mascarpone or ricotta with the honey

Spread mascarpone or ricotta cheese over ½ the slices, then top with fruits.

Spread the other 1.2 with Nutella..

Join slices together.

Spread butter on outside of the sandwich.

Place in a shallow frypan over medium-low heat and cook till golden brown and filling is warm.

Serve with dusting of icing sugar and ice-cream for dessert,

*Alternative: Add a slice of bacon or prosciutto and relace Nutella with grated cheese for a lunch alternative.