Munching Matilda comes back with a radio show appearance and an Aussie cheese toastie recipe…

It has been a while since Sam and I posted in here – a combination of life getting in the way, the pandemic and my very patient husband performing major surgery on the website. Anyway, we made a triumphant return yesterday with a spot on Hometime with Bush & Richie.

It all started two weeks ago. I usually listen to Absolute Radio 90s when I cook. It reminds me of being 19 and I know all the words to the songs. On Tuesday nights during the last hour of the show, Bush and Richie test out toastie recipes from listeners. Last week, there was an American-inspired toastie involving marshmallows and peanut butter. I tweeted them via the Munching Matilda account to suggest the marshmallow component might be easier if Marshmallow Fluff, which comes in a jar, was used.

This led to banter culminating in the suggestion that Sam and I come up with an Australian-inspired toastie. We were up to the challenge and talks began about what to include, what might work, what might be a bit gross and what might simply be too bulky for Breville.

We came up with a toastie inspired by a proper Aussie petrol station burger. These burgers tend to be wide and low, rather than the annoying narrow and tall burgers you get in gastropubs. There is no need to risk losing an eye on toothpick scaffolding with an Aussie petrol station burger. You grab it in both hands and it retains its structural integrity. But I digress…

Bush and Richie’s producer asked me for the ingredients of our Aussie toastie, so I sent the following list:

– A slathering of real butter on both slices of ideally thick white bread.

– A thin layer of Vegemite. Must be thin, Vegemite is not to be used like peanut butter!

– A slice of cooked supermarket beef like this:

– A couple of sundried tomatoes (less watery than fresh tomato)

– Controversially, a slice of beetroot

– A slice of cooked bacon

– A slice of cheese – a cheddar cheese single is fine, we love a processed cheese on a burger in Australia

If you’re feeling really adventurous, try and squeeze a fried egg in there, but this may be beyond the limits of the station kitchen and/or the Breville!

The die was cast! This was happening! I was going to get a call from the guys and talk about toasties in Australia. Sure enough, the phone rang and we had a chat about toasties in Australia, the filthy Breville in the senior common room of my old high school, how my old high school burnt down about 10 years after I left, how the fire was caused by a possum (yes, really!) and I gave an impassioned defence of Vegemite and putting beetroot on burgers.

After the call, the Aussie burger toastie was made live on air, albeit with some alarming alternative ingredients. I listened nervously, the control freak in me wishing I was in the studio to oversee proceedings, and soon enough the toastie was made. When I say “made”, one of the toasties exploded and the Breville may have reached the end of its useful life, but an edible meal emerged.

Two out of three people in the studio gave the toastie the thumbs-up, which is a better result than I expected. Hilariously, my recipe caused the studio to smell of Vegemite. A little bit of Australia lingering in a UK studio – I’m happy with that too.

Click here to have a listen at the 98-minute mark – you will need to register or download the Absolute Radio app, but it’s free.