This chilli cheese toast with garlic and olives is not your mom’s cheese toast recipe, people. This is a completely different animal. It takes cheese toast to a whole new level of flavor.
I have essentially hijacked the Welsh Rarebit, and put my own Desi spin on it. I’d apologize, but they started it when they imperialistically took over the Chicken Tikka to create Chicken Tikka Masala, so I guess we could call ourselves even. (And yes, I do happen to love Chicken Tikka Masala, but that is ENTIRELY beside the point!)
Cheese Toast: A Family Recipe
My mom’s sisters learned how to make Rarebit (or as we here like to call it, “cheese toast”) when they were young. My maternal grandfather, then a commander in the British Royal Navy (which would later become the Pakistan Navy after Pakistan’s independence) first tasted it at the Navy mess hall. He enjoyed it so much that he hired the cook to come to his home to make it for his family and teach the recipe to his wife and daughters.
The recipe, being extremely simple and quick to make, was very popular in their home, and often served to tea time guests. When my mother was old enough to enter the kitchen (without getting yelled at), she learned the recipe from her mother and older sisters and passed it on to me. In our home, as well, it was a fallback solution when we couldn’t think of what to make with afternoon tea.
But the problem was, I didn’t like it.
No matter what cheese we used, I always felt it was very bland and kind of boring. I told you guys I was a picky eater! (Although, as an aside, I really was a bit of a brat, wasn’t I?)
But being a picky eater, I feel, is what made me a better cook (well that, and my mutant sense of smell). When I learned enough to know what flavors I liked and how to alter dishes to suit my taste, I was able to create my own recipes, ones that we all loved. That’s what I did to develop this chilli cheese toast recipe.
So, with my apologies to the residents of Wales (even though they started it), here is how to take cheese toast and turn it into a party in your mouth.
Chilli Cheese Toast with Garlic and Olives
Rarebit or cheese toast typically calls for a hard cheese which is then grated and melted or, as my mother and her sisters did, mixed to form a spread. I am using regular cheddar cheese slices which are much softer. I wanted something that I could easily get anywhere in Pakistan (and, hopefully, easy to obtain for my international readers too.) You have my blessing to use whichever cheese you like best, be it hard or soft or somewhere in between. You can even mix cheeses and see what combination you like the most.
I’ve topped this with olives and seasoned with oregano, but feel free to change this around as you like. Try different variations like mushrooms, capsicum or onion. Season with basil or even thyme if you wish. Have fun with this and see what variations you come up with. P.S. If you do make this or vary it in any way, please let me know in the comments below, and/or take a picture and tag me on Instagram: @BeckyKeepsHouse.
Go forth, my friends! Exercise your right to chilli cheese toast goodness, and empower others to do the same.
Until next time, long live the food revolution!
Chilli Cheese Toast with Garlic & Olives
This chilli cheese toast with garlic and olives recipe is as versatile as it is tasty. It's the perfect canapé, breakfast, lunch, snack or tea time treat!
- 4 slices cheddar cheese (or 2-4oz hard cheese, grated)
- 2 tbsp flour
- pinch salt
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- milk (as needed)
- 2 green chillis (or more if desired), chopped
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 4 slices of bread
- 6 olives sliced (or more as desired)
- oregano (as desired)
- oil (for frying)
Using a fork, mash up the cheddar cheese slices and mix with flour.
Add the salt, egg and baking powder and mix to form a paste. It should be spreadable, like butter. If mixture is too hard, add milk a teaspoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.
Add chillis and garlic powder, mix to combine.
Spread mixture on the bread slices. You should have enough to easily spread over four slices of bread. Spread it as you would a cream cheese: not too thick, not too thin.
Top the toast with olives and sprinkle with oregano.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. (Each slice should only need about a tablespoon of oil)
When oil is hot, place one slice of bread cheese-side down. Fry on low-medium flame until mixture is cooked through and cheese is golden brown. Flip over and toast the plain side until lightly golden and crispy.
Place on paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
Repeat with remaining slices.
Cut slices diagonally into triangles and serve.
I like these plain, but if you want to make a super quick chutney to serve with these, here's the recipe:
Combine equal parts green coriander and green chili, a clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and yogurt (as desired to thin out the chutney). Blend to desired consistency. If too watery, chill in the fridge to firm up before serving.