Chili Cheese Toast
I absolutely love when you are feeding someone who has no idea what cooking requires, and you serve them something sinfully easy to prepare, and they take a bite and look at you as if you performed a miracle of sorts. That’s what happened the first time I gave my husband these cheese toasts…for breakfast no less. You would have thought I had prepared foie from scratch.
Although these might look like a kicked-up pizza of sorts, chili cheese toasts are actually a very popular South Asian snack. Every cook has her or his own version – perhaps a dash of chili powder, a touch of turmeric , some curry leaves. My grandmother used to make a delicious version and bound all of the ingredients together with egg. She then fried it on the stove top for ultimate crispiness.
I kept this version relatively simple, so feel free to modify to your heart’s content. I didn’t feel like frying as I wanted this to be a tad healthier, so these are baked. I also used sundried tomatoes instead of fresh ones to minimize the moisture, but feel free to use fresh tomatoes – just try to remove as much liquid as possible before adding to the cheese mixture.
You get heat from the chilies, delicious green onion flavor, a bit of sweet and tart from the tomato, of course, lovely, tangy, bubbly cheese, and a nice satisfying crunch from the toast. These make an amazing afternoon snack, but I love them for breakfast. If you’ve got knife skills, you can make this in 10 minutes with the cooking time! Enjoy!
Serves 2 to 4
1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, finely chopped (any chili of your choice)
2 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 scallion, green and light green part only, thinly sliced
1 cup mozzarella, shredded (preferably low-moisture)
3 tbsps cream cheese, room temperature
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 slices white bread, toasted
chopped cilantro or parsley
Preheat the broiler.
In a bowl, mix together chopped chilies, sundried tomatoes, scallions, mozzarella, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Spoon equal amounts of mixture onto 4 slices of toasted white bread. Spread to create an even layer on each piece of toast.
Place cheese toasts on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil for anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes until cheese has melted – keep it under a bit longer if you like your cheese to brown (like I do!). Sprinkle with a bit of fresh cilantro or parsley before serving.