Masterchef Jessie Spiby cooks up a Show-stopper

By Jessie Spiby

No visit to the Royal Adelaide Show is complete without a show bag, and visitors this year are in for a treat once again with the Gourmet Goodie Bag. Packed to the brim with scrumptious South Australian food and beverages, we gave MasterChef foodie queen Jessie Spiby a recipe challenge to make the most of the array of SA produce – and she didn’t disappoint.

Check out her quick and tasty recipe for a perfect post-Show dinner. 

The Gourmet Goodie Bag

The Gourmet Goodie Bag – so much goodness.

The Gourmet Goodie Bag began as the brain-child of Tucker’s Natural managing director Sam Tucker, and brings together products from some of SA’s most respected and treasured brands including Tucker’s crackers, Edwards Crossing Cheese, Moo Yoghurt, Haighs chocolate, Maggie Beer’s quince paste, Perrymans’s gingerbread, plus an array of appetising vouchers and samples from likes of Bagel Boys and Hither & Yon wines. So much good stuff!

Connecting consumers with locally produced goods is the reasoning behind the tasty bag and at only $20 for a whopping $120 worth of value, it’s easy to Choose SA at the show this year.

Jessie's cheesy bagel

Jessie’s cheesy bagel. We’ll take 19

Jessie’s Ultimate Cheesy Bagel Toastie
with crispy cheese crown

You might be in need of a quick easy dinner after a long day at the Royal Show. If your Gourmet Goodie Bag manages to survive the journey home then this truly indulgent cheesy bagel toastie recipe will have everyone fed in minutes and make the most of your goodie bag.

Utilising an impressive chunk of your haul, including both Mabel’s and Edwards Crossing cheeses, Bagel Boys bagels and Maggie Beer’s quince paste, this recipe turns some deliciously unassuming ingredients into a scrumptious cheesy treat.

The addition of a cheese crown, inspired by Jamie Oliver, gives the mouth-watering crispiness of a jaffle iron toastie, but amps up the flavour (and wickedness) by crisping the cheese giving this dish spades of umami and a delightful chew.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Bagel Boys bagel, or slices of quality white bread
  • Butter
  • 40g of hard cheese such as Edwards Crossing cheddar, pecorino, manchego
  • Additional 40g of hard cheese for the ‘cheese crown’
  • 30g of Mabels Garlic + Chives cheese or soft melty-stretchy cheese such as Jarlsberg or taleggio
  • Sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt flakes
  • Pickles, jalapeños, capers (optional)
  • Serve with Maggie Beers quince paste or tomato sauce or Sriracha

* Jessie loves a mix of cheddar, manchego and pecorino, with cream cheese and Jarlsberg for melty stretchiness.

Jessie in her natural habitat

Jessie in her natural habitat

METHOD

1. Lightly butter both sides of the bagel. Grate the hard cheese and grate or finely slice the softer one, mix together.

2. Pile the half the cheese on one side of the bagel and lightly sprinkle with cayenne pepper. If using pickles/ jalapeños/ capers place on top half the cheese, add the pickles, then top with the remaining cheese. Place the other side of bagel on top and gently squeeze together.

3. Place a non-stick or cast iron frying pan over medium heat.

4. When the pan is hot, place the sandwich in the pan. To get a good crust on the bread place a small plate on top of the sandwich, then add a can or sauce bottle to weigh it down, alternately use a egg flip to put pressure on the sandwich and get the bottom all crispy.

5. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until crisp and golden on the underside, flip and repeat the process on the other side. Remove from pan.

6. For the ‘cheese crown’, sprinkle a thin layer of the hard cheese into the fry pan, making sure you cover the entire surface of the pan.

7. Place the sandwich back into the middle of the pan on top of the cheese. The cheese will cook and begin to melt into a mat as the cheese splits, this is what you’re looking for. It should take roughly 1-2 minutes on medium heat.

8. Now you can make your sandwich crown. Slide a spatula or egg flip under the sandwich, begin to lift and make sure the cheese mat is holding together. Lift the sandwich gently allowing the cheese mat to hang from the sandwich edges.

9. Keep the sandwich lifted and count to 30 before flipping the sandwich over completely. This will allow the cheese to set and harden creating the appearance of a crispy, delicious crown. YUM.

10. Place another small sprinkle of cheese about bagel size in the pan. Place the sandwich on top and allow cheese to melt and crisp up for roughly 1-2minutes. Remove from pan.

11. Let the sandwich sit for a few minutes before scoffing it down doused in sauce of your choice.

If you give this recipe a go don’t forget to tag me on FacebookInstagram or Twitter in your pictures and show off your epic crowns!