One of the things we love about being a community business is teaming up with other great Melbourne businesses. These days, you’re only as strong as the shop next door. Community spirit makes a big, big difference.
And over the last few years, we have forged a particularly delicious partnership.
As part of our re-brand from A/P Shutter & Blinds and Shades in Hawthorn to SHADES, we decided to send out Christmas hams to all our loyal customers. We figured 2020 wasn’t much fun for anyone, and receiving a giant Christmas ham in the mail, courtesy of Toorak’s famous Peter Bouchier, would put a smile on a few faces out there. We also wanted to show-off our spiffy new name and branding.
But unlike previous years, that’s not all we sent. Together with Peter—and Melbourne cheese experts, Maker & Monger—we designed the ultimate leek, ham and cheese toastie. Every SHADES customer received a package with a Christmas ham, one leek, some of Peter’s signature glaze, and three generous slices of aged Gruyere, Gouda and Comte, thanks to the guys at Maker & Monger.
We made this thing ourselves, over Christmas, and it tastes even better than it sounds. If you’ve ever wanted to cook Maker & Monger-level toasties at home, this is your chance.
Here’s the recipe:
8 slices of artisan sourdough
100gm of unsalted butter (room temperature)
100g of grated Gouda
200g of grated Comte
200g of grated Swiss Gruyere
1 finely diced leek
A dash of olive oil
300g of glazed ham, sliced thin
Salt to season
Optional: Cherry jam for brushing the toastie before serving.
- In a frying pan, add the oil and leeks and sauté on a medium-low heat, until translucent. Set aside on a paper towel.
- Combine the Gouda and butter and mix well. Make sure the Gouda is distributed evenly. Spread the butter-cheese mix on one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices on your bench, butter side down.
- In a separate bowl, mix the remaining cheese with the sauteed leek. Spread the mix over the four slices evenly. It should be about as thick as one slice of bread.
- Place 75g of sliced ham on each sandwich. Add the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
- Frying pan method: Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium high heat for two minutes. Add the sandwiches to the frying pan in batches, cooking for two or three minutes, until the underside is golden. Turn them with a spatula and press firmly. Cook for another two minutes, until cheese starts oozing out the sides.
- Sandwich press method: Heat up your sandwich press until the green light goes on. Wrap the grilled cheese in a sheet of baking paper and put it inside the press. Cook for three to five minutes, until the outside is golden and the inside is bubbling.
- To serve, simply sprinkle some rock salt on top. For a bonus point, spread a little cherry jam on the Gouda-butter crust. Cut in half and serve immediately.
Thanks again for supporting SHADES in 2020. We’re excited about the future of the brand, and we hope you have a great year. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got a toastie to devour.