20 January, 2020
Eat Portuguese! Tosta Mista
Tosta Mista is Portugal’s equivalent to New Jersey’s “taylor ham, egg and cheese”. The tosta mista is a recent addition to the cuisine of Portugal inspired by the French Croque Monsiuer. It’s a Ham and Cheese sandwich, probably the way it was meant to be made. Growing up around a bigger population of Portuguese in Jersey, it was pretty much a standard order for breakfast on Sunday after mass along with an Espresso or “Galão” (pronounced – Gahl-OW” ) which is our answer to a Latte, maybe fresh OJ and more than likely a pastel de nata or two. You were actually kicked out of the Portuguese Catholic church if you didn’t have Uma Tosta Mista at the café every Sunday, it’s true! You can get it at pretty much any Portuguese or even Brazilian bakery, but its really easy to make at home with no special equipment required!
- Non stick skillet, 12″
- Cast Iron Skillet (or a panini press)
- Loaf of White Bread , 2 slices cut 1″ thick*
- “French” Ham, or equivalent, 4 slices
- Flamengo Cheese, 2 thick slices**
- Butter, 2 teaspoons
*Don’t buy that wonder-mass-produced kind of stuff. It’s flimsy, more air than bread and really doesn’t have the strength to hold this sandwich together. You want an uncut loaf of bread and white or country bread is easily found at any local baker. I got mine at Pinho’s Bakery in Roselle, NJ if you happen to be swinging through (let them know I sent ya!)
** Flamengo cheese is a Portuguese styled Edam. So you can use either Flamego or Edam for your tosta. Another decent substitute would be Muenster.
Directions for Tosta Mista
Lay out the bread slice and place one piece of cheese on each side, covering the whole bread slice face. Heat the skillet and add 1 teaspoon of butter;
Stack the ham slices like cards and place then into the pan. Slightly cook one side of the ham stack on your skillet until it achieves a slight browning, then flip the stack to repeat on the other side. The contrast of browned and non-brown ham is key here. Slide the ham onto one of the tosta slices and cover it with the other tosta slice to form a sandwich. If you don’t have a panini press, Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium and add the rest of the butter. Once melted, place the sandwich on top. Take your cast iron skillet and sit it on top to create a press.
Let the weight of the skillet squash the sandwich, don’t add any additional force. After the cheese begins to melt and become gooey, remove the skillet and flip the sandwich. Repeat again with the cast iron skillet for about 3 minutes until that side of cheese is also melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately.