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A Toast to British Cuisine

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2007 | Nutrition

Cheers! Here's a "toast" to traditional British cooking. But this toast doesn't refer to a friendly salute over a drink or addressing a crowd with a speech or homage, it's literally toast as in the grilled bread.

More toast is eaten in Britain than any other food. In essence, it's a fast food that you can make yourself in only a few minutes. Toast is healthier than most fast food as well, because it's not fried or loaded down with fat.

However, even though British people love toast just on its own, they also love to eat recipes made with this staple. Following are three traditional British recipes using toast as the main ingredient. You can treat four to six people per recipe to a little bit of British history.

Recipe 1: Cheese and Onion on Toast

Ingredients:
4 slices of bread
4 ounces of grated cheddar cheese
2 ounces of unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Melt butter in a saucepan without allowing it to brown, and add pepper.
2. Add the cornflour and beat into a sauce-like consistency.
3. Gradually add the milk and continue to cook over a medium heat until the sauce has thickened.
4. Add the grated cheese and mix in well.
5. Add the chopped onions and cook gently for 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Toast the bread.
7. Spread the cheese and onion mixture onto the toast and broil until golden brown.

Recipe 2: Beans on Toast

Ingredients:
6 slices of bread
1 can of baked beans
Olive oil
One red pepper
One white onion
Fresh garlic
Diced tomatoes
Crushed red hot pepper flakes

Instructions:
1. Sautee the chopped red pepper, onion, garlic and red pepper in a pan.
2. Add the diced tomatoes and the beans, along with the hot red pepper flakes.
3. Toast the bread in a toaster over with a little olive oil drizzled on top.
4. Put sliced toast on serving plates and pour the beans and vegetables from the pan onto the toast.

Recipe 3: Dorset Cream Toast

Ingredients:
6 slices of French bread
1/4 pint single cream
1 egg yolk
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 ounce butter for frying
2 tablespoons Sunflower oil for frying
Icing sugar
1 orange quartered

Instructions:
1. Beat the cream and egg yolk together with the sugar and the lemon zest.
2. Pour this mixture over the bread and let it soak in.
3. Beat the eggs lightly in a bowl.
4. Dip the slices of bread into the beaten egg.
5. Fry the egg-coated bread on each side in butter and oil until golden brown.

Serve like pancakes with icing sugar and quarters of orange to squeeze onto the toasts.

Although these recipes are all quite simple, you will also find them very tasty. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and experience a little bit of Britain with every bite.