These open-faced toasts are a classic Irish snack and are so incredibly easy and delicious. Cheddar cheese and diced ham get mixed together with egg and dijon mustard and spread on top of crusty bread. The egg makes the topping a bit custardy and binds everything together, while the dijon adds a delicious tangy, mustardy flavor. It’s like an open faced mix between a grilled cheese and croque monsieur. You can use this Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread or any crusty loaf!

Ingredient highlight

Cheddar cheese! Did you know that cheddar gets it’s name from the English village of Cheddar? Like all cheeses, the more aged, the sharper the flavor and the lower the lactose content. Also like most cheese, cheddar is a good source of calcium, vitamin B12, and protein. Just one (1 oz) serving of one of my favorites (Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar) contains 7g of protein and 15% of your daily calcium.

Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar
  • ½ cup diced ham (about 4 oz, optional)*
  • 4 slices crusty bread (Irish soda bread or any crusty bread)**
  • Butter (optional)
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped scallions or chives (optional)
  • *I’ve made this with and without ham. Both are incredibly delicious! You could use cooked bacon too and use as much or as little as you want.
  • Note: ~ depending on how big your slices of bread are, you may need more or less than 4 slices. You want a nice thick, cheesy topping!

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and mustard until smooth. Add the cheese and ham (if using) and stir to combine.
  • Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread (if using – this gives it a golden bottom). Place the bread, buttered-side-down, on the baking sheet. Divide the egg and cheese mixture between the slices and spread into an even layer. Top each with black pepper.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese/egg mixture is golden and cooked through (it’s okay if the egg is not totally firm, it will continue to cook as it cools). Sprinkle herbs on top (if using). Let it cool for 10 minutes, then dig in!
  • I love serving this with a simple green salad for a light lunch or dinner.

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Grate 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar
  • Dice ½ cup ham (about 4 oz, optional)
  • Chop scallions or chives (for topping, optional)

Substitutions:

  • To make vegetarian, skip the ham. You could add an equal amount of canned beans if you’d like.
  • This cannot be made vegan unless you have a egg and cheese substitute you like.
  • To make gluten-free, use a gluten-free loaf or make this on top of a tortilla.
  • Any cooked meat can be used in place of ham (bacon, sausage, etc…)

Storage:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • To reheat, place them in a skillet over medium heat and cover with a lid and cook until everything is melted and warm again. To crisp up the bottom, butter it lightly before placing in the skillet. To crisp it up on top, place it under the broiler on high for 1-2 minutes.
  • These make a great snack or accompaniment to soups and salads.

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