You pull into a hotel after hours, register and get settled. Your stomach rumbles. You reach for the phone, but room service stopped serving hours ago. No problem as you have sandwich fixings in your mini cooler. Plug your sandwich maker into the wall, pop in a slice of bread, slap on some sliced meat and cheese and a little mustard and "Voila!" No pizza money? Toss some sauce and cheese on a pita pocket and grill in your dorm.
Wipe the top and bottom heating plates with a clean, wet rag and wipe dry if this is the first time you have used your sandwich toaster, or if it has been in storage for any length of time.
Melt butter and brush it onto both halves of the sandwich maker. Use olive oil or cooking spray if you prefer.
Note how many sandwiches your particular sandwich toaster will make. Place one slice or one half of a bread product of your choice -- pitas, sliced bread, tortillas, lavash (thin, Armenian flatbread), injera (a crepe-like Ethiopian bread product made from teff flour), wonton wrappers, English muffins or bagels -- in each individual sandwich position in the sandwich maker.
Spread any sauces or condiments on the bread products, such as tomato sauce on the bagel or pita, raspberry-Dijon mustard on rye bread, Chinese hot mustard and sweet and sour sauce on wonton wrappers, berbere sauce (a blistering-hot, tomato-based condiment from Ethiopia), on injera or hummus on lavash.
Add appropriate fillings, such as mozzarella cheese and pepperoni on the bagel or pita, sliced or shredded corned beef and Swiss cheese on the rye, fried rice or eggroll filling on the wonton wrapper, tsebhe sga (spicy Ethiopian beef stew), or doro wat (Ethiopian chicken stew), on the injera or alfalfa sprouts, spinach, grated carrot, sliced cucumber and sliced tomato on the lavash.
Place second slice of bread or bread product half on top of the filling. Close the sandwich maker and secure any clasps. Allow the sandwich to cook for eight to 10 minutes in an electric sandwich maker, or hold it over an available heat source for five minutes per side if using a non-powered sandwich toaster.
Remove sandwiches from the sandwich toaster and allow to cool for five minutes before serving.
Brush sandwich maker sections with butter or spray them with cooking spray. Do not use olive oil for dessert sandwiches.
Place cake slices, crepes or doughnut halves in each section of the sandwich toaster.
Slice fruit and lay it on each cake slice, crepe or doughnut half. Cover with fruit sauce, glaze, jam, marmalade or chutney, a condiment from India that contains fruit, vinegar, sugar, spices and chilli pepper flakes.
Top fruit with a second cake slice, crepe or doughnut half and close the sandwich toaster. Toast for five to eight minutes if using an electric sandwich maker, or three to five minutes per side for non-electric sandwich makers.
Remove your dessert sandwiches and stack them on a serving tray covered with a paper doily. Provide a variety of toppings, such as whipped cream, berry or fruit-flavoured cream cheese spreads, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, pecan halves and crushed toffee.
If you are gluten-intolerant or are on a low-carbohydrate diet, you can still use a sandwich toaster to create a variety of delicious entrées and appetizers by omitting the bread products and using the sandwich toaster as a grill. Grill everything from peaches and tomatoes to eggplant, fish and bacon, advises Bridget Davis, a chef.