Whether it’s contemplating the next Ninja Master move through the flames of the Phoenix or just preparing a tin of beans, cowboy style – everybody likes to cook on an open fire at some time or other.Ninja Fire Master is no exception and so the other week we decided to light up a fire to get some hot coals going, and bring out the jaffle iron.
The jaffle iron is typically made of cast iron and consists of two hinged concave metal plates on long handles to facilitate cooking over an open fire and to enable closing the device tightly.The cast iron plates are designed to clamp together to form an enclosed compartment meant for cooking stuffed sandwiches. The raised ridges on the edge of the plates seal the outside edges of the bread together, completely enclosing the filling making the sandwich more like a pie, which makes it more convenient to eat, but it also makes the filling very hot.
The original Australian and South African jaffle iron was developed during the mid 1920s. It was designed to be the same size as a slice of bread from a square loaf, for an open fire, on a stove or gas ring.The jaffle has always been a popular snack in Australia and South Africa – originally developed as an easy means to reheat leftover food, or to create a ‘packaged’ meal to add to a worker’s lunch bag.
Cast iron cook ware though does need to be seasoned after being purchased and before use as they are often coated in a thin protective paraffin wax coating. This needs to be burnt off. Once cooled, wash the jaffle iron in warm, soapy water with a washing up brush – note – this should be the only time you use soap on a cast iron cooker. Place the irons back on the heat to dry thoroughly (remember, if you leave moisture on the cast iron it will rust). Rub in vegetable oil whilst the iron is still hot.
Grab a couple of slices of bread, butter both sides and lay a slice on each side of the jaffle iron. Lay up slices of ham, cheese, pickle and slices of tomato and anything else you can squish in, and close the jaffle iron, making sure that the iron is tightly shut.Place the tightly closed jaffle iron into the hot coals for a few minutes and then flip the iron over to ensure both sides of the ‘sarnie’ is toasted.The fillings of a jaffle toastie can be anything – sweet or savoury.