Sailing classes are still going on for us! So, sandwiches are still in order. See my post for sandwiches (week 1) for additional sandwich ideas. I learned a lot about making sandwiches over the last couple weeks, and I have some tips to share.
We started off this week having hamburgers from the grill on Sunday night. Yummy (sorry, no photos of this). I like to put avocado and BBQ sauce on my burger, while Dan had a simple cheeseburger. (Confession: I also really like onion rings on my burger, and those frozen rings from the grocery store cook up pretty tasty. They’re just really not so good for you!)
- Bread: The bread is the first thing people see, and it should look inviting. I don’t think sandwiches made on supermarket sliced bread look all that good. Sliced bread is great for toast, plain bologna sandwiches, or for making grilled cheese (though I grill the bread with Parmesan then). Try different types of rolls or focaccia. Toasted or grilled bread will generally have more flavor. And, be sure to use fresh bread- stale bread should be used for making French Toast. In general, I’m not a fan of using baguettes- too hard and too difficult to eat.
- Spread: The spread doesn’t have to be plain mayo or mustard. Sure, use those if you like them, but since I don’t care for either, I have to be a little bit more creative, or my sandwiches would be dry. Try hummus- great when you are eating the sandwich right then, but not so good on a pre-made (i.e. soggy) sandwich (note tip #3). Try a cream cheese based spread like garlic and herb or a sweet spread like strawberry.The pesto spread added a great flavor. You could jazz up a store bought mayo by adding chopped herbs or chipotle. Or, try BBQ sauce as a spread.
Get creative with your spreads.
- The soggy factor: If you are making the sandwich ahead of time, you don’t want the bread to get soggy. Use lettuce or spinach to your advantage: place the washed and patted dry lettuce on the bread before adding the juicier ingredients.This will act as a barrier and keep the bread from getting soggy.
- Layers of flavor: A sandwich is just that, layers of flavor. Keep the flavors complimentary and building upon themselves. For the caprese sandwich, I baked the “chicken” in the pesto and added the pesto as a spread to the sandwich, then I layered with roasted red peppers and fresh creamy mozzarella. You don’t want a boring one-dimensional sandwich.
- Preparation: Prepare all of your ingredients before you start assembling the sandwich. Making a flavorful sandwich requires many levels, so you don’t want to start spreading the bread with mayo and then realize that you have to wait for the chicken to cool down. Have everything sliced and ready to place on the bread. And, once assembled, put your sandwich in the container; This will help keep the sandwich from drying out. I use sandwich sized travel containers, though you can wrap your sandwich in waxed paper as well.
- More isn’t always better: Portion control is key. You don’t want too much of a good thing, or it will overwhelm your sandwich.
- Presentation: I always slice sandwiches in half. I think it’s easier to eat them that way, and it just looks good. Besides, if you get full on half and want to save the other half for later, it’s easier to do so.
For another great sandwich check out this Mozzarella In Carrozza Sandwich from The Winelady Cooks; doesn’t that look amazing!