Do you know how to make sandwiches? What makes the best sandwich? For me a piece of meat or a piece of cheese between two slices of bread did not make a good sandwich. Years ago when I made a sandwich out of bologna for someone, they asked me how I learned to make a sandwich like that. It must start with good quality bread or roll. Sourdough bread is a very good quality for sandwiches. Between the slices or stuffed in the roll, the filling should be flavorful and moist. Most of the time I add tomatoes, onions, pickles, lettuce and anything else that sounds good at the time.
I am sure when Lord Sandwich placed a piece of meat between two pieces of bread and named it the sandwich he never dreamed of the revolution that he was starting. His favorite way of eating made its way around the world. From his simple sandwich, many have learned how to make sandwiches for all occasions; lunches, parties and with cocktails. Today, some of our best sandwiches are served for special occasions and in most parts of the world.
The Queen of England taught everyone how to make sandwiches when she serves cucumber sandwiches at her tea parties. Can you imagine not having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the United States. Think about how McDonalds has revolutionized the hamburger sandwich around the world with the “Big Mac”. This has to be the most eaten sandwich in the world. Sandwiches are as familiar to the social butterfly as to the person carrying their lunch to work. They are made in every shape and size from a mouth size bite to an open face sandwich that fills a plate.
When I learned how to make sandwiches, one of the first was the club sandwich and it is still one of my favorites. Today, I find it hard to buy one at a restaurant. Most places call anything with bacon added "a club sandwich". I like the old fashioned one that is made with three slices of good quality toasted bread. Each slice should be spread with mayonnaise then stuffed with turkey, cheese, crispy bacon, sliced onion, sliced tomatoes and lettuce. My favorite place to eat this sandwich is at the Tea House in Mount Dora, Florida.
I enjoy eating two more of my favorite sandwiches at the same restaurant in Mount Dora called the “Chew Chew”. I tried to learn how to make sandwiches like this restaurant does. The hot Cuban recipe has layers of roast pork, ham, salami and cheese with lots of dill pickles on a Cuban roll. The secret to a good Cuban sandwich is in the grilling. Heavy pressing in a sandwich press combines all the delicious flavors and juices. My other favorite from this same restaurant is the hot Italian sub sandwich. Starting with a crusty sub roll, ham, pastrami and salami are layered. Cheese is then added and as the sandwich heats, the cheese melts. Shredded lettuce, onions, peppers, mayonnaise and Italian dressing are added making this one delicious sandwich.
I never learned how to make sandwiches like the Monte Cristo; it has never been a favorite for me but many people love them. This sandwich has ham, turkey and Swiss cheese layered between two slices of bread like sour dough. It is then dipped into a flour and egg batter and then deep fried until golden brown. After draining the sandwich on paper towels, it is dusted with powdered sugar. Fresh fruit makes a great accompaniment with the sandwich for lunch.
One might think that a ham and cheese sandwich might be plain and simple by today’s standard. I would have agreed with that statement until recently when I had one for lunch at Les Chefs de France out at Disney’s Epcot. This ham and cheese sandwich was the best! The bread and the ham on the sandwich were very good but the abundance of melted cheese made it.
I have made a “Sloppy Joe Recipe” more than any other sandwich during the years while raising my children. It is so simple to make and my children still love these sandwiches. I brown hamburger with chopped onion. When this is done, I add Worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons per pound) enough catsup to make it a little saucy. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the top and stir in while cooking to make it thick. Spoon hamburger mixture on buns, top with dill pickles and serve.
The Reuben sandwich is another of my favorites. The best one that I have eaten comes from “Fran’s” kitchen. I don’t want to brag, but many places add too much Thousand Island dressing and it makes the sandwich soggy. I actually prefer this sandwich without dressing and the kraut must be dried thoroughly. The right amount of thinly sliced corn beef and Baby Swiss cheese makes this an all time favorite of the grilled sandwich recipes. I spent a lot of time learning how to make sandwiches like this.
Also topping my list is the Gyro sandwich. The Greeks do the best job of making these sandwiches. My favorite place to eat this sandwich is in Tarpon Springs at Mykonos. The meat used makes a difference and this restaurant knows how to make the meatloaf. The delicious cucumber sauce tops it off and it too must be made right. If you want to try this sandwich, make sure it is in a Greek establishment.
I wish all restaurants would spend time learning how to make sandwiches. My biggest complaint when ordering sandwich recipes at restaurants is with the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. The best also comes from “Fran’s kitchen”. It seems all restaurants want to scrimp on the bacon. Who wants to eat a BLT sandwich with only two slices of bacon piled high with vegetables. Spread mayonnaise on two slices of toasted bread; pile one high with bacon, then top with tomato and lettuce. I also like a slice of onion on mine. Try it!!
The open face sandwich was a favorite of my Dad. He liked 2 pieces of bread on a dinner plate. Then spread tender roasted beef slices over the bread. Next he wanted a generous scoop of mashed potatoes (enough for 2-3 people). Then cover the whole plate with rich thick beef gravy. He would say “It is fit for a king”.
Many simple sandwiches can be made with various cheese fillings and salad fillings. Tuna salad sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, ham salad sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches made with thinly sliced bread and cut in triangles are great for parties and get-togethers.
When I learned how to make sandwiches I never gave any thought to cutting fat or calories. In case you haven’t noticed, for me what makes good sandwich recipes are “calories”. But if I am going to waste calories on the bread, I will spend the calories to make the sandwich good. I just try not to eat them too often.