Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sandwich Tutorial

There are two things that I am REALLY good at.... make that three. Making sandwiches,  messing up everything else and fixing that mess so that it seemed intentional. I get it from my Momma. (not the sandwich part though)

I would wager that most of my culinary know how came from learning how to fix atrocious muck-ups. My mom was the queen of turning a failed something or other into a work of art....and at accepting the forthcoming compliments as if the dish on the table was exactly as she intended. I learned an extraordinary amount from her.

One of my favorite memories is of the fallen and burned angel food cake we cooked at Papaw's house. OF COURSE it was surely the ovens fault. It could not the screaming toddlers pounding around the house stomping their feet. It could not the anxious peeking into the oven (and slamming of doors to corral those same toddlers). Oh No! it was the OVEN's fault. I can't remember precisely what was done with that cake. Perhaps we ripped out the still good center and served it with fruit and whipped cream? I certainly remember it taking a good deal of time to fan out the smoke from the kitchen.

Enough about that. I love sandwiches!

The trick is in having just the right proportions of everything, the perfect blend of crunchy and soft, not too thick bread and the layers all in the right order! I like to think of a sandwich as a French style of entree plating; where it is combined in a way that lends harmony to the whole and forbids any one element from taking over.

There are those who relish in the gratuitous "big hunk" of something. I for one feel that a sandwich is best experience through the blending of flavors that can only be accomplished through paper thin slices. There are also those who believe a sandwich just isn't right without a thick hearty slice of bread. Bread, methinks can be wonderful. A big hearty slice deserves nothing more complicated than a hearty slab of cheese, a hunk of salami or a slathering of butter! A sandwich however, deserves nonesuch. It is a far more complicated matter. The filling is the centerpiece and the bread simply a carrier.

 1. Seal and season. The spread I used is a mix of mayo, stone ground mustard, and cholula sauce. Seasoned with thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

 2. Layer and add any special flavors. Lettuce should always lie on the bread to protect it from any sog producing juices. Cheese goes on the other bread slice. (or the meat if you don't like cheese--or split the lettuce if you are going for a vegan sammy) Protect the bread at all cost! I've added a bit of balsamic vinegar over the chicken.

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