I always try to be a dainty eater, even when scarfing down a giant sandwich. But some occasions — say, afternoon tea at a fancy hotel, a bridal shower, a Southern funeral — necessitate a dainty sandwich. One of my favorites is the classic British tea sandwich with cucumber and cream cheese, but to give those flavors a little kick, turn to this recipe for Benedictine cheese sandwiches.
Invented in Louisville, KY, at the turn of the century by a woman named Jennie Benedict, this sandwich is like the green counterpart to pimiento cheese. The filling combines cream cheese, mayo, grated cucumber, chopped scallions, and just a drop of green food coloring. To see how to make it, watch my latest Between the Bread segment on PopSugar Live!
First, a confession: I don't really like Peeps. Given that they are essentially marshmallows covered in sugar, they're just too sweet for me. But I've been dying to make a Peeps fluffernutter sandwich ever since I came across the recipe last Easter. I love sandwiches made with leftover Easter ham and Thanksgiving turkey, so why not leftover candy?
I finally got the chance during my Between the Bread segment on PopSugar Live last week. Though I can't imagine eating more than a few bites of this, I must admit it was delicious. The salty peanut butter (actually soy nut butter, in my case) is just what the sugary peeps need. Definitely a novelty worth trying.
I've been on a salmon sandwich kick lately, and suddenly I'm finding them everywhere, including on my first visit to Wayfare Tavern. During a rainy lunch, I ordered the salmon club sandwich and a Pimm's cup.
Featuring avocado-basil aioli, roasted tomato, and bacon on brioche, the sandwich was pretty yummy. Frankly, I'd pay $17 to spend every rainy afternoon at this cozy, bucolic tavern.
But while the fish was outstanding, the sandwich itself didn't seem worth $17 — especially compared to this salmon sammie I enjoyed at an impromptu barbecue in a friend's backyard.
Yes, it's much simpler, but the salmon was just as well-cooked, grilled just enough by my personal chefs and served it on a soft bun with avocado.
I'm not saying one sandwich is necessarily superior to the other; just that simpler and cheaper can be just as good.
Ann Arbor's famed ZIngerman's Deli is known for its corned beef sandwiches, but it's also not shy when it comes to packing on farmers market fresh veggies.
This recipe, dubbed Rodger's Big Picnic, comes from my trusty Roadfood Sandwiches cookbook, which describes this sandwich as Zingerman's ode to Michigan produce and particularly asparagus.
Putting this recipe together, I worried it would be too dull. The mushrooms are just broiled, not marinated, and the sandwich is adorned with nothing but sharp cheddar and Dijon mustard.
But with perfectly cooked, totally fresh produce, two ingredients are all you need. The sandwich was unexpectedly graceful, simple yet full-bodied, and hard to put down. Get the recipe now.
My houseboy has been on a soft-boiled egg kick lately — or maybe you'd call them gently boiled eggs, because the whites have the firmness of a hard-boiled egg, but the yolk is not quite firm, not quite runny. On sandwiches, they are a revelation.
After a recent egg-boiling session, we put together this twist on a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich. The trio of crisped prosciutto, manchego cheese, and gooey egg provided a fascinating flavor and texture combination — salty, creamy, and reminiscent of some of the best parts of French and Italian sandwich concepts.
Like a good club sandwich, the balance of firm ingredients (toast, hard cheese) with moist (egg, mustard) made it all too easy to eat. This reinvention will most definitely be repeated.
Everybody likes sandwiches — at least everybody I know. So to serve a crowd, I love to make a loaf-wich. That is, one big sandwich on a loaf of ciabatta or French bread, sliced into individual servings.
At a recent family gathering, we made two of these ciabatta sandwiches, featuring prosciutto, manchego, fig butter, mustard, arugula, and a mix of fennel and lemon slices, sliced very thin and sauteed. The fennel and lemon combo, inspired by a 'Wichcraft recipe, tastes mild yet zesty and pleases even picky eaters.
Find out how to replicate this loaf-wich at home
I am powerless to shiny new food products at Trader Joe's. So when I recently spotted a melange of grilled eggplant and zucchini in the frozen food aisle, I bought a bag without any idea how I'd use it.
One night, an ideal sandwich came together. Happily burdened with leftover pistachio-infused goat cheese from some yummy stuffed dates I made, I dreamed up another Trader Joe's sandwich special.
I heated the grilled eggplant and zucchini, which even from freezer to microwave tasted deliciously chargrilled. Then, I lightly toasted a Trader Joe's whole wheat pita and spread on TJ's black olive tapenade.
After stuffing the pockets with the grilled veggies and spinach, I slathered on some goat cheese and melted it slightly in the oven. The resulting Mediterranean-flavored pocket was warm, hearty, and worth repeating.
The mayo-free tuna sandwich at 'Wichcraft is one of my favorites, and compared to many of the other recipes in the cookbook 'Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich Into a Meal — and a Meal Into a Sandwich, this one is relatively simple. The resulting meal is so magnificently complex and and innovative, I couldn't believe I'd made it all by myself.
As I learned making 'Wichcraft's goat cheese with avocado and celery, this cookbook gives you the option (and the recipes) of making many of the ingredients from scratch. In this case, I skipped the homemade lemon mayo but did make the lemon confit, which was extraordinary. I have since used the thinly sliced, cured lemons on numerous sandwiches and salads, and it's a great accent to have in the fridge.
Get the recipe now.
The Blue Angels flew into town this weekend for San Francisco Fleet Week, and some friends of mine with a roof deck hosted a brunch bash. Since the Blue Angels hail from my hometown of Pensacola, I honored my roots by whipping up a Southern party-food staple: miniature pimento cheese sandwiches.
At work last week, we were sent some Oroweat sandwich thins minis, which were about the size of coasters, so I made some sammies with those (pictured below) and another batch with cute pumpernickel toasts from the supermarket (pictured above). I thought the pumpernickel tasted better with the pimento cheese, but the minis were classier and easier to eat.
Everyone from the South knows what pimento cheese is, but for the unfamiliar, it's basically a mayo-based cheese spread made with shredded cheddar and jarred pimento peppers. This time, I added chopped pecans and worchestershire sauce, which gave it a nice texture and smoky flavor. Get the recipe.
In my sandwich world, the holidays mean two things: homemade cornmeal molasses bread (baked by my father- or brother-in-law) and Honey Baked Ham, which always seems to make an appearance.
I look forward to both special ingredients all year, not to mention the occasional mini-sandwiches at holiday parties. As we bid farewell to 2010, here are three of the special sammies I had the pleasure of eating this holiday season.
Homemade cornmeal molasses bread elevates a standard turkey, cheese, and spinach sandwich with pickles (pictured above) to gourmet levels.
Honey Baked Ham, served on Christmas Eve, is reborn as post-Christmas leftovers on my father-in-law's homemade dinner rolls.
I got giddy when I saw these miniature lobster rolls at a holiday party, though they didn't taste quite as cute as they looked. Still, I appreciate the sentiment.
What sandwiches did you eat this holiday season?