A good sandwich is a gift from God. Period.
I like how a simple combination can be transformed with the addition of one ingredient which elevates it to ‘awesome’ heights. Sometimes, that’s a few leaves of basil strewn over cheese or chicken. At other times, it’s the hot, green tabasco sauce stirred into creamy, salted avocado.
What is a Sandwich?
A sandwich is a bread – commonly 2 slices, filled with fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses and more.
What are the essentials for a good sandwich?
The end result of a sandwich should be a good-looking :), tasty, great-textured ‘eat’ that isn’t soggy. What you need is both the right ingredients to build your winning bite, and the understanding of the elements.
Bread. Good bread. Whether you want a regular, or an open-faced sandwich, bread that is more than ‘just-bread’ is key. Some sandwich fillings are nice with wholewheat bread, others with white. If truth be told, the type of bread you use in your sandwich is a personal thing.
You can have the bread toasted or fresh, pan fried in bacon grease or simply spread with butter. The choice? Yours.
Boy, the possibilities are endless here. Enjoy an Avocado sarnie with soft-boiled eggs and cherry tomatoes. Add some green tabasco, because every sandwich needs an edge. This is one doorway to heaven.
Another one? Go open face and poach the eggs instead of soft-boiling. Enjoy it, not on chewy, white bread but on rustic, almond bread
Are you one of them cheese and jam and fruit people? Well, you’re in luck. Take some jam or citrus marmalade, slice up an apple or a pear – thinly too. Then pair it with slices of cheese. Sigh. One of my favourites is a sandwich made with Fol-epi – part Emmental, part Cheddar, altogether heaven. I can imagine it melted. Sigh.
Underneath, no orange marmalade. Rhubarb jam instead to stem my craving for fresh stalks oven-poached in tea and orange.
Building a sandwich involves knowing what can turn your bread soggy…and avoiding it, for that ladies and gentlemen is criminal.
When making sandwiches with ‘wet’ vegetables – tomatoes that can become soggy, cucumbers too – you need a way to protect your bread…and often, that’s a layer of butter, cheese or lettuce.
Butter your bread
Place lettuce leaves on top slices of bread, as the ‘holder’ for things to follow
Avoid putting ‘juicy’ vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers differently on the bread, particularly if making ahead
If I want to use a sauce or some other seasoning – paste/ pesto/ dip, I check the consistency. If dripping like thin yogurt, I tend to serve that on the side, or combine it with one of the main ingredients.
If thick, like my scent leaf ‘pesto’, I spread it on. Here, the herby flavours are complimented with the suya-spiced chicken breast which got roasted at an hour on 260 degrees Centigrade after a rubdown with yaji.
If making a cheese sandwich, like below, lay the thin flat slices of cheese, then pile on the other ingredients and top with another slice of bread, if desired.
This cheese sandwich was one of the best ones I’ve made. Pan fried, each side ‘toast’ for a few minutes, till the cheese is melted and stretchy.
You end up with a melted cheese sarnie, with bacon and basil.
The beauty is not only in the stretchy cheese but in the toasted edges that complement the soft, melted cheese and the salty bacon.
There are many ways to build sandwiches, my thoughts are a few of them.
What are your sandwich essentials?