I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sandwich artistry.

I am a very good cook. I just want to get that out of the way. Most of the stuff I cook, is done by instinct or memory. See, for example, my "Chicken Soup Recipe." And it's usually fantastic. People clamor for invites to my dinner parties, that I throw about as often as the queens of England surrender their thrones (once every fifty or so years). So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, I have a secret to tell you:

As much as I long to be an expert sandwich artist, like the people at Gardener's Market, I do not make sandwiches very well.

There are exceptions to that rule. I make a kick-ass grilled cheese sandwich. And I also make a very tasty Nutella, Banana, Peanutbutter and Honey sandwich.

But when it comes to like turkey sandwiches and roast beef sandwiches, try as I might to nail it, I never can do it.

Which is odd, because sandwiches are pretty simple beings, no?

I don't know what I do wrong! For example, for lunch today, I made myself a turkey sandwich on baguette with mayo, mustard, Roma tomatoes, smoked Gouda and avocado.

It sounded pretty good, and it wasn't a bad sandwich by any means but...

I didn't experience that eye-rolling orgasmic shudder that I usually get when I maow (how do you spell that? Mow? Mao? Maow?) into a Gardener's sandwich. Oh, or the one I get when I eat a turkey camembert from Le Sandwicherie with extra cornichons and vinegrette.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. nom. nom. nom. nom. nom.

There must be a cookbook out there that'll teach me how to make the sandwiches I'm so fond of - sandwiches with Wasabi mayo and muenster cheese. Camembert cheese and cornichons, and bacon and red onions with mustard...

There. I feel better now that I've admitted one of my many shortcomings to you.

Now... Come here. I've made you a ketchup, radish and Fluffernutter sandwich on an Asiago bagel. It's your favorite, right?


Blogger Rootietoot said...

What I want to know is how to make a perfect Cuban. I had one once, and it was sublime.

That nutella thing you described...I dunno. Sounds kinda sweet. PMS food, in my house.

My favorite is sliced turkey (the real kind) with spinach, cucumbers, a warm beefsteak tomato from the garden,some of mom's pickled banana peppers, smoked provalone on a homemade whole wheat roll, salt and pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Kinda labor intensive, so we don't eat them much.

6:23 AM

Blogger SuperBee said...

I can make pretty good Cubans - it'll be harder for you in Atlanta, because you can't get Cuban Bread.

You also don't have lechon (roast pork leg). I had a Cuban the other day after bartime, and they. are. fantastic. Also in the delicious category is Pan con Bistec (steak sandwiches with mustard, mayo, oil, lettuce, tomato and shoestring potato chips.


9:58 AM

Blogger SuperBee said...

By Atlanta, I mean "Georgia."

And your sandwich sounds FANTASTIC!

9:58 AM

Blogger Rootietoot said...

so is there some esoteric ingredient in cuban bread that would prevent me from making it? Or am I simply the wrong demographic?

I can roast a pork loin- different fat content, I know, but really...pork is pork if it's uncured.

4:08 AM

Blogger Alex said...


Rootie: The secret is lard. Lots of lard.

www.cubanfoodmarket.com ships Cuban delicacies, including bread.

I think you can do a pretty good Cuban with french bread, if you find one that's fluffy, not too dense.

For the lechon, roast a pork loin for a couple hours until is fork tender, then slice.

The rest: Virginia ham, lots of butter, swiss cheese and pickles. You have to press it. Put butter at the top and bottom of the sandwich, not just the inside, that way it crusts.

11:43 AM

Blogger Rootietoot said...

Thanks Alex! I can make bread with lard...

There are so many kinds of pickles, am I wanting dills, kosher dills, bread-and-butters, Wisconsin dill or Georgia dills? I'm thinking the type of pickle can radically affect the sandwich.

8:19 AM

Blogger SuperBee said...

Alex - WOW! I'm honored. Thanks for stopping by.

RT - Yes, it's not that you're the wrong demographic, it's the lard factor. Cuban Bread = Lardy. Alex is right that you can decently perfect the technique, but you'll need to make it with a narrow loaf of bread or sub-rolls, sliced long ways in half.

As for pickles, whatever kind is closest to the kind that McDonald's puts on their hamburgers. Thin round slices, and NOT bread n' butter.

9:22 AM

Blogger Rootietoot said...

The lardy bread is baking, and I got hamburger chips for pickles. Pork roast is cooling. I'm thinking beer to go with, or start with mojitos then maybe iced tea. Hm. mojitos and tostones. This is getting complicated.

9:43 AM

Blogger SuperBee said...

Tostones con mojo de ajo! (Garlic oil sauce) Mmm. And to be honest, I've never drank a beverage with a Cuban Sandwich. I have no idea why... so I don't know what goes with them. That said, Stirrings has a good Mojito Mix (as does Bacardi in the Frozen Section) just rum, mix, ice, shake, soda water, voila! : )

And, if you don't have a sandwich press, heat two skillets (one iron) and use the iron skillet as the top press for the sandwiches. :)

11:43 AM

Blogger Alex said...

Bee, I been here plenty. Don't make me blush.

Root, sorry I didn't check sooner.
But you got it right, hamburger chips are perfect. Beer is good or malta (the Cuban root beer) if you can get it.

10:06 PM


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