Salute to Sandwiches

You, my friends, are in for a wonderful treat.

This is my fiftieth post and I’d like to celebrate by combing  this week’s photo challenge (the theme is Happy) whilst at the same time honoring one of my favorite things to eat, yes, sandwiches. Although I feel like I’m cheating because my picture last week was of a sandwich, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me happy too. This post is a long time coming, I’ve been documenting different sandwiches for the past few months so I’m happy I get to do them justice with such a commemorative post. If I had to pick one food that I had to eat for the rest of my life it’d be sandwiches. Some of you may say that’s cheating because sandwiches offer endless possibilities, but that’s exactly why I’d pick them. If you told me I had to only pick one kind of sandwich to eat for the rest of my life I’d say, “This game is stupid!” and I’d run away.

 

Sandwiches can be fresh, toasted, grilled or pressed. They can be made in-between bread, rolls, bagels or even pancakes. Sandwiches can hold meat, vegetables, fruits and fish. Don’t even get me started on condiments and spreads, if you’re only using mayonnaise or yellow mustard on your sandwiches you are limiting yourself! There are endless possibilities to sandwiches and I think that’s what makes them so wonderful… that and the fact that I get my daily craving for chips and a pickle fulfilled when they accompany the sandwich as sides.

This post is going to explore six different, simple sandwich recipes good for any time of day. The sandwiches I’ve chosen have many similarities yet obvious differences that let each one stand out in it’s own way, I bet you never thought you’d learn so much about sandwiches did you? After the sandwiches I will share a wonderful bread recipe and two top notch sides that you can enjoy with every sandwich. Homemade chips and pickles are the perfect way to accent your masterpiece, and they’re not challenging to make.

Without further delay, let’s get to the goods.

Fried Egg Supreme Sandwich

This glorious creation is one you’re either going to love or hate for a few reasons, the first one being fried egg. Some people aren’t egg people, just like some people are not bologna people. Bologna is the second reason you’ll love or hate it. I wouldn’t eat raw bologna to save my life, but fried bologna is a deliciously red-neck way to make my day. Listen to me people, especially those of you who are like, “Omg ew, that’s like totally disgusting!“, don’t knock it until you try it. If you honestly can’t bring yourself to buy or fry bologna then get ham.

When your frying your egg, get the bologna (or ham, you wuss!) in the pan as well. Pop your bread in the toaster while you cut your tomato and prepare the lettuce and cheese. When everything is done (the bologna is done when it’s browned and curled) stack this deliciousness on top of itself and get ready to enjoy every last freaking bite. I like to put the cheese in-between the hot egg and hot bologna to melt it a bit. You could butter your toast or what I’d do is put some Dijon mustard on there. This is a wonderful sandwich for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

Grilled Ham, Cheese, Apple and Spinach

This treasure is truly one to behold. Grilled Cheese is fantastic to begin with, so any little extras you throw in there can only make it better. I used cheddar cheese, because that is the kind we always have in the house. I’ve also made this with provolone and swiss cheese, both are excellent choices and of course taste differently than the cheddar. Make sure your spinach is washed before adding it, as well as your apple. I used Granny Smith, but any kind will really do. Before assembling the sandwich I spread dijon mustard on the inside of the bread and sprinkled a little bit of dried thyme on it as well, the outside of the sandwich was buttered, just like you would with a normal grilled cheese.

A note about grilling sandwiches: The biggest mistake you can make is overheating the pan before putting the sandwich on. I like to assemble my sandwich inside of the pan before turning it on, by doing this I’m making sure the sandwich will slowly heat up and brown while also melting the cheese inside. If you put the sandwich on a pan that’s too hot the outside of the bread will burn without allowing enough time for the cheese inside to melt- which is the whole point, right?

Zucchini Pancake and Egg

Yeah, I did it, made an egg sandwich with zucchini pancakes as the bread. Quite similar to the Egg Supreme this sandwich lacks meat and lettuce. Instead I put some spinach on the bottom to accompany the tomato and cheddar.

Although this is almost identical to the first sandwich it proves an important point- that bread and condiments make a difference. This one tastes completely different than the first because of the zucchini pancakes, I used leftovers from the day before and simply heated them up in the toaster. I take advantage of when I use pancakes (or waffles) as bread by switching up the condiments and spreading butter and pure maple syrup on the inside of the sandwich. This makes it a bit sticky during the eating process so make sure you’ve got napkins!

Panini Crepe

The panini crepe requires a bit more work than the other sandwiches, and yes, technically it is a wrap rather than a sandwich, but I said a few posts ago that I would share this as well. You’ll need to make a crepe first. I halved the recipe I have already shared, it was the perfect amount to make one large crepe for this wrap. After the crepe is done cooking set it to the side while you scramble some eggs and shred some cheese. I also had some left-over bacon that I threw in, although that got lost within the wrap and you can’t see it in the picture.

I wrapped everything up in the crepe, like you would do to a burrito, and then I pressed it in my panini press. If you don’t have a press, you could probably fry it for a bit on each side in a pan. I would be harder to have to flip it, but it’s definitely doable. I enjoy smothering it in maple syrup or dipping it in hollandaise sauce… aka heaven.

Roast Beef and Chicken

Does this little gem look familiar? The best part of this one was the homemade roast beef. We cooked it a few days earlier for dinner and then after one night of left-overs sliced the rest nice and thin to enjoy on sandwiches. The chicken was average cold-cut chicken, but still quite tasty. Another little twist to this sandwich was the spread, instead of mustard or mayonnaise I decided to spread some hummus on the toast instead. It was an outstanding choice.

A note about hummus: I didn’t really have a “thing” for hummus until this year, but oh boy do I love it now. I used to think it was too bland and didn’t have any taste. That, and maybe because everyone was pushing it as a healthy snack it just turned me off of it in general. I do prefer seasoned hummus though, with something like garlic or roasted red peppers. Anyway, it’s excellent to use as a spread and definitely healthier then mayonnaise!

Thanksgiving: To-Go

I saved the best for last, of course. Half of the reason why I think it’s the best is because it’s in-between two pieces of homemade rosemary bread. Everything about this bread is amazing, and if you have a bread maker it is the easiest thing to make. To make this beaut you’ve got to start by toasting the bread, if you don’t toast it you’re gonna have a bad time. It’ll turn this incredible experience into a soggy mess, nobody wants that, I certainly don’t want you to go through it.

Ingredients for this bad boy depend on two things: if you’ve celebrated Thanksgiving recently, and what left-overs you have… left…over. I can’t believe I don’t have mashed potatoes left because they would certainly be on there, they almost act as a paste to hold everything together, you can see my peas and stuffing are trying to jump out.. What I had to work with was turkey, stuffing, peas, gravy and cranberry sauce. I added cheese as well of course, I believe cheese is a fundamental ingredient when it comes to sandwiches. Use the cranberry sauce as spread and you will not be disappointed. Out of all of my leftovers cranberry sauce is actually the thing I have the most of (homemade with real cranberries- duh) so I will definitely be using it on my turkey sandwiches until it’s gone. This sandwich is best served warm so be sure to heat up the turkey, stuffing, potatoes (if you’ve got ‘em) and gravy before assembling.

Rosemary Bread

I make this bread in a bread machine, I’ve never attempted bread by hand so I don’t know how much the recipe would differ to do it by hand (if it would at all). So I’m sorry I can’t be much help in that department. To make this bread follow the instructions that come with your bread machine (most times you’ll need to add the liquids first and the sugar and salt separately from the yeast).

You’ll need the following:
1 cup water
3 tbsp olive oil
2 ½ cups flour (all purpose)
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp fresh rosemary (optional)
¼ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp dry yeast

The original recipe calls for just one tablespoon of dried rosemary. I’ve made this bread several times now and decided recently to add more rosemary. You can definitely taste it (and smell it… mmmmm) with just the one tablespoon, but I like rosemary and had some fresh on hand so I decided to add more and it was a great choice. I still don’t think it’s overpowering by any means, but it can be your call and to your taste. Set it to the “normal” or “white” bread cycle, I usually set the crust as “dark”, but light or medium are also good.

Homemade Chips

These puppies are super simple and simply scrumptious! They are time consuming though, that doesn’t mean they’re hard to make, they just take a while to cook.

You’ll need:
A saucepan filled at least halfway with canola or vegetable oil.
2-4 potatoes washed and sliced
salt and/or pepper, to taste

Heat your saucepan up while you slice the potatoes, this amount is for one to two people, so if you’d like to make more you’ll need more potatoes. You’ll know when the oil is ready when you flick some water in and it sizzles. Drop your sliced potatoes in the pan and let the oil do the work. Unfortunately I didn’t time this last time I did it, I’d say it takes from 10-20 minutes for the potatoes to brown like this. When they’re done I like to lay them on a paper towel for a moment to get most of the oil off. I then toss them in a big bowl with salt (and pepper, or other herbs and seasoning of your liking if you choose, I’m a straight-up salt girl, myself.).

I’ve seen online, and tried myself doing this in the microwave. The cons I’ve found with that method is that you can’t make as much at one time and they burn easily and leave a nasty smell in the microwave/house. If you’d like to attempt this you can use a cooking spray (like PAM), spray a plate, lay the potato slices in one layer on the plate and then spray the slices. Put them in the microwave and nuke them for five minutes. Keep an eye on them. They may need more or less time depending on the power your microwave gives off, but once they start to burn they go fast, so keep that in mind.

Hot, Garlic Pickles

These pickles add a whole new meaning to the word “addiction”, and “pickle” for that matter. The longest I’ve gone this past year without one of these pickles is two weeks. Other than that I’ve been enjoying them on a daily lunchtime basis… for an entire year. They’ve gotten rave reviews across the board, and I’ve even been told that their juice is excellent for caesars. They are unlike most pickles because they are ready to eat the next day, while most take several weeks or months to actually pickle.

You will need:
6 mini cucumbers
6 garlic cloves
2 jalapeno peppers
2 hot peppers **
3 cups water
1 ½ cups white wine vinegar
2 tbsp salt
4 tsp pickling spice
This recipe will make two 28 oz jars (we use old applesauce jars).

Bring the water, vinegar, salt and picking spice to a boil in a saucepan. While that’s heating up slice the cucumbers lengthwise (we cut them into eighths, one time we cut them into fourths and noticed they didn’t get as spicy), thinly slice the peppers and garlic as well. If you want peppers that aren’t as hot, try not to add as many of the pepper seeds. Divide the recipe up evenly so that 3 cucumbers go in each jar, 3 garlic cloves in each jar and one pepper of each kind in each jar. Put some garlic and peppers in before you put the cucumber slices in, and then stuff the rest of the garlic and peppers all around the cukes. It’ll be a tight squeeze. When the water mixture is boiled fill each jar to the top and tightly seal the lid. Put them in the refrigerator overnight and they’ll be ready by lunchtime the next day. The longer they sit in that jar the hotter they’ll get!

** We’ve used several different kinds of hot peppers for this. It differs depending on the season and what stores have in stock. We’ve used habanero (if you use this only get one pepper and put half in each jar- they are super hot), red and green chilies as well. The original recipe calls for yellow chili peppers.

Well that’s that. If you made it all the way to the end of this post, I commend you, it was a long one. Hopefully you learned a few new things and are excited to try a new recipe. I know I’m ready to eat.

And lunch was never the same again…

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