There’s more to making a sandwich than slipping something between two slices of bread. There’s an art to it, and we went to the pros for help. Follow their advice and you’ll have one tasty sandwich. Master their advice, and that sandwich just might be elevated to a sammich.
“Don’t be afraid to experiment with unique combinations for your own signature sandwiches,” said Chris Martone, the executive chef for Subway restaurants. Jeff Mezzetta, president of G.L. Mezzetta Inc. and one of the judges in the company’s Make That Sandwich contest, agreed that a little fiddling can reshape the sandwich landscape. What’s becoming popular is a salty/spicy/sweet combination in sandwiches, he said.
“A good (sandwich) combination is any meat that goes with goat cheese or feta, and roasted peppers and diced kalamata olives. You put that in a sandwich, man that’s good.” Chef Martone shares his tips for making sandwiches:
Dos and don’ts for sandwich-making
Don’t start a food fight: Ingredients should complement one another. Combining too many complicated ingredients or too many contrasting flavours will cause your ingredients to fight it out, with no clear winner.
Don’t use bread with an attitude: Bread that is too tough can make eating your sandwich a messy chore. Do use cucumbers: They are great for adding texture and crunch and for the cooling effect they have on spicy ingredients.
Do keep your cheese away from the bread: If the cheese is next to your bread, without anything separating them, it can get absorbed into the bread and you will lose the flavour and texture of the cheese.
Do allow great tastes to get together: Always have your sauces touch the proteins (meats, fish, cheese). .
Do choose the right ingredients: Always choose great quality ingredients to make great tasting sandwiches.
Apricot and fennel sandwiches (makes 4)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 star anise
2 sticks cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, roughly crushed
6 apricots, pitted, quartered
1/2 bulb fennel, sliced thinly
4 slices country bread
1/2 pound ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1. Combine sugar, water, star anise, cinnamon and crushed pepper in a saucepan; heat to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat; simmer for two minutes. Add the apricots and fennel. Heat to a simmer; cook until the apricots are soft and the fennel has just a slight crunch, about 10 minutes.
3. Grill or toast the bread on both sides. Spread the ricotta on each slice; top with the apricots and the fennel.
4. Finish with the pistachios; season with the salt and pepper to taste. Cut into halves.
From Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich Into a Meal, And a Meal into a Sandwich, by Tom Colicchio