Sandwich 101 ~ Never Make A Boring Sandwich Again

by Maria on March 23, 2010

This weekend we got a sneak peak of what spring is supposed to look like.  It was beautiful!  We spent as much time as we possibly could outside, which means we even threw a blanket out on the grass and ate dinner outside.  We probably would have fired up the BBQ if I had thought about defrosting meat earlier in the day.  I am glad I didn’t because deep down what I really wanted was a sandwich.  Now, I’m not talking about the kind of sandwich you throw together for lunch or smear with pb&j.  I am talking about a deli style delicious sandwich.

To be honest, I can hardly stand to eat a regular sandwich that isn’t decked out with delicious veggies and condiments.  I think that stems from the summers I spent working road construction when I had to pack a lunch everyday and just slapped some meat in between two pieces of bread–blah!  That got old really fast.  With that said, lately I find myself absolutely craving sandwiches. (No. I am not pregnant)

I have learned a few tricks over the years that make my sandwiches yummy.  You may already know these same tricks, but after eating my delicious sandwich this weekend, I felt I must share , just in case no one has ever given you a lecture on Sandwich 101.

Maria’s Sandwich 101

Bread: Start with a yummy bread that you wouldn’t normally eat on a daily basis.  There are so many awesome breads now days.  I say pick your favorite and you can’t go wrong.  I cringe at the thought of putting all white bread into my body, but I make an exception on occasion in the name of a good sandwich.  I love the little skinny french bread loaves my grocery store sales in three packs. Regular french bread is good too.  I also love a good whole wheat loaf.  Never been to big of a rye or sourdough fan, but you go with what makes you happy.

Meat/Cheese: I love a good smoked or honey turkey.  Get something at the deli that looks yummy to you.  Have them slice it really really thin.  Baking your own chicken or turkey with some good spices and then slicing it would be awesome.  Swiss and provolone cheese go great with turkey and ham.  Ham is also good with cheddar.  I don’t really like cheese on my sandwich but I know a lot of people think it is necessary. Again just pick your favorites.

Veggies: I personally think red onion, tomato and something green (lettuce, spinach, sprouts) are necessary components for the perfect sandwich.  But you can do what you want. Cucumber, shredded carrot, olives, peppers ect… are also really good if you have them.

Okay…so you’ve got your bread, meat and cheese.  Now let me tell you what I think really makes the difference between a good sandwich and a, “that is the best sandwich ever” sandwich.

:: Spread mayo thinly on both sides of the bread.

:: Put a drop of mustard (and I mean drop) on each side and spread it into the mayo so it turns a very pale yellow.

:: Put your cheese and meat down. Don’t lay the meat in flat slices. Fold it or bunch it up. (Okay, this step may not be completely necessary, but I think it makes it more exciting and yummy looking.

Crucial Steps: These are the secrets, people.

:: Put the thinly sliced red onions right on top of the meat. You should also always do this on your hamburgers. Onion and meat were made for each other and it really brings out the flavor of the meat to have the onion right on top. It will not taste the same if you put the onion on last.

:: Lay the tomato slices on top of the onion and drizzle lightly with olive oil and vinegar. I prefer red wine vinegar or balsamic. I use half a teaspoon each of vinegar and olive oil. I just pour a little in the cap and then drizzle it on. Nothing ruins a sandwich like soggy bread. You only need a little. Now, the reason we are drizzling it on the tomatoes instead of waiting until we are done building our sandwich is because olive oil brings out the best in a tomato and vinegar has a special effect on them as well. The perfect sandwich is all about bringing out the best of each participant.

:: Sprinkle the salt and pepper next and a pinch of OREGANO…the oregano is crucial. You only want a little. You don’t want to over power it. Most sandwich places wait until the end to sprinkle the sandwich with salt and pepper. I say hit it where it will do the most good….and I personally think that is on the tomato.

:: I like to finish the sandwich off with spinach or sprouts.

:: On the side you need good old plain ‘Lays’ potato chips and a big pickle….ahhh…Perfection.

You may all be a little concerned that I could be so intense about a sandwich. You may also be thinking things like: I hate mustard, I only eat miracle whip, onions are gross. One of the three foods my husband turns his nose up too is mustard, and guess what, he LOVES it when I make these sandwiches. Just go out on a limb this once, just for me.  These few adjustments to regular sandwich making will change how you feel about sandwiches and you just might start having sandwich night on a weekly basis…..in fact I think Saturday just became Sandwich Saturday at my house.

I would love to hear what your favorite sandwich is and your secrets that make them delicious.

P.S. My friend Rebecca told me about an awesome salsa recipe she got off of The Pioneer Woman’s blog and HELLO!  It is delicious.  I have already gobbled up one batch in less then two days and bought enough ingredients to make three more batches.  Um….I kind of like it. (If you aren’t into spicy salsa make sure you get the mild Rotel and don’t use all the jalapeno seeds.)

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

vonnie March 23, 2010 at 5:43 am

This sounds so good. I take sandwiches to work all week. This will change it up.
Thanks for the recipe. Italian salami will be wonderful with the oregano.

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maria March 23, 2010 at 6:30 am

Oh yeah! Italian Salami would be so so tasty with oregano. I forgot I have som pepperoni in the fridge that would probably work too. Is it lunch time yet?

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Destri March 23, 2010 at 5:54 am

I love sandwich’s. I take rotisserie chicken, slice up the breast a bit, put it on a plate and melt a piece of swiss or provolone cheese on top in the microwave. I put it on toasted wheat bread with mayo, sliced avocado, and salt and pepper. So Good!
Love your ideas, and you totally crack me up…

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maria March 23, 2010 at 6:31 am

Did you say avocado? I am sold. That sounds so good!

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Tina March 23, 2010 at 6:19 am

Mmmmm…. I was just telling Hubby the other day how much I am ready for Spring and some picnic sandwiches. I can’t wait to try your version. I have never used oregano! You are defintely my kind of cook…it’s all in the details! Some of my favorites?
I like to make pesto mayo for mine. It’s heavenly.
Roast beef with red onion, horseradish mayo and provolone cheese.
The Rollover: Toasted bagel, egg salad, chipotle mayo, slice of cojack. AWESOME breakfast sandwich.
And my fav? Chicken and brie sandwich: Chop plum tomatoes and saute in pan with balsamic and olive oil. Wrap foil around the pan handle and put in the oven at 350 for about 7 minutes until the tomato mixute is soft and liquid is absorbed. Shred chicken breast on sliced baguette, top with tomato mixture, spinch leaves tossed in balsamic and sea salt, and sliced brie. Spread the top half with a mixture of mayo, minced garlic and dijon mustard. I serve this all the time in the summer and people love it!
Also…my severet to the most wonderdul toasted sub sandwiches? Marzetti’s cole slaw sauce. Yes….for realz!
I can’t wait for spring!
Best,
Tina

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maria March 23, 2010 at 6:32 am

Tina, you are a sandwich genius. These all sound so good. I love all the little details. It really does make such a difference. I have got to try that chicken and brie one sooner then later. My mouth is watering. Thanks

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Jess March 23, 2010 at 7:26 am

I am old fashioned I love ham and provolone on rye with mayo a little bit of deli mustard and cole slaw.

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Maria March 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Cole slaw, I think I’ll have to try that. I have only had cole slaw on a bbq sandwich but I think it is time to broaden my horizons.

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Jileen March 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

I just ate my most delish sandwich for lunch! I personally like wheat bread but if I am going all out it would be sourdough. I like hickory turkey, mayo, lettuce, tomato, swiss cheese and raspberry jelly. If you haven’t tried a smear of raspberry jelly (strawberry or cranberry sauce is pretty good too) you must try. Perfect blend of sweetness with the mayo on a turkey sandwich. I’ve also made some yummy sandwiches by mixing a little red wine vinegar and garlic salt and pouring a little over the tomato on a club sandwich. Yum!

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Maria March 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Never would have thought about the jelly. But I can actually almost taste it just thinking about it, and it is making my mouth water.

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Margo March 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I am not much of a sandwich fan myself. But now that I read your post, perhaps I see why. I get so bored with the meat n’ bread approach. When I do enjoy a sandwich, I agree, the bread is a large component of MMMMMMMM factor. Another thing I love to add is banana peppers. Yum! I too like to use spinach instead of lettuce.

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Maria March 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I am telling you, minor tweaking can make a run of the mill sandwich taste like a million bucks. And amen to the banana peppers.

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Shasta March 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Nothing quite like Albacore with diced pickles, onions and mayo. Toast the bread, add tomatoe, lettuce (green leaf) salt and pepper…YUMMMMMM!

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Maria March 23, 2010 at 7:08 pm

oohhh, that does sound delish! I also put diced celery in my tuna with pickles and onion. But I must confess, in tuna I really like miracle whip.

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beth March 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Okay, here’s my secret: Cavender’s seasoning. Put this on any sandwich and WOW!!! Amazing!

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Maria March 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I’ve never heard of that. What is it, and where can I get some? :)

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Cate O'Malley March 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Sandwiches seem to instantly herald the onset of Spring and picnics. I love all sorts of sandwiches, but particularly ones with gooey, melty cheese. Yum!

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destri's mom March 25, 2010 at 5:44 am

I’m still waiting for the answer on the Cavender’s seasoning.
I have to know what that is.

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SuzyQ March 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Toast it. That’s all I have to say. If it isn’t peanut-butter-and-something, toast the sucker!

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