Monday, April 4, 2011
The Sandwich Issue
Have I mentioned how smitten I am with Pear Vanilla Jam? A dollop warmed in the microwave and eaten with ice cream is pure heaven, and I am planning to use a pint of this today to make a pear gingerbread upside down cake (I know, doesn't that sound good!).
But the very best way to eat any jam is on a slice of toast, and that is how I (we, I AM sharing) mostly eat this jam. My favorite bread to eat it with was this oatmeal, raisin and pecan loaf. Jam on toast is the simplest open faced sandwich. I am a big fan of a good sandwich, and have whole heartedly embraced the open faced sandwich.
We Americans have our PBJ (and our iconic hamburger sandwich). The French have Nutella, and of course, a chocolate and hazelnut spread is pretty hard to beat. My kids were pretty impressed when they were first introduced to it (by a French teacher) and it's been in our cupboard ever since -though I did periodically threaten to stop buying this luxury for them when I would catch them with a spoon making a full-meal-deal out of a jar of Nutella -it is a bit expensive for that!
A slice of Irish soda bread with a smear of butter and freshly grated horseradish, alongside corned beef and cabbage pot leftovers, is humble fare, but its taste is out of this world. We grow horseradish, and in both the fall and spring dig up the roots, peel and grate them (the fumes can be quite overpowering), put it in a wide-mouth pint and cover it with white vinegar. It never lasts long, since we all add it to all sorts of sandwiches and sandwich fillings. I could go on and on about sandwiches -from the simple fried egg sandwich (the survival food of farmers everywhere) to the Muffuletta sandwich of New Orleans; from a Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich (my favorite) on a French roll to a tofu and alfalfa sprout sandwich on whole grain bread- the scope and variety of the world of sandwiches is never ending.
So naturally, I was pretty impressed with the latest issue of Saveur -the Sandwich Issue. It is so fun! Sandwiches from around the country, around the world, humble and hoity, simple and over the top. I had a hard time choosing a sandwich from the many featured in this issue (Cubano, Fried Calamari, ....?) to make first. Instead of following one of the recipes given, its inspired me to make classic Italian-style meatball sandwiches this week -beef and pork meatballs, covered with the just the right amount of spaghetti/tomato sauce, served on a soft (but not too soft) sandwich roll, with a bit of Parmesan sprinkled on top. I know it's going to be really good.