Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not Your Average Sandwich! - 1st edition

For a change of pace, I'm going to take some time to take a look at some of the best sandwiches I've ever made or purchased. So, with the help of my trusty camera and brain, let's take a look at some creations that have come along. Because who doesn't love a good sandwich?

Ah, the sandwich. There's something so wonderfully simple about the sandwich. Anyone can make one out of whatever's at hand as long as they have some sort of bread product handy - that's pretty much the only "rule" that applies. Unless you consider the KFC Double Down a sandwich, and God help you if you do!

I think the vast majority of us can consider sandwiches the first thing we ever made; whether it was a sloppily assembled mess of PBJ that you put together to impress your Mom when you were 5, a tentative attempt at grilled cheese at 8, or an ingredient-crammed Peter Fox-style monstrosity to help fuel your rampaging 15-year old hormones. People who 'can't cook' can still make a good sandwich.

Now, that being said, there is still a level of sandwich making that goes a little above and beyond, usually based on a combination of ingredients and techniques. I like to experiment with "gourmet sandwiches" once in a while, but I'll admit that the best sammich in existence is the BLT, although I usually forego the L.

It's a fairly standard practice for me, when I have a morning off, to fry up 4-5 strips of bacon, toast some 12-grain bread, slice up a ripe tomato, pile the whole things together and finish it with a healthy dose of President's Choice Garlic Mayo and black pepper. Recently I pushed it a bit further and added onions to the mix. But not just any old onion! I had just finished frying up the bacon and there was all this wonderful bacon grease sitting in the pan waiting for some extra purpose. So, I sliced up some onion into rings and flash-fried them in bacon grease. YEAH! I also happened to have some delicious sourdough baguette from Bread and Sons bakery and topped it off with some of Chamomile Desjardins' Bluenose hot sauce, so it was indeed an epic sammich, as the picture will attest to.

Another creation was from an experiment in fish that I tried around the New Year. I've smoked fish, grilled it, baked it and pan-fried it. But there's one type I've never tried and that's gravlax. Now, the recipe (as shown in this recent post) called for 2 pounds, which is a LOT of fish for one person, something I should have considered before undertaking this recipe. In the end, I had to throw some out because I just couldn't eat it all before it went bad. I left some for my girlfriend, but she had a rather squeamish reaction. She's new to fish. Either way, next time I'll use a lot less or make sure I give some away.

But from this culinary experiment came a rather gorgeous piece of sandwichery. I picked up a loaf of fresh pumpernickel, some garlic and herb Boursain cheese, a vidalia onion and a fresh tomato (yeah, I like onions and tomatoes, who doesn't?). So after slicing up all the necessary elements, here's what I ended up with:

It was utterly delicious!

So that's the first edition of "Not Your Average Sandwich". Any contributions you can provide will be greatly appreciated, especially with photographic depictions.

Eat well!

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