tips for outstanding sandwiches

This was an article my aunt mentioned to me that was in the Providence Journal. I think that Will Hageman and Chris Martone have been reading my blog….

Tips for outstanding sandwiches
01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 16, 2010
By William Hageman

Chicago Tribune
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 the Subway restaurant chain. He shared a list of dos and don’ts for making sandwiches.

Jeff Mezzetta is president of G.L. Mezzetta Inc., purveyors of olives, peppers and other specialty foods. He’s also one of the judges in the company’s Make That Sandwich contest (makethatsandwich.com), which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. He agreed that a little fiddling can reshape the sandwich landscape.

“You have the celebrity chefs and all the cooking shows, and people had been eating out when the economy was good. Now people are not eating out as much, but they still want that creative product at home. So by adding a few items, you get that creative adventure, even with that sandwich you bring to work every day.”

“You know what the most popular sandwich is in this country?” he asked. “Grilled cheese. The sandwich that won (the 2008 contest) is called Spanish-style grilled cheese. Slices of French bread, Manchego cheese, serrano ham or prosciutto. We add roasted pepper strips, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika and some parsley and a panini press. That one we made at probably 12 to 15 (restaurant) shows; every time we made it, it was a huge hit.”

What’s becoming popular is a salty, spicy, sweet combination in sandwiches, he added.

“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. That combination of feta cheese and roasted peppers is delicious, then you add the kalamatas, you get that sweet, spicy goodness. And salty.”

What’s on the menu?

The current top-selling sandwiches at Quiznos:

Oven-roasted turkey with Cheddar: turkey, Cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo.

Classic Italian: ham, salami, pepperoni, capicola, mozzarella, black olives, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, red wine vinaigrette.

Mesquite chicken: chicken, bacon, Cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, ranch dressing.

Dos and don’ts for sandwich making

From Chris Martone, the executive chef for Subway restaurants

•Don’t start a food fight: Ingredients should complement one another. Combining too many complicated ingredients or too many contrasting flavors will cause your ingredients to fight it out, with no clear winner.

•Don’t use bread with an attitude: Certain breads are great tasting and have a nice crust, but they’re not always the best choices when it comes to stuffing them with your favorite sandwich ingredients. Bread that is too tough can make eating your sandwich a messy chore.

•Don’t forget that some ingredients just don’t get along: While bread is one of the most important parts of a sandwich, it can be an overpowering bully to some of your ingredients.

•Do use cucumbers: Cucumbers are not limited to those tiny tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off. They’re 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 flavor and texture of the cheese. This is especially true for highly seasoned breads and soft, mild and delicate cheeses.

•Do allow great tastes to get together: Always have your sauces touch the proteins (meats, fish, cheese). Sauces and condiments are meant to enhance the flavor of your protein and work best when they are together. If not, you might not get the desired taste sensation.

•Do choose the right ingredients: Always choose great quality ingredients to make great tasting sandwiches.

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