Bites Guides: Make Great Sandwiches! (Part II)
Sandwiches are our business. We have been making them for 7 years and now we are sharing our experience an passion about them with this guide. Don’t miss Make Great Sandwiches (Part I)!
Make Great Sandwiches (Part II)
- Eat your vegetables. Not only because you’re supposed to do it. Vegetables add an element of freshness and crunchiness to a sandwich. They add texture and flavour, as well as make the sandwich more visually attractive. When it comes to lettuce, we urge you to stay away from the boring and predictable iceberg lettuce, which is rather dull in flavour. Instead, opt for a nice mix of leaves, or baby leaves. Baby spinach is wonderful with chicken. Rocket, adds a peppery flavour to the fillings, which works well with meats. sauteing your red onions will make them sweet and remove that strong onion smell. Avocado, full of healthy fats, is a major feature and request in sandwich fillings. Tomato slices should be cut thin, and not used if you are making sandwiches to be eaten the following day, as they make the whole sandwich soggy if left for a long time.
- Seasoning. A key part of the flavour comes from seasoning, be it simple salt and black pepper, or a sprinkle of your favourite herbs and spices. A combination of dry toasting sesame seeds, mustard seeds, celery salt and black peppercorns makes for an interesting spice. Ras el Hanut, the North African “house blend” also works nicely especially with chicken fillings. Try some micro herbs as well, which you can now easily get from local supermarkets.
- Heating. Of course you can change the whole dynamic of your sandwich by toasting it under a panini press, especially if you added cheese and wanted an extra crunchy touch. Be careful with a pan, as this can result in a big mess! Heating the ingredients enhances the flavours of some fillings, but beware, not everything is great hot; lettuce leaves for instance, aren’t great heated. Spinach on the other hand works well when cooked. You can also consider an open grilled sandwich, if you don’t have a panini press, but can use the grill on your oven. The idea is layer up your sandwich, back to front almost, without the last layer of bread, and put the cheese on top, so it melts down and covers the rest of the filling. For a vegetarian option, humous toasts really well, and is great with some grilled aubergine, tomato, onion, spinach, and even some avocado and a slight drizzle of sweet chilli sauce. Egg mayo surprisingly toasts well too, and is great with some grated mature cheddar mixed in.
- Presentation. If you are cooking for other people, how the sandwiches look and are presented to your guests can make the difference between a dinner and an experience. Cut the sandwiches in quarters so the inside filling can be seen. But this is a crucial moment when all the hard work is at risk. Be careful how you cut! Use a sharp serrated knife, or even an electric knife and cut your sandwich with a sawing movement. If you press down with a knife the fillings can easily fall out. Likewise be careful where you place your fingers, you don’t want pressure marks on the bread. Place them gently on the ends or corners, just to hold it in place, and let the sharp knife do the work.
- On the side: You can complete your sandwich with some salad or crisps. You can also be different, and serve it with a tasty seasonal coleslaw, or an alternative to potato crisps – baked kale crisps or why not some air popped popcorn.
That’s all, friends. Now it’s your turn to experiment with new flavours. We are sure if you follow our Make Great Sandwiches! Guide you can get really good sandwiches to impress people with. If you do, please share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We want to see what you can do! And if it is particularly good and you would like to share the recipe with us, we may feature it on our menu as a special and put your name on it!