Saturday, 16 November 2019

The Saturday list #241 - My ten favourite sandwiches

There are two types of sandwich. There are the ones wrapped up in plastic, soggy with gloopy mayonnaise, cold and tasteless, that you buy in supermarkets. And then there are proper sandwiches, which are a delight and if you are lucky, I will make you in my kitchen. Before we get stuck into the fillings, lets talk about the bread. Firstly a proper sarnie doesn't have the horrible sliced bread you get in bags in supermarkets. They have proper bread. In Mill Hill, the tiger loaf, freshly baked from Wenzels is a good starting point. Slice it to a size of 1cm. I don't do dairy for health reasons, but for the purposes of this blog, Lurpac or Anchor butter should be used. And also, lets get into what accompanies them. Personally I like a nice cup of tea. Coffee has too strong a flavour and numbs your tastebuds, especially if it's got that horrible gunge on top that you get in coffee shops. If you eat anything whilst drinking a drink with added sugar, you will stop your tastebuds working properly, so it has to be tea or water, to fully appreciate these. My studies have shown that some food work better with toasted bread and some need freshly cut bread.

1. The Bacon and Tomato.
This was my Dad's piece d'resistance. You need the best quality smoked bacon. I'd recommend going to see Mr Gerard on Daws Lane. It should be enjoyed, so three rashers. Get a plum tomato and slice half of it thin and fry with the bacon. Toast the bread until golden brown. Add pepper. This really is the best sandwich known to man.

2. The Falafel, Avocado and Tomato.
Having taunted the veggies and vegans, here is one specially for you. I used to work on Leman St and there was a little cafe called Lemans. One day, I saw they had a 'Special'. It was falafel and avocado. I was intrigued. It was topped with  chilli and garlic sauce. I can honestly say that it was the best sandwich I've ever had in a cafe. It became imperative to recreate this tasty delight. Here is my take on it. You need Marks and Spencers falafels, You can be lazy and microwave them, but they are far better fried in sunflower oil. Whilst frying them, add some grated garlic and fry it till slightly brown.
 When the falafel skin is crisp, put between two slices of freshly sliced bread. Then add some smashed avocado, some thinly sliced tomato, add pepper, the fried garlic and finish with some Nando's medium Peri Peri sauce.

3. The classic cheese and pickled onion.
There are cheese sandwiches and there are cheese sandwiches. My abiding image of the supermarket ones are soggy, gloopy and generally disgusting. But it doesn't have to be this way. I don't do dairy, but allow myself cheese on special occasions. I always make sure it is weapons grade when I do. The classic cheese sandwich has the finest, extra mature cheddar. Buy the cheese from Borough Market. Cut it to around 50mm. Slice a pickled onion and add on top and there it is. Use freshly cut bread.

4. The Snutberger sandwich.
Back in 1981, during the False Dots Scandinavian tour, I discovered the Snutburger. We were playing the Pub Bastun in Aland, and the only dish they served was the Snutburger. This is a slice of thickly cut finnish salami, a slice of good cheddar, placed in a bun and microwaved. It was delicious. I have modified this classic. Use toasted bread and thick cut Hungarian Salami. Add a thin slice of cheese and microwave on 800 watts for 40 seconds (or until cheese has started to melt). A little pepper is also nice.

5. The Sausage and mustard sarnie.
Again a classic. But you need proper sausages. I'd recommend the Cumberlands from Gerard. Whilst you are there, pick up a jar of Dijon mustard. A simple classic. Use freshly cut bread.

6. The Mushroom and Roquefort.
I was a vegetarian for 16 years. This was perhaps the thing that kept me sane. Dead simple. Get some field mushrooms, slice them thin, fry them and put them between two slices of freshly toasted bread. Sprinkle some Roquefort on top. Bliss.

7.  The Prawn Sarnie.
A special for all of the Manchester United fans who read the blog! Much as Roy Keane has maligned the Prawn Sarnie, and much as the ones covered in gunge are disgusting, there is no reason that this should be anything other than a delight. Use toasted bread, get a bag of Iceland cooked prawns. Fry them up for 3 minutes in olive oil, slice in some chilli and grated garlic. Put between the slices and Bob is your mothers brother. Magnifique!

8.  The fish finger sarnie.
This is our Saturday morning treat. It is a cause of consternation, as Mrs T prefers the huge M&S jumbo Fish fingers, wheras I prefer the Birds Eye ones. They fit the aesthetics of a sandwich far better. Simply fry them up, place between two slices of toast and thinly slice a gherkin on top. Simple and delicious. Three fish fingers is the ideal portion. They should be cooked until the skin is crispy.

9. The ultimate smoked salmon sarnie.
Of course my Jewish friends insist that Smoked Salmon really should only be taken with a Bagel and they are probably right. However I do love smoked salmon and capers between two slices of freshly sliced bread, with liberally applied Lurpak butter. Yummies Deli in Mill Hill Broadway do excellent fresh smoked salmon and if you prefer Bagels, they do pretty good ones. As a heathen, I love the onion bagels to be toasted.

10. The ultimate omelette sarnie.
This is a really quick and tasty treat. Whisk up an egg, fry in a small pan and add some diced ham and grated cheddar. Cook until firm an the cheese has melted. Simply add to two slices of buttered bread. A good non meat alternative is a few pieces of smoked tofu.

I am considering making a series of videos showing just how quick and easy these are. What do you think?


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