Communicator, cooker, drinker, poet. Grew up in a mining town, wore a hard hat.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Club Sandwich Made Well

There are many things I appreciate about North American greasy spoons. The club sandwich isn't one of them. You know how there are some dishes that even the sketchiest of restaurants would be hard pressed to screw up? You guessed it, the club sandwich isn't among them. You can screw up a club sandwhich alright - and how. I was reminded of this when I ordered the "flagship" turkey club at a greasy spoon somewhere in Orillia on my birthday. Limp iceberg lettuce, mayo in little packets on the side. I dare not recall the horror in further detail. As for the matter of my being in a greasy spoon in Orillia on my birthday, that's a story for another time.

Clubs are the boyfriend's favourite sandwiches, so I made a couple for us last night. Follow these rules and you'll be just fine.
  1. Don't use cold cuts. Like EVER. Use yesterday's leftover chicken or turkey, or cook a breast especially for the occasion.

  2. Layer, you haven't got a choice. I hate sandwiches that fall apart and that's what you're bound to end up with unless you work with three pieces of bread. When building a club sandwich, you're an engineer. Test the viability of your structures on a sample sandwich before applying your blueprint to the whole batch.

  3. Speaking of working with bread, skip the standard loaves and splurge for something gourmet. I tried a lovely olive loaf yesterday and it was worth the slightly outrageous price.

  4. Spreads! Each piece of bread should be spread generously with something. A lovely Dijon, or something spicier if you prefer. If you're die-hard for mayo, you could opt for Dijonnaise. Marmalades and jellies can be interesting as well, just remember not to complicate the taste of your sandwich too much. You've already got tons of ingredients coming together in your masterpiece and need to be wary of a clusterfuck (pardon my French).

  5. Make sure your vegetables are fresh - a rule that applies to all recipes. Limp lettuce is the worst. My preference is romaine, tomato (thinly sliced) and avocado. Simple but classic.

  6. To toast or not to toast, that is the question. In my opinion, it's really up to you. Depends on the bread, depends what you like.
We had ours last night (untoasted) with curry cream of asparagus soup and tabouleh. As per usual, there was too much food.
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