Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oh How I Do Love a Good Sandwich

I sat in a culinary class last Monday at the culinary school I will be teaching at in the spring. After I talked to them for awhile, they went over their lab information for the prior week with their instructor on salads. He then introduced the topic for the next week, which would be sandwiches. It got me thinking about my favorite sandwiches. The class will be making my absolute favorite sandwich, the Monte Cristo, but I have so many other favorites as well. I figured I might share a few with all of you and the recipes for making them.

As I already introduced the Monte Cristo, I figured I should share the information on this sandwich first. A Monte Cristo is pretty much a ham (although some people use sliced turkey or chicken) and cheese sandwich between two slices of French toast. That is the most basic description, but there is a proper way to make the sandwich, at least in my opinion. Instead of just tossing the meat and cheese between two slices of old French toast, you should assemble the sandwich between two slices of good quality bread (I use sourdough). I also like to put some raspberry mayonnaise on the bread. Using the same batter I would use to make French toast, I will dig the entire sandwich in and then pan-sear the sandwich in some clarified butter. Some people will deep-fry the sandwich in the same manner, but I'm not that glutenous. People will often serve the sandwich with some melba sauce (which I use in the mayo instead) or some syrup.

The Croque Monsieur is another favorite, in fact I had one for dinner tonight with my mother who is visiting from out of town. It is almost the same as a Monte Cristo, in fact many people say the Montecristo evolved from the Croque Mousier sandwich. This sandwich is a French classic. It is simply two slices of bread, (I use sourdough here again) with some lean ham (I like to use the uncured Niman Ranch (non-cured, non-lean ham haha) and some Gruyeres cheese. I will often add some high quality whole grain French mustard to the sandwich as well. The sandwich is then pan-seared in some clarified butter until golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. This sandwich has direct derivitives, such as the Croque Madam which has a fried egg on top, a Crouque Provencal will have tomato in it, a Croque Auvergnat will use blue d'Auverge cheese instead of Gruyeres and there are a few others.

Another favorite is a classical Italian sandwich made with buffalo mozarella, prosciutto di Parma, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, with a drizzle of olive oil, pressed and grilled in a panini press. Some people will call this a caprese sandwich, referring to the traditional Italian salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil called a Caprese salad.

Down in New York city, and I think in San Francisco and Las Vegas as well now, Tom Collichio has a line of sandwich shops named Wichcraft. Some of the most ridiculously good sandwiches and other breakfast and lunch items you will ever have. One of the sandwiches that I must order for breakfast every time I go shares inspiration from yet another salad, which is the classical French frisee salad. The sandwich consists of frisee greens, fried eggs, bacon and Gorgonzola. You have to puncture the egg to get the full effect, much like the salad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally Love Sandwiches Too... All These Sandwiches are awsome.... I'd love to have them right here in front of me....... yummy yum yum.......

You " RoCk "
As Always Patty

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