Another Day, Another Sandwich

I was feeling a little under the weather yesterday (much improved today, thank you!) and my first inclination was a big bowl of noodle soup with lots of spice to knock back some of the congestion. But then I realized that a freak Indian-summer heat wave was sweeping through LA like a fiery plague of locusts, and suddenly the thought of boiling hot broth was less than appealing. I made this refreshing sandwich, ate it in the cool shade of my dining room, downed it with a tall glass of iced green tea (with lime wedge), and all was well.

Man, I just LOOOOVVVVE sandwiches!

There is a science to sandwich-making!

I made a sandwich with this lovely French ham, Genoa salami, sharp cheddar cheese, Maui onions, Jack Daniel’s honey mustard, homemade mayonnaise, tomato, iceberg lettuce, bread n butter pickles, and avocado on an lightly toasted onion roll.

Now, of course everyone can make a sandwich, but as with all things, I try to be thoughtful about the process. I have a few rules (frequently broken) when making a cold sandwich. The topic of ‘hot sandwiches’ is a horse of a different color.

I usually put mustard on the bottom because it’ll hit your tongue first when you bite into it, and having something a little piquant preps your taste buds for the savory stuff to come. I like putting the onion over the mustard because it’s a natural pairing, and adjacent to that something fatty, like the cheese or avocado. The acidity of the onions and the mustard is tempered by the fats.

Then goes the cold cuts or tuna salad or what-have-you, then I like the tomato and pickles near the top, sorta adjacent to the mayo or butter. The sweet acidity in the tomato blends really well with the creaminess of the mayo. Finally I often like the bread lightly toasted, because the whole thing “wakes up” when you have a juxtaposition of cold and hot.

So, my final assemblage, from bottom-to-top: bottom half of roll, mustard, onions, avocado, one slice of cheese, a slice or two of salami, more cheese, some ham, some salami, some ham, lettuce, another slice of cheese, a bit more lettuce, pickles, tomato, a little salt and pepper, mayo, top half of roll! Whew.

This might sound a little over-complicated, but the careful, thoughtful layering of ingredients in a sandwich can make a good sandwich into a great sandwich. That’s why this sandwich of simple ingredients was well-balanced and delicious!

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