I‘ve been eating some nice lunches over the past few weeks. I though I’d share a couple of them with you.
First is what I call my “Italian club sandwich.” I suspect the idea of a club sandwich is rather unknown in Italy, but here in North America we can call anything “Italian” as long as it has some Italian sounding ingredients. So be it.
The club sandwich has fallen out of favor in some circles, despite it’s being, as American writer James Beard once called it, one of the “greatest sandwiches of all time.” The reason for its decline is that too many are made badly, overly big, and bearing substandard ingredients. Nigel Slater, in his first book “Real Fast Food,” informs us that the original club sandwich used only two slices of bread, not three. He also provides a few rules that one is wise (although not obliged) to observe: “the toast and bacon slices should be crisp, the chicken moist from a freshly roasted bird, and the mayonnaise homemade or Hellman’s at the very least.”
Check, check, and check.
My version was a triple-decker, although next time I’ll not bother with the middle slice. It used a pretty standard whole wheat bread (toasted) dabbed with a bit of Hellman’s mayo (not too much!) that has been lightly infused with a bit of Dijon mustard. To be precise, the bottom layer used the mix. The middle layer was straight mayo.
It went like this, from the bottom: toast with Dijon-mayo, leftover BBQ chicken breast meat, toast with mayo, cheddar cheese, house-made pancetta (that’s the Italian part), thinly sliced tomatoes, arugula lightly dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (that’s somewhat Italian too), and finally another piece of toast (lightly buttered). Salt and pepper were used in various places (the chicken, the tomato, the arugula.)
You may notice there are only three segments to this finely quartered sandwich. That’s because I ate a segment before declaring it so good I need to photograph it.
The second sandwich I want to show you is the lobster roll I made on Friday. It started with a lobster (duh!) that I boiled myself. I think that’s the first time I’ve boiled my own lobster. (We don’t have lobster very often.)
I followed a pretty standard New England lobster roll method, with the exception that I used a bigger roll instead of the soft hot dog bun that one finds used along that coast. Note however that whatever you use, it is important to use a soft bun; a dense or overly crispy bun will completely ruin the experience.
In my case it was simply a matter of combining the freshly cooked lobster meat with some mayo, a light touch of Dijon mustard (do you see a pattern here?) a few drops of lemon juice, and some finely diced celery, green onions, and red bell pepper. I buttered the rolls, lined them with some crisp, fresh lettuce leaves from deep inside the head, and spooned in the lobster mix. Served with some thick cut potato chips and dill pickles from Moishe’s, it was simple and delicious!