Some Recent Sandwiches

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.

Blork's Italian Club Sandwich on Flickr

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.

Blork's Lobster Roll on Flickr

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!

14 thoughts on “Some Recent Sandwiches

  1. Ahhhh the club. I’m no big fan of Pancetta but I prefer my bacon on the not-so-brittle side also without the middle slice of wonder. What’s always mystified me is why are they always prepared with breast meat only? It’s dry and bland (most of the time) why not thrown in thigh and legs which are so much tastier.

  2. But Dave, you haven’t had MY pancetta. ;-)

    I think one of the reasons why they typically use breast meat is that it’s so easy to use. When disecting a roasted chicken, it’s really easy to pull of the breast in one piece and then slice it. Using other parts is more labour intensive, and besides, those parts are better used for chicken dinners. As in, roast a chicken, eat the legs, thighs, etc. for dinner, and use the breast for sammies next day.

    And BTW, if the breast isn’t overcooked (which it often is) then it’s not so bland. In fact it can be pretty darn good. (Check the photo; nice thick succulent bits. Mmmm.)

  3. Well that’s true,I’ve made a club with the remnants of a beer-can roasted chicken and well those are just plenty juicy and tasty.

  4. I used to make beer can chicken but it got too messy with the beer cans, plus I almost never have a beer can. Now I make Christopher Walken chicken (minus the pears).

    I have one of those “Eiffel tower” things, and it basically does the same job and is reusable. I’m not convinced that the specialness of beer can chicken is due to the beer. I think it’s due to the upright position of the bird while roasting. Christopher Walken chicken is cooked in that same upright position. Plus I usually jam an onion in there, and whatever else inspires me at the moment. In winter I do it in the oven. I summer I do it on the BBQ. Super easy; 400 degrees for an hour. Bingo. Spectacular chicken. Mmmm-mmm!

    I just wish I could remember where I got the Eiffel tower, cuz I’d like to get another one.

  5. Well my mother uses that support Eiffel tower thing and at the base puts white wine instead of beer and makes for even more awesome chicken. Upright chicken , I dunno, just BETTER.

  6. You bought and boiled one Lobster? One? No buddies to take the final plunge with? No fellow “chicks” whistling & screaming & twitching alongside? – Barbarian!

  7. Shockin’ dat is, shockin b’y…

    For your consideration –

    I picked up 10 Lobster a couple of weeks ago when they were on sale most everywhere for under $7.00 a lb. Used our PC Points & so almost free!

    Got all the coral (eggs) and the tomalley(liver) – which I understand to be considered a delicacy by some, but have enjoyed eating from the bodies left discarded by all I’ve ever had Lobster with – and mixed this together with pretty much the same ingredients you used for the Roll and had the most amazing “Maritime” bagel spread!

    We had a old-fashioned feed the first night and reserved the leftover meat. A couple of nights later we put together Lobster Enchiladas covered in a rich & creamy but hot, (as in cumin & chili peppers ) Red Enchilda Sauce.

  8. Hey don’t forget the Lobster Caserole in between the two other meals. Yum!!!!!!

  9. Hey Blork:
    I’m with you almost all the way with your lobster roll except for one important thing. The pickles can’t be sour –they need to be sweet. Otherwise they impair your tastebuds to appreciate the succulent dainty sweetness of the lobster. While the salty dill is a mainstay for Montreal Smoked Meat, the sweet is essential to any mayo based sweet meat sandwich like lobster, shrimp or chicken. Try it and you’ll see.

    I tried my first one at the Maine Lobster Festival and it was sublime. ~patti

  10. Whoa, that looks SO GOOD! I guess I am definitely having vegetarian angst but Christ, when is the party and what is the address


  11. Yumm. I love club sandwiches, although they’re always too big for my mouth and hurt the roof of it if the toast is too crunchy. But they taste great. (This is definitely turning into a food blog, and you’re making me hungry!) I’m still dubious about grilled pizza, though. We’ll have to try it!

  12. Thanks, folks!

    Patti, that’s a great tip about the pickles. It probably explains why I was incline to save the pickle for the end. I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

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