The Sandwich, the most commonly eaten type of cuisine the world over, the sandwich is basically two pieces of bread with a filling of some sort, which has evolved over the centuries, to delicious bites of goodness (Goodness as in Naughtiness)
The name itself is from John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich a place in rural Kent, South east England. But history shows that early Jews already had meat and salads wrapped in unleavened bread as sandwiches.
But never the less the Sandwich has taken various forms the classic,two slices of bread with a filler, The Club(house) Sandwich , 3 slices of bread with fillers, The wrap, a large flat bread wrapped up with a filling, the most common the burrito.
The Bread, Sliced, Toasted, White, Brown, Wholemeal, Pita, Tortilla, Ciabatta, Baguette, Bloomer, just to mention a few variations,
The Spread: – Butter, Margarine, Mustard, Mayonnaise, salad cream a nice chutney etc
The Filler, Lettuce, tomato, cheese, meats, eggs, poultry and cured meats etc
Then you have the classic combinations, Ham & Cheese, Egg Mayonnaise, Roast beef and horseradish, Chicken and bacon, BLT (bacon lettuce and Tomato) Prawn Cocktail peanut butter & jelly.
But my favourite would be the toasted sandwich, come rain or shine, the toasted sandwich with melted cheese is the ultimate, the Americans love the Cheese melt, the Italians the Panini, The British, White Sliced bread or the Breakfast bap, with bacon the French love a Baguette, and the south Americans a Burrito.
A Sandwich can be eaten any time of the day without any prejudice, break lunch and dinner, Ideal for picnics, children’s parties, weddings, and even quite posh as afternoon tea.
Afternoon teas, was initially served at 4.00pm it was a small meal between lunch and dinner, which consisted on tea with little cakes and pastries. But now in Restaurants and Hotels round the world, afternoon tea, consists of Teas, sandwiches pastries and in some cases Champagne.
Here is an example of the menu at the 5* Luxurious Dorchester Hotel:
The Dorchester Afternoon Tea begins with savoury finger sandwiches. Crusts are removed from fresh baked white and brown breads and the delicate slices are filled with smoked salmon, egg, chicken, cream cheese and cucumber. Warm scones arrive next, made from a recipe unchanged at The Dorchester for over half a century. They are served with glistening strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream. The final course is the pièce de resistance, the platter of cakes and tartlets.
- A selection of finger sandwiches:
- Cucumber with cream cheese on caraway seed bread
- Egg mayonnaise with shiso cress on white bread
- Chicken with wholegrain mustard mayonnaise on basil bread
- Smoked salmon on granary bread
- Warm raisin and plain scones from our bakery served with homemade strawberry jam, a seasonal jam and Cornish clotted cream
- A selection of French pastries
- A selection of our especially selected grand and rare teas
So whether you are making a quick lunch, or making a picnic, think of how luxurious you can make it, the premise is simple, The best form of bread, a nice spread and as much fillings as you can
One of my Favourite is a Croque Monsieur, simply a Ham and melted cheese sandwich topped with Caramelised Cheese sauce.
Till next time
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for bread
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 500ml whole milk
- 125g cup grated Gruyere cheese, plus 8 slices
- 125g cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 thick slices rustic bread
- 12 slices ham
- Dijon mustard, for bread
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Add milk; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking frequently, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add grated cheeses. Whisk until melted and smooth.
Butter bread. Arrange half the slices, buttered side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Top each with 2 slices Gruyere and 3 slices ham. Spread mustard onto unbuttered sides of remaining bread. Place on top of ham, buttered side up.
Preheat broiler. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Cook each sandwich until golden brown and cheese melts, about 5 minutes per side. Return to baking sheet. Spoon 1/3 cup sauce over top of each sandwich. Broil until tops are bubbling and golden brown, about 3 minutes.