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to build a better sandwich
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1
continued from page 2
condiments that bind
Of course, no sandwich
is complete without the all-powerful condiment, which not only helps
keep the bread and ingredients nicely bound together, but adds a good
dose of flavor as well. Now, when most people think sandwich condiments,
they think mayo vs. mustard (maybe Miracle Whip, though personally, I
find this last somewhat scary and vile). There's a reason mayonnaise and
mustard have become sandwich classics -- they do a great job of helping
your sandwich stay together, and they keep for a good long time in the
fridge. As long as you're using real mayo and a quality mustard (I like
a country-style Dijon mustard myself, the good strong kind in which you
can still see the lovely mustard seeds), these condiments can be pretty
But there's also a whole world
of condiment goodness that lies beyond the familiar mayo and mustard.
Hummus and cream cheese come in an array of scrumptious, ready-to-use
flavor variations and are both perfect for slathering onto sandwich
bread. Using guacamole, pesto, tapenade, or cranberry sauce can
transform a boring sandwich into something worthy of the schmanciest of
gourmet sandwich shops. Just about any dip, sauce, chutney or spread can
be co-opted for use in a sandwich; get creative with your condiments,
and you'll never have to eat a boring sandwich again.
So you've gotten
inspired; all stocked up on the ingredients for your fabulous gourmet
sandwich, you're ready to start putting that baby together. Before you
start laying things down willy-nilly, here are a few tips on proper
sandwich building technique…
The first step, of course, will be cutting two slices of bread for
yourself (assuming you're using a loaf, that is). Use a proper bread
knife and be generous with your slices; each one should be between
½" and ¾" of an inch thick, substantial enough to support
all your sandwich fillings and provide plenty of yummy bread chew.
For each slice of bread, spread on a nice even layer of your chosen
condiment or condiments -- not too thick, not too skimpy. You want
enough mayo/mustard/whatever to bind the sandwich together, but not so
much that even the tiniest bite into your sandwich would cause the
condiments to ooze out and down your fingers.
Building atop of one of the slices of bread, layer on your greens and
heavier veggies (red peppers, cukes and the like).
Add your main filling (cheese, meat, whatever). If the filling
ingredients are flat, you'll want to try to create some volume if at all
possible. Having whisper-thin slices of meat or cheese will make this
easier; instead of just slapping down each slice, try to twist and fold
the slices to give them more height. I don't know why this makes the
sandwich taste better, but seriously: it makes a big difference.
Finish off with any light veggies (sprouts, herbs) and a good sprinkle
of freshly ground black pepper. Pop on the second slice of bread, slide
the whole thing into your favorite plastic container, and look forward
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