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Friday, June 19, 2009

The "All American Sandwich"

(some of my "must haves" on a sandwich in the above photo... This was a snack as I don't put crackers on my subs!!~ not yet anyway)

What is the "All American Sandwich"? I guess it will depend on where you live in the country. Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, all have their own special sandwich that is "All American". I'm sure that practically everyone has had a grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwich if they went to school in the U.S. I know my youngest son ate his share of peanut butter and jelly as well as grilled cheese. I don't think there is a sandwich I wouldn't try. Cole slaw on a sandwich? Sure why not? French Fries on a sandwich?....yeah, I'll try
that too!

When I was a student studying in Paris, I would go on picnics with my friends. A fresh baguette, still warm from the bakery, Swiss cheese, ham, and Dijon mustard was a great treat. How can one refuse a sandwich on a crusty baguette? When ordering some sandwiches, the French would use butter on the bread instead of mayonnaise. I must say that I liked the taste. My oldest used to eat ham sandwiches with butter too. Of course, Brad would eat a stick of butter if I would have let him.

My father has to be the all time peanut butter sandwich eater of the world! Even if he was going out to brunch with friends, his day would start with a peanut butter sandwich on toast and a cup of hot tea. I rarely eat peanut butter sandwiches, but when I do, I prefer the extra crunchy kind with strawberry jam! (Dad ate smooth). Delicious on toast for breakfast. I guess it runs in the family.

Sandwiches are a quick fix and can be nutritious and healthy, or they can be "down right" high in fat laden with cheeses, salami, and cold cuts of different kinds. Sometimes, I like a nice Italian sub with "the works"!! Olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, pepperocini, lettuce, pickles, and cucumbers. I like cucumbers on sandwiches. It gives a nice crunch, plus I like the taste of cucumber. On my sub (as we call them in the south), I like an oil and vinegar dressing with oregano, salt and pepper.

Today, I had a few cups of tea for breakfast, but had not had lunch. I remember my mom used to make fried egg sandwiches for us when we were kids. I still like them. I fried a few eggs over easy in butter, sliced some tomatoes and warmed them in the pan too. All I had was a hogie roll, so that was what I used for the bread. Swiss cheese, tomato, and fried egg sandwich. Just a little salt and pepper are all that is needed to adorn this treat. I must admit, I needed a fork too as I don't like my yolk cooked through. What a delicious lunch that brought back memories of my childhood.

Another favorite sandwich of mine is a vine ripe tomato sandwich on white bread with mayo. For some reason, whole wheat just doesn't do the tomato justice! I guess it is because of the childhood tradition. I don't eat as much meat as I used to, but a BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato) was another favorite sandwich for the summer. My youngest son, David, doesn't like veggies, so he would just eat a bacon sandwich with a few pieces of bacon on the side! :)

One of my favorite hot sandwiches is the Reuben. Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, and special dressing and bread spread! YUM!

So many varieties that I enjoy, so many new ones to try. ...and the breads? Pita, pumpernickel, white, lavash, whole grain, baguette, Italian, onion roll, etc... I like them all! To me, it's not the ingredients, but the BREAD that makes the sandwich! The heartier, the better!

So many varieties... and only 365 days in a year! That could be an interesting blog.... "365 days of sandwiches"!!

Sandra Gadd is like a sister to me. I've known her for years. We have spent many lunches, afternoon teas, dinners, etc... together with family. When ever our family would have a celebration of any kind, I would always request her Tortilla Roll-Ups. It's the kind of recipe that is great for a night of watching football with friends, bridal or baby showers, easy picnic dinner, or something to make ahead for the lunch box.

  • Tortilla Roll-Ups
  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 small can green chili peppers, chopped and drained
  • 1 small can black olives, chopped and drained
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 package large flour tortillas (8 to a package)
  • Picante Sauce
Put cream cheese in food processor with a few tablespoons picante sauce

Blend until smooth

Add remaining ingredients, mixing well

Spread mixture on each tortilla, dividing evenly

Roll up tortilla tightly and store in plastic bag for several hours or over night until firm

when ready to serve, slice into small pinwheels (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)

Serve with picante sauce for dipping

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar