Corollary 1: Soft fillings are best served on soft breads.
|soft fillings are best served on soft breads|
Corollary 2: When wet ingredients, such as tomatoes are used, a thin coating of mayonnaise, butter, cream cheese or oil should be applied to the bread as a moisture barrier.
|when using wet ingredients apply a moisture barrier|
[Corollary] 3: Avoid placing layers of slippery, slidy substances next to one another.
|avoid placing layers of slippery ingredients next to one another|
And [corollary] 4: Never, ever use a bread you wouldn't eat on its own.
|never use a bread you wouldn't eat on its own|
AB: Elton, are you familiar with the
expression "Best thing since sliced bread"?
AB: Well let me tell you something: Nothing in our collective culture has done more to damage the cred [credibility] of the sandwich than sliced bread.
E: Well, if it's not sliced, then how do you make a sandwich out of it?
AB: Well, the issue here is pre-sliced. You see, sliced bread goes stale really, really fast. And to counteract that, manufacturers have to add a lot of ... stuff.
E: What kind of stuff?
AB: Well, flip it over and take a look.
E: Calcium iodate monogly... Ah gosh, is this even English?
AB: Heh heh heh. Not really. And you know what the best thing is? You know what this stuff's mostly really made out of? [squishes the bag of pre-sliced bread up into a ball] Air. [hands it to Elton who tosses it into a cart]
AB: Luckily, these days most mega-marts are either importing bread from real bakeries, or they're installing bakeries in-house. Here, give that a feel.
E: Wow, it's hard!
AB: Yeah, firm. The good stuff almost always is. Ciabatta, foccacia, sourdough, sweet rolls, baguettes, bialys, all of this stuff makes great sandwiches and all deliver real flavor and texture.
E: Ah, but how are you going to slice all of it?
AB: I'm not. He is. Mind slicing this for us?
MB: Thick or thin?
AB: Ah, we'll go thick on everything but the Rye. We'll go thin on that.
MEGA-MART BAKER: All right.
E: Didn't you cover this in your toast show?
AB: You watch too much television. [exits]
E: [mocks AB under his breath]
The towering Dagwood
sandwich was named after
Dagwood Bumstead of the comic strip "Blondie."
AB: The history of the Sub Sandwich is
rather vague, although odds are good that it was introduced to America by
immigrants from Southern Italy somewhere around the turn of the Twentieth
Century. As for the name, well, some say that it was named at a deli located in
a town near a submarine base on the coast of Connecticut where they happened to
serve a sandwich whose size and shape matched that of the local livelihood. [a
large model submarine pulls away to reveal a sub sandwich]
E: Wow! Hey, Mom, can...
M: No, don't even think about it.
AB: Today we are going to manufacture a classic French sub called a pan bagnat, or "wet bread".
E: Hey, why does everything food have to be French?
AB: Cause that's just the way they want it. Now this ... this is a classic sandwich because it has 2 characteristics that we want to see in all subs: It's got a perfect balance of texture, it's got a perfect balance of flavor. And, there is a very specific method of construction.
M: You mean a recipe.
AB: Not exactly. Come on.
[the move to another counter where AB lays out some blueprints]
AB: Here we have a very badly constructed
sub. I mean, look at the circumference. A reticulated python couldn't get its
mouth around that. And see this? This huge bulge of shredded lettuce? That is a
big mess waiting to happen. And forget about the fact that these ingredients
don't go together. You know, ketchup, liverwurst. And look at this. We've got
this layer of cherry tomatoes over apples. That's not going to stay together on
repeated trips from plate to palate. It's a slip zone. In contrast, the pan
bagnat, ... excuse me [pulls out a new blueprint]
... Look at that. It's so perfect it doesn't even require
M: Actually ...
AB: Now if parents and children are going to cook together in harmony, there's got to be order! Every person involved needs their own work area, their own tools, and their own chores. I have taken the liberty of preparing your work assignments. Marsha, you gather Phase 1 software. Elton, you gather the hardware. Go Food!
[they take off]
AB: We begin with the sandwich dressing, which is nothing more than a simple vinaigrette. Begin by placing one-half teaspoon of Dijon mustard, that'll do, in a mixing bowl. Then whisk in one tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Very nice. One half teaspoon of kosher salt. Good, good. And several grinds of black pepper. Perfectly adequate. Now while Kid A whisks continuously, Parent B will drizzle in three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Slowly.
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
M: I'm hungry!
AB: Slowly. Slowly. Or else the emulsion won't form. The whole point here is to not overwhelm the liquid with the fat or we won't get an emulsion. But of course, having the Mustard in there is going to help because there are emulsifiers in the Mustard.
M: This slow enough?
AB: Slow enough. Keep whisking, kid. Now that we have the vinaigrette safely in the bowl, it's time to move to Phase Two: Construction. Our first order of business, of course, is to split this foot-and-a-half-long loaf of bread cleanly in half.
E: Hey, I'll do it.
M: Over my dead body!
AB: Uh, this is one time, just one, that I'm going to agree with your Mom, Junior Ninja.
M: Uh Huh.
AB: I think I'll take this one. Now the key to this kind of splitting is to work on the edge of the counter. Put your hand right on top of the loaf with your thumb WAY up in the air out of harm's way, and cut thusly. [cuts lengthwise down the middle of the bread]
AB: There we go. Now you take one
half. You take one half. Take a couple of fingers and just scoop out the middle
of the bread, going from one end to the other, so you've got a nice little
trench in there.
AB: Why? Well, I'm glad you asked that, Elton. Good question. What we're looking for here is a certain structural integrity. By hollowing out the middle we make a nice cavity for the innards, and this is going to make sure that the innards don't fall out later on, because they'll have a nice little place to cradle. It also means that we're going to have the correct proportion of filling to bread. And that is also very important.
M: Okay, well, fine. What do I do with this?
AB: Well, make bread crumbs or Fondue.
M: Oh! I love Fondue. I love Fondue!
AB: Yes. That's another show. Get back to work.
The dugout canoe maneuver should only be performed on hard crusty breads.
AB: And now we build by the master plan. We begin with a foundation of tuna. twelve ounces, in fact, drained and crumbled. You can use water-packed or oil, completely up to you. On top of that we have four to five thin slices, as in a third of an inch thin slices, of green bell pepper and red onion.
12 Ounces Canned, Drained
1 Small Green Pepper Sliced
Now if you don't think that your knife skills are up to it, just switch over and use either a V-slicer or a mandolin. It'll save you time and your fingertips.
AB: On top of that we go with two bard-boiled eggs. A complete strata, sliced thin. You ought to get about ten pieces out of that. On top of that, one whole cup of kalamata olives, pitted and chopped, of course. Your top layer? tomatoes. Four to five slices of very, very ripe tomato. Okay? Then drizzle on your dressing. And I do mean drizzle. If you just pour it on, it'll run over the sides and it'll be a big mess. You want it to permeate the layers, okay? Top that with your lid of bread and then we move to the next phase, wrapping.
2 Hard Boiled Eggs Sliced
1 Cup Kalamata Olives,
4-5 Tomatoes Sliced Thin
Drizzle On Vinaigrette
M: What happened to eat?
E: Yeah, I'm starving!
AB: Look, just, just, just trust me on this, okay. By wrapping it up we're going to compress the whole sandwich. And by letting it sit at room temperature—here, help me move this—room temperature for a couple of hours, not only will all the flavors meld beautifully, but the sandwich is going to stay together better later on, okay? So just go with me here. Take just some plastic wrap. I'm going to lay out two strips of this side by side. There's one and here's two. Okay? Here, hold that, Marsha.
AB: Be good for something. Okay. We're going to overlap the plastic, just a little bit, okay? Now tight is what we're after here. So I'm going to move the sandwich. I'm going to layer this over. And then just as tight as I can, I'm going to roll it up. I'm getting a lot of compression here and this is going to help to soften the bread and it's going to create a nice, cohesive sandwich so when we eat this later on, nothing is going to fall out. There you go. Now believe me, your patience will be rewarded.
The sandwich was
introduced to America in
1840 in Elizabeth Leslie's book "Directions for Cookery."
E: Wow! That is one righteous
M: Very nice, but you know what I really want? One of those pressed Panini sandwiches. Mmm! Those are good.
E: What is that?
AB: Panini. Well, it's actually Italian for "little bread", but in popular parlance it means a sandwich that's been cooked in a sandwich press.
M: Oh! Like the Sand-O-Squeeze 3000? I saw one of those in an infomercial. Alton, we've got to have one of those if we're going to make that. We have to.
AB: Okay. Well, I'll tell you what, Marsha. Elton and I will stay here and do all the prep and you run out to the store and get us one.
M: Me shop? Yah. Mmm. You know, I mean, since it's for the team, okay!
AB: It is for the team.
M: Yup, back in a minute.
AB: Oh, and make sure you get a left-handed one!
M: Will do.
AB: Bye-bye. Bye-bye. [she shuts the door] Elton.
AB: Let's cook.
[they jump to it]
AB: Now I'm not the kind of guy to tell
you that you have to have a Panini press, but if you were to buy a Panini press,
here are a few of the things you might want to look for. Observe. We have a very
large, rectangular cooking area that'll easily hold two sandwiches. It's a
non-stick surface, and it has ribs that are very, very closely grooved, and
that's good because that means more contact with the sandwich, and that means
more carmelization, and that means more flavor. Now the lid is heavy and it
swivels in the middle of the handle like this so that you know that it won't
squeeze or pinch even the thickest sandwiches. As for the controls, keep it
simple. Although I'd say that a variable heat control is okay, look at this.
This one's got a stop light and a go light. And that's just fine by me.
E: Hey, Unc, I got those ingredients you wanted.
AB: Excellent! Let's cook then.
E: Yeah. What's that?
AB: That? Oh, that's nothing. That's just a Sand-O-Squeeze 3000.
E: Hey, if you've already got one then why did you send Mom to ... I get it.
Many older waffle irons
feature reversible cooking
plates that can be used to press sandwiches.
One of the most popular pressed sandwiches on earth is the Cuban, a Floridian favorite that is packed with pickles, pork, ham and cheese. It's similar to the pan bagnat in that it displays a perfect balance of flavor and texture, especially when it's been squeezed. Now traditionally this is served on an oblong roll called a Cuban roll, but I've actually found that a plain old hoagie roll does the job just as well. And these are usually a lot easier to come by.
AB: Are we good to go?
E: Good to go.
AB: Let us go.
We start by evenly slicing our rolls in half. Well, don't break them all the way apart. Leave a little bit, a tab, holding the two sides of the bread together. That'll make folding easier later on. First we go with the condiment layer, mustard. We want that on each side and you can use as much as you like. Elton obviously likes using a whole lot. Smear it into the bread, and then layer on the ham. Just a thin layer on each side of the sandwich. Then the roast pork. Just kind of sprinkle it over if it's torn. You don't have to have perfect slices. Next up: the cheese. Provolone or Swiss will do and I go with two slices. And then pickles. You want to make sure you get a little bit in every bite. Go with big, kosher dills. Then simply fold and close.
Slice 4 hoagie rolls in half and spread each half with 2 Tbs. of yellow mustard. Top mustard with 1/4 pound baked ham, 1/4 pound roast pork, 1/4 pound thinly sliced Provolone cheese and 10 slices whole dill pickles.
E: Man, my mom would never let me eat anything that messy.
AB: Well, all you have to do is tuck the edges and corners like that. See? Now we can either wrap and refrigerate, or give it the squeeze.
E: Oh, I'll go crank up the press.
AB: Alp! No need my boy, I've made alternate thermal arrangements. Come.
[AB opens the oven to show 3 rectangular, foiled things on a sheet pan]
E: Oh. Let me guess. Square bread?
AB: Square bread. Tha ... No. Fireplace bricks. Six of them, heated at 500 degrees for an hour. I've got half of them wrapped in foil.
E: Are you thinking what I think you're thinking?
First step: butter up the bricks, the ones covered with foil. And just a little bit of butter will prevent sticking and help to promote the golden, brown and delicious that we're looking for. Then lay on the sandwiches and butter the tops. Then apply the top layer of bricks, still on the pan, of course, and leave for 10 minutes, or until golden, brown and delicious. And carefully remove using 2 spatulas. Of course, there's enough heat left in those bricks to cook something, but that's another show. Now slice the sandwich in half, and behold.
Brush With 1 TBS. Unsalted Butter Melted
AB: It's beautiful. Melted cheese, crisp
bread, everything pleasantly mushed. Of course you know if you don't want to
mess with the bricks you can always do this with your Mom's iron.
E: She'd kill me.
AB: Yeah, she would.
"Pasties," a sandwich consisting of a basic stew in a crust,
were developed for copper miners to carry to work.
AB: Parents? Do you have a hard time
getting your kid to eat vegetables?
AB: I know exactly how you feel. But don't worry. All you need is a kid-friendly delivery system. I'll start by heating your oven to 400 degrees. Elton, You've got chopping to do.
Adult Supervision Please!
Although the actual vegetables can vary depending on your taste, I like to start with one small zucchini sliced into thick rounds, followed by one red bell pepper, also cut into rounds. Now you could do this with a knife, or a mandolin or a V-slicer, just make sure you use the hand guard. I can't over-emphasize that enough. Last but not least, 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, mashed flat. You can just use the back of a heavy pan or skillet. Now once you've got all that stuff fabricated, toss it with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then lay it out on a sheet pan that's been lined with foil. And then sprinkle that liberally with salt. About half a teaspoon will do the trick. Then roast approximately 45 minutes. You're going to want to stir occasionally during the cooking process just to make sure that the heat is evenly distributed.
Toss the following with 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1 small zucchini, slice, 1 red bell pepper sliced into rings, 1 medium onion sliced into rings, and 4 cloves garlic crushed. Sprinkle with a pinch of Kosher salt and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Once the veggies are nice and soft, but brown around the edges, it's time to exit the oven and go straight into the food processor. This is where the foil makes things a lot easier. To this we will add one 8-ounce block of cream cheese. Lid up and go for a spin. You just want to pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped and the spread is homogenized.
Place roasted vegetables in the bowl of the food processor along with 8 ounces of cream cheese and process until well combined.
AB: How'd we do? Looks good ...
E: Mmm Hmm.
AB: Mmm. Tastes good. Now what kind of bread do you think we should put that on?
E: Um, something soft, but, you know, not too soft.
AB: Hence the saying: "Squishable spreads go on squishable breads."
E: Is that a real saying?
AB: It is now. Here, have a try.
E: Okay. Mmm!
My work here is done.
AB: This is a good sandwich.
E: Oh yeah, great sandwich.
AB: You know, sandwiches may be fast food, but also really good food. You know? And when you make them yourself, you know exactly what's going in them. And of course, by extension, that means you know exactly what's going into your kids. Which has got to be a good thing. You know, introducing kids to the kitchen isn't only a great way to make their lunch, it's a great investment in their future. One less hurdle for them to overcome once they have flown the coop for good. And should they return ...
M: Oh boys, I'm back. I've got the Sand-O-Squeeze 3000 but it's going to take all 3 of us to get it out of the car. Come on!
AB: Hey, at least they'll know how to make a sandwich. So, see you next time on Good Eats. Let's get out of here!
Transcribed by Mike DiRuscio
Proofread by ???
Last Edited on 08/27/2010