Sandwiches are a Brie-ze

Simple, accessible, filling, and delicious (if made well). I find myself sometimes overlooking the sandwich option for lunch because over the years I was inundated with sub-par (haha, SUB-par) versions – peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese on white bread with mayo, boring tuna, etc. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with those sandwiches. It’s just that making them for lunch every day through my younger school years became just like the Top Ramen of my college years – sustenance abuse! So naturally, I started avoiding them. And then the whole Subway/Quizno’s thing started getting huge and the next thing you know fancier, bigger sandwiches were being created FOR me! However, should I really have to pay someone else to make me a SANDWICH? Honestly? A SANDWICH! I dare to challenge society and the very Drive-Thru principles we live on, and go back to making my own! Power to us, my sammie sisters (and brothers)!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I never make anything simple. Or small. Go big or go… hungry! Therefore, in keeping with the sub sandwich-makers ideals, I throw anything and everything I want onto my bread; the taller the better! That way, I satisfy my hunger with a delicious sandwich comprised of as many fresh ingredients as I want, but I don’t have to spend all my hard-earned money on one measly meal. When I’m feeling especially Subway-ish, I’ll even pop open a soda or flavored water (for the no-calorie option) and add a side of seasoned pretzels or homemade potato chips (see THIS post); really, any snack from Trader Joe’s will do, too. I love mine on multi-grain bread or handmade artisan rolls/baguettes of all flavors and varieties. We usually put a thin layer of mayo and a good amount of dijon or brown mustard. I select cheese like swiss, provolone, pepperjack, or a combination of more than one, and use meats like honey-smoked turkey, roast beef, roasted ham, bacon (also like multiple choices at once). Sliced jalapenos, chili peppers, or pepperoncinis are a must, and of course I always include tomato, romaine, pickles and avocado. I like to use a big booming announcer voice when I tell Jeremiah and Ryley the SAAAAANDWICHESSS are ready!!

The good old fashioned traditional “sammich” (as I used to call them) is always a great choice, but just for kicks we’ll sometimes change it up and imitate ones that we’ve seen on menus and online or enjoyed somewhere once before. Yesterday we had roast beef on leftover french baguette with this perfectly awesome horseradish white cheddar I found. I have my grilled tuna at work with tomato, avocado and melted swiss, and then dip it in A1 sauce (sounds crazy, but it is ridiculously delicious!). At home I take the tuna right out of the can and simply mix in some chopped green apples and a little mayo for a clean crisp flavor that complements it in a unique way. I turn a normal ham sandwich into a hot cuban by adding different flavors of ham, bacon cooked in my Small Ridged Baker to remove more of the grease and fat, and/or prosciutto (or any other squealing meats in my fridge), pickles, cheese and mustard. I already mentioned a steak sandwich made from leftovers (HERE), and I once made a vegetarian pita that was overflowing with veggies and joy! Seriously, we’ll try anything at least once just to keep it interesting. We are big fans of sammies that are so huge and superfluous they have crazy things falling out with every bite. Well, I am, anyway. I’m not sure yet if Jeremiah enjoys picking pieces of avocado and jalapeno off the plate and popping them in like bonus snacks nearly as much as I do.

This morning I cleaned out the fridge and realized I had not one, not two, but THREE blocks of brie cheese! Every time I go to the store I see it and think about how nice it would be to enjoy some (of course forgetting that I thought the same thing at the store the week prior). Jeremiah had a fabulous turkey and warm brie sandwich at a nearby resort (we had a two-fer coupon, woohoo!) a month or so ago, and I figured that could be an awesome way to use the cheese before it goes bad. Trying to avoid the hassle of a store trip before lunch, I improvised and used leftover shredded chicken and the only bread we had at the moment: whole wheat (which is always a good choice, but I would’ve preferred foccaccia or something fun for this one). Usually brie sandwiches have some sort of “sauce” or ingredient that will flavor the sandwich in some way. I’ve seen fig jam, cranberry sauce, honey mustard… and in my fridge I found the apricot preserves from when I failed at coconut shrimp (THIS post). Perfect! It added a nice bit of sweetness without overpowering the other components. On my Small Bar Pan, I layered some prosciutto on top of the chicken to add some depth and keep the chicken from drying out in the oven, and then threw on some fresh spinach leaves when I took it out. I debated about adding tomatoes to brighten the whole thing up a little, and decided to add them even though it worked without as well.

I absolutely loved it, and I loved even more that I was able to put as much brie as I wanted (I put a full layer with 5-6 pieces on the bread, whereas the resort put 1 or 2 slices in the center only). That’s the beauty of making your own meals. Not only is it fresh, better for you, and much cheaper, but it’s always exactly how you want it! Burger King eat your heart out, I have it my way every day! So go ahead, don’t be skurred… grab two slices of bread and slap whatever you want on it! You now have my full permission (since I know that’s what you were waiting for) to make every meal, even the simple ones, spectacular!

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About thelovecatway

My blog says it all. Go back, go back!!

2 responses to “Sandwiches are a Brie-ze”

  1. Little Green Village says :

    Yes, I was put off by having the boring versions of the sandwiches you mentioned, plus tomato, which always was soggy by lunchtime.
    You have some great suggestions for interesting and tasty sandwiches

    • thelovecatway says :

      Thanks! There’s so many different ways to put together a great sandwich! BTW, when I take lunches (work, picnics, etc), I keep the very juicy pieces like tomatoes and pepperoncinis in a separate bag, then build it right before eating. Or de-seed the tomatoes so you only have the firm part without the drippy middle. 🙂

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