“We used to just call it ‘bread-’n-something’!” some may think when they see the well-filled sandwiches you can buy in bakeries and cafés these days. And those takeaway breaded snacks don’t come cheap. Our tips and a recipe will demonstrate how versatile these mini meals are and how to best prepare them at home.
From the Queen to stockbrokers: Everyone loves a sandwich
The most famous sandwich is probably the classical British cucumber sandwich as served for afternoon tea: white toast without the crusts, with a little butter and thin, salted cucumber slices. New York has its famous pastrami sandwich involving two thick slices of white bread and plenty of finely sliced pastrami (smoked beef ham). In France, they make croque monsieurs: two lightly sweetened brioche-like slices around cheese and cooked ham, baked golden brown in the oven. In Italy, everyone loves their tramezzini: toast without the crusts cut into triangles and filled with variations of lettuce with mayonnaise, ham or even cooked mushrooms. But in Germany, the sandwich is still regarded as just a quick snack or a boring packed lunch. How wrong we are!
Healthy, quickly prepared and very versatile
The good things about a good sandwich are obvious: It doesn’t take long to prepare, it’s practical to eat and there are so many variations that you need never get bored. You can enjoy the classical version with toast, but you can also use wholemeal breads such as juicy sourdough bread or variations like Turkish flatbread or Indian naan.
And as a topping, you can use anything that tastes good: cold roast, tofu strips, thin fruit slices, various types of cheese and sausages and also sweet toppings with honey, fresh goat cheese and berries. And don’t forget different kinds of lettuce, herbs and sprouts. To make everything hold together and to make the sandwich taste even better, you can use classic ingredients such as butter, mustard or mayonnaise, but also vegetable spreads, pesto or even barbecue sauces and chutneys. Well-filled and well wrapped in greaseproof paper - extra beauty and stability points for tying it together with string -, the sandwich is a perfect companion for everyday adventures, be it hiking or shopping, office lunch or a rural picnic.
Recipe: Pastrami Sandwich Deluxe (for 2 Sandwiches)
4 large slices of white bread
1 large carrot
1 spring onion
10 slices of pastrami
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. coarse mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika powder
A little lemon juice
A few squirts of tabasco
4 leaves of oak leaf lettuce
2 tbsp. herb mustard
2 tbsp. fried onions
1. Cut the carrot and spring onion into fine strips and lightly brown them in a little oil in the pan, then take them out. Toast the bread slices in the grill pan from both sides.
2. For the dressing, mix mayonnaise with coarse mustard, paprika powder and lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and tabasco. Now spread the mayo-and-mustard mix onto the lower slice of bread and cover with lettuce and pastrami. Place the cheddar on top and put it under the grill for a few moments. Garnish with carrot and spring onion strips and fried onions and place the second slice of bread (covered with herb mustard) on top.
Variation: Instead of pastrami, you can also use other savoury types of meat such as juniper-smoked ham. Vegetarians can replace the pastrami with 2 slices of fried almond-and-nut tofu.