Breakfast Sandwich/Breakfast Roll

Today, all of our friends, all friends, is a two-fer.  Today we did both the Breakfast Sandwich (and how!) and the Breakfast Roll. As these are remarkably similar ‘wiches (you heard it here first, y’all), we opted to combine the two into one utter delight.

The breakfast roll is a convenience food in the UK, a gentle sausage, cheddar and egg sandwich on a soft roll, though we used an english muffin because we are but the American-est of rubes. We threw together (ok, poured over the sandwiches, separately) ketchup and some Lea & Perrins worcestershire to sub for the HP sauce. Ok, ok, ok, I know we’re getting off track here, authenticity-wise, but YOU AIN’T PAYIN

ok I’ll try to bring it down, sorry I keep getting so combative

MOVING ON, the reason that we are only middlingly authentic is because, again, we literally combined the two sandwiches into one. So we fried up some sausage (hooray!) and a few over-mediums, and shredded some of the world’s yummiest (and most accessible!) sharp cheddar, the Tillamook vintage blah-blah cheddar on top. Wow, dudes. DUDES. instead of a dang ol’ pleeb slice of cheese, shred it.

I swear to god, somehow it makes it 9824579375987.9 times tastier. We may have covered this before.

Impressions:
The Vicomtesse of the Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato: Quite pleased! Not the finest of all sandwiches, I wanted the sausage patty to be a little more intensely meaty-spicy (ew, why am I always so gross) but the eggy-cheesy-english-muffin-y portion was fabulous, and as always, the worcestershire & ketchup combo is the tops. For, in the most traditional of Ameritravesties (that probably doesn’t work), the combining of the two sandwiches made one that, for me, was just a little better than ok!

Her Eminence of the Italian Deli Sandwich:
It seems like Her Most Emanant of Eminences liked it, and NOW IN HER OWN WORDS:
Delicious. Breakfast + sandwich = magic. I liked the sautéed mushrooms very much and I was pleasantly reminded of how delicious ketchup is on breakfast foods. Two thumbs up!

thank you one and all

see you next time

Bocadillo

Today we cover the stalwart Bocadillo, native to beautiful España (Spain) and is one of the most versatile sandwiches in our repertoire.  The Bocadillo is traditionally made with many different fillings, including Jamón (which is Spanish for “more delicious Ham” (as if such a thing is possible (it is))), omelet, squid, pork, and the list goes on and on.  However, what Bocadillos traditionally do not have are condiments.  Instead, you rub the bread with a cut tomato or drizzle it with olive oil, or both.  The lack of drippy and perishable condiments makes the Bocadillo the ideal travel sandwich.  Just stuff one in your bag and go!

Sandwiches! Is there anything they can’t do?!

Predictions:

We both thought these would be pretty delicious.  We decided to make two kinds, a squid bocadillo and a jamón and manchego bocadillo.  I was into the squid idea as there is literally no seafood on Earth that I will not enthusiastically consume.  I was also into the jamón and manchego idea because DUH.

Preparation:

So, let’s talk squid for a second, y’all.  It is a leeettle beeeet gross to work with but it is very easy to make.

Simply chop it up:

Then sautee the squid in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  It cooks up very quickly.

The jamon/manchego is pretty self explanatory.  We used a mixture of prosciutto and legit jamon (FROM SPAIN and consequently VERY EXPENSIVE). (Ed. note: : ( )

To prep the bread, cut a tomato in half and rub it all over the bread.  Then drizzle on some olive oil (the higher quality the better).

Impressions:

These were…ahhh…underwhelming.  I think this may be the biggest disparity between our expectations and our actual thoughts about the sandwich.  It was NOT, however, the worst sandwich so far… that honor goes, of course, to the Baked Bean.

Here’s where we think we went wrong.

First, too much bread!  Hollow that sucker out before you get your tomato/olive oil on. (Ed. note: like we did with the Bauru.)  I think I may have also made a poor bread choice when shopping for this sandwich by getting a bigger (hence less crispy) baguette instead of two smaller ones.

Second, squid, though delicious, is not the best sandwich filling.  A bit too slimy.

Third, CONDIMENTS! I know that condiments are not traditional, but man would this sandwich have benefitted from some aioli.  But, as I object very strongly to inserting my cultural expectations into another culture’s traditional sandwich preparation, I think a lot of the need for condiments would be mitigated by less bread.  Or maybe a more ripe tomato?

However, there was one thing we did very, very right:

This wine is the absolute jam.

Do we immediately want to eat another of these sandwiches?

Nah, but perhaps with modification they could be outstanding.

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato

Oh lordy, here we are. As the Vicomtesse of the Bacon Lettuce Tomato, and as a frequent partake-er of the Bacon Lettuce Tomato, I cannot tell you the anticipation with which we finally made it to the straight-up BACON portion of the List.

For this sandwich, we returned to Simpler Times of frying a royal s-load of bacon and assembling with high quality sourdough, red leaf lettuce, and a perfectly thick slice of an heirloom tomato (thin-sliced for Her Eminence, but who’s counting [?]).

That was about a third of the bacon that we cooked. I think we all (Her Eminence and myself plus a guest star!) had something like five ecstatic pieces each. You know, like religious ecstasy, but with fatty pork sides.

Her Eminence made a good go at making some mayonnaise, but it was scrapped in favor of the perfectly delightful Best/Hellman’s mayonnaise, for which I admit a terrible foodie-incongruent weakness. Her Eminence toasted her sandwich and I left the bread fresh, and realized my haaarrible mistake only 11/12ths of the way through bacontown, OH WELL!

Impressions:
Her Eminence: MMMMMMM
The Vicomtesse: also MMMMMMM, it’s a BLT, what do you think

But seriously, it was not Quite As Good as some of the BLTs I get out in the real world (on a rather regular basis, it is absolutely a go-to if I am unsure of the menu). I am having a hard time figuring out what to attribute this Not-Quite-As-Good-ness to, and my only guess is an abundance of bacon that perhaps overwhelms the other basic, but totally essential ingredients. I believe the BLT not to be a delicate sandwich, but one of a balance that, like any lovey food, is quite crucial. It should not be a thick sandwich, but a perfect one, if that makes any sense.

All the same, life is awesome and so was eating a bunch of bacon piled high on a delicious sandwich. YEAH

Do we immediately want another? Categorically, my fellow sandwich-adoring friends.

Have some cats in boxes. What a bunch of doofs!

Beef on Weck

Beef on Weck is a regional delicacy hailing from beautiful Buffalo, NY.  Buffalo, NY, is rust-belt town notable for many things: hot-wings, proximity to Niagara Falls (and consequently, Canada), a football team, SUNY Buffalo, and extremely inclement weather.  In fact, the coldest her eminence has ever been was in Buffalo, NY, because she had the incredible wisdom and foresight to visit in Winter.  SO COLD, Y’ALL.  Jeez. 

Yet Buffalo is a place that I hold in high regard despite having only personally been there one time and despite nearly losing my toes as a result.  My parents both attended SUNY Buffalo (where my mom majored in Anthropology and my dad majored in, I don’t know, pot-smoking?).  Anyway, both of her eminence’s parents speak of Buffalo with great affection.  

Beef on Weck is a roast beef sandwich served on a Kummelweck roll (some spell it Kimmelweck, both appear to be acceptable).  A kummelweck is a kaiser roll coated with kosher salt and caraway seeds.  Her eminence has a love/hate relationship with caraway seeds in that I hated them intensely as a child and now sort of love them.  (#sorrynotsorry for the third-person/first-person changes…this is my blog and I will mess with the conventions of grammar if I want to). 

Preparation:

Big ups to the vicomtesse and her hub, the viscount, for making these sandwiches.  She followed this recipe for recreating kummelweck rolls:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/roast-beef-on-weck-recipe/index.html

They came out pretty good!:

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The vicomtesse also roasted a London Broil cut of beef.  She will post her specific preparation instructions in the comments.  Here’s how it looked:

 

Then we took the toasty rolls and the hot beef (ew) and combined them with horseradish sauce.  The vicomtesse, who cares deeply about such things, was concerned that the sauce contained too many food additives.  I cared not as I lovingly and frequently stuff poisons in my body, but I appreciate the vicomtesse’s attention to detail in this regard.  

Voila!:

Predictions/Impressions:

I was pretty excited for this one because upstate New Yorkers do not mess around when it comes to regional delights.  Also, as I had re-discovered last week with the transcendent Bauru, I really, really dig roast beef sandwiches.  The vicomtesse was more reserved, and thought the sandwich would be merely good.  

The vicomtesse was pleasantly surprised and thought the sandwich exceeded her expectations.  It was indeed very tasty.  The hot beef (ew) had a nice flavor despite being a cheaper cut.  The toasty rolls were delightful.  I also now am a big fan of the caraway and salt mixture, which I believe can been incorporated into many things.  I even sprinkled some of the extra we had directly on the meat.  

Horseradish sauce was very necessary as the sandwich tended toward dryness.  We had reserved some of the au jus from the beef and sprinkling some of that over the sandwich also helped.  

All in all, a worthy sandwich that would (and did) make a nice weeknight meal.  

Do you immediately want another of this sandwich?

Yes, from all parties. 

Bauru

BAURUUUUUUUU!

Today, we bring to you an utterly novel thing of beauty – the hollowed out French roll, stuffed of melted mozzarella and roast beef, along with the delightful old flames of tomato and some classic vlasics (kosher dill, DUH).

The Bauru comes to us from Brazil, invented by a Sao Paolan university student, and for all of us who have had the pleasure, thank you, Casemiro Pinto Neto, for your literally world-class contribution to cuisine.

Predictions:

Enough of that horrible abuse of grammatic convention – let us just say that our expectations were rather high. Her Eminence made what we have been calling “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza-cheese,” as when you melt a cup of mozzarella in a butter roux it turns into, god, I don’t know, melted edible DIAMONDS??? It was just obscenely melty.

The roast beef, purchased from the local meatmonger Zupan’s, was really, actually, no-hyperbole-necessary, some of the best roast beef I have ever had. It was all pink, which again is a pretty horrible sounding thing to say. I also feel like the deliciousness was also attributable to the very good, solid and ordinary par-baked french rolls utilized. Nothing special but ideally suited to the task.

Impressions:

Her Eminence of the Italian Deli Meat:

*sobs*
no words
should have sent a poet

The Vicomtesse of the Bacon Lettuce and Tomato:

Oh dear god, it was even better than we thought possible. I am not the Biggest mozzarella fan, but I see its place in fresh Italian foods and the delectable meatball sub, of course, but THIS, oh my, oh my, THIS was incredible. The melted mozzarella (so melty) was just, FULL OF SYNTHESIS with the pickley pickley pickle, if that actually means anything outside my brain. Uhhhhhh this was really, really good. Get on ‘n hollow you out a french roll, EHHNNN??

Do you immediately want another of this sandwich?

“Ish too bad we don’t have mre of ese fnch rolls s’we c’make more of’m,” said Her Eminence while chomping through the VERY FIRST BITE of the Bauru, so full of premature regret (Ed. Note: “pregret”) for lack of future sandwich was she.

And now it’s gone and it’s never coming back 😦 what we are saying is this was an extremely good sandwich. YES. YES, YOU COULD SAY WE BOTH IMMEDIATELY WANT ANOTHER OF THIS SANDWICH.

Barros Jarpa and Barros Luco

It’s a Twofer, gang! Get excited!

It is entirely fitting that we cram these two sandwiches together because they are related both historically and taste-orically (huh?).  The Barros Jarpa y Luco hail from Chile and have kind of a neat lil’ backstory.  The two sandwiches were created in the restaurant of the National Congress of Chile.  The Barros Jarpa, a melty ham and cheese, is named after Ernesto Barros Jarpa, a lawyer and politician.  This guy right here:

Well hello, Glasses.

As for the sandwich’s origin story, I will just let this delightful bit of google translate do its work: 

“very slow considering the preparation of Sandwich Barros Luco, and as always was rushed, called an ‘ally ham-cheese’, but hot, and the servants to see him come and meet their plight shouted inward from the kitchen: ‘A Jarpa Barros, master’, thus baptizing popular Chilean sandwich known as Barros Jarpa.”

Okey-dokey then!

The Barros Luco is a melty steak and cheese, with peppers, and it is named after Senor Barros Jarpa’s cousin, Ramon Barros Luco.  This fella’:

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Well hello, Moustache!

This gentleman became the president of Chile, and his government’s philosophy was “99% of problems solve themselves, and the remaining 1% have no solutions” which perhaps explains why Senor Barros Luco is now best known for creating a sandwich (not that there is anything wrong with that, I think the vicomtesse and I would about kill for the opportunity to coin a famous sandwich).

So how do these bad boys stack up?

Predictions:

The general consensus was that these sandwiches would be kinda boring, which partly explains why we decided to cover them together.  However, we both acknowledged that there is nothing wrong with any of the ingredients involved so we expected they would be rather tasty, just nothing earthshattering. 

Preparation:

Props to the vicomtesse for spearheading this one.  She picked up some nice crusty white bread, some good ham, some hanger steak, some peppers, and (after searching in vain for the correct cheese) some pepper jack.  

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The steak was sliced thinly and sauteed with balsamic vinegar, peppers and garlic.  The ham was also fried a bit.  Then we assembled the sandwiches and toasted them in the cast-iron.

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Impressions:

Very tasty indeed! Those deceased Chilean politicians knew what they were talking about.  We both preferred the Barros Luco because of the extra kick that the hot peppers added, but gosh, does anyone have a problem with a melty ham and cheese?  I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THEM. 

Final Question: Do you immediately want to eat another of this (these) sandwich(es)?

Sure, why not?  I believe our prediction was quite accurate.  This sandwich is a little boring but definitely tasty.  With a little experimentation, perhaps these could be outstanding sandwiches — particularly the Barros Luco (balsamic, hot peppers, and steak is a LEGIT flavor profile) — but they do leave a little something to be desired.  

Barbecue (Sandwich)

Oh my dearie readers.  Oh all of our dearie readers.  Several weeks ago, Her Eminence and I, your humble Vicomtesse (the humblest, I assure you) visited our favorite barbecue joint, an amazing community organization-cum-restaurant named Po’Shines, in order to eat fine, fine barbecue sandwiches.  And oh lord, did we.  Rather than opting for the plebeian pulled pork sandwich (which we love, truly), we both ordered a beef brisket sandwich and a few sides, like the amazing fried okra, hushpuppies, and this flyer:

Okay, so we didn’t exactly order the flyer, but there it was, on our table, for us to peruse while we waited, eyeing each others’ arms, starving.  JUST STARVING.

Predictions:

Having been to the delightful Po’Shines plenty of times before, we knew we were in for the very best.  Speaking only as the Vicomtesse, I do not believe I’ve gotten the beef brisket sandwich before, so I was especially excited.

Preparation:

Just like last time, because we’d eaten out, our preparation consisted only of sitting there, sobbing over a lack of food in our bellies pre-meal.  And the preparatory obesity flyer.  Of course.  It, ah, belongs at every table, of course!

Impressions:

V: I found the coleslaw atop the brisket to be a bit too sour-mayonnaise-y, and there was a lot of it.  Believe me, I love a sour balance to a rich meaty flavor (why does everything I type sound disgusting) but I did away with much of the coleslaw.  THAT SAID.  This beef brisket barbecue sandwich was phenomenal.  Really.  The bun (classic white-bread hoagie roll) was perfect and only started falling apart at the very last.  The barbecue sauce was not too sweet and not too thick.  DELICIOUS, Y’ALL.

E: It was f***ing delicious.  WHEW

[ed note: we did not initially include our final question, which for the uninitiated is “did you immediate want another of this sandwich?”  In this case the answer is a resounding “yes” from both parties.]

Banh Mi

Ah, the Banh Mi.  We decided to outsource this one and go to a restaurant that the Vicomtesse and I were already acquainted with.  Best Baguette.  It’s not just a clever name.

One of the Banh Mi’s many virtues is that it is HELLA cheap.  A generously sized baguette stuffed with all manner of delicious pork-based meats, topped with daikon, carrot, jalapeno, cilantro, and mayonnaise is like $2.50. (we love us some mayonnaise)

Predictions: 

Please, no predictions necessary.  We knew this was going to be amazing. 100% certain.  And we were not wrong…oh no.

Preparation:

Well, in this case, there was no preparation as we are incapable of making a Banh Mi as delicious as the $4 ones that Best Baguette offers.  They bake their bread hourly, people, holy. crap. so. good.

The Vicomtesse ordered a pork meatball variety, and I opted for the house special with Vietnamese Ham and Pate and probably some other stuff (because I fear no organ meats).  We both loaded up on the cilantro and jalapenos.

Accompanied by some delicious iced coffees, this really was an ideal dinner.  And so economical!  I mean, look at how substantial this sandwich is:

DAAAAAAAAAAANG!!!

Needless to say, they went quickly.

We left sated, and with mouths aflame from the jalapenos.

Impressions:

V: Perfect and magical.

E: What she said.

Final Question: Do you immediately want to eat another of this sandwich?

Duh.

Sandwiches We Have Known And Loved, Part TWO!

Well, friends, lovers, sandwich enthusiasts, I have only just finished up my school term, and am now able to share with you the beautiful sandwich that I made for myself in lieu of a Sadness Sandwich* when returning to my home at approximately 2:30am, some weeknight last week.

This is the Peanut Butter and Strawberry sandwich. Oh my god, everything is right, here. I love a classic PB&J, but even with the more actual-fruit brands, it’s often still like eating a snickers bar in terms of sugar. I ain’t need that, friends.  Candy is for children.

Here, then, is the Vicomtesse’s brilliant variation: rather than jam, use actual strawberries.

And to answer to the lack of “wetness” that jam offers, oh, here is where it gets so incredibly good. BUTTER THE BREAD. Don’t be stingy. Really get into it. I prefer fancy unsalted European-style butter, but that’s probably just because I don’t have a mortgage.

I also add just a pinch of salt and sugar (salger?) since jam usually has a fair amount of both, and if you care about this kind of thing, you can bet the extremely small amount of sodium/sweet (seriously, just a pinch) you have added will be WAY less than what is contained in even a decent jar of jam.

Do I immediately want another?  Yes.  So I made one.  And it was awesome.

 

*A Sadness Sandwich is a subway(tm) sandwich, eaten quickly (“bolted,” you could even say), by oneself, sober, at three in the morning.

The Baked Bean Sandwich

Well, it’s the Baked Bean Sandwich, the most coolly-anticipated sandwich yet.  So cool, in fact, that we postponed this Sandwich not once, but twice.  Her Eminence and I resolved to buy the highest quality baked beans, as the thought of lumps of childhood coagulated cold beans, disregarded on styrofoam plate after plate was enough to turn the stomach of the Vicomtesse.  Not that we have any styrofoam.

To the sandwich!  The organic beans that we did buy were $2.50 for the box and could make three sandwiches.  Economy!  We toasted and spread lots of butter before adding the heated beans.  I initially only put ketchup on half, and after one bite, knew I could not eat this sandwich without ketchup, and added another 200% of what I’d initially spread.

Impressions:

V: Come on, The British (thus far poorly represented on this blog)!  You have to put more than one thing on a sandwich! [ed: apparently, even though the British are fond of beans on toast, this is not, in fact, a British sandwich.  We borfed it on this side of the pond.]  Once again, Portland Ketchup Co has saved the day.

Its fresh sweetness was a great counterweight to the, ahem, pasty-textured beans.  As it would be to any bottom-heavy ingredient.  The very first “flavor profile,” as it were, was the taste of the very good butter (some kind of european style unsalted butter) melted into the toasted Dave’s Killer bread.  Ahh – perfection.  Until the beans hit.  Then… uh, it was regular?  It was just back to regular life, after the island beach vacation of the best kinds of food (I absolutely defend the statement that very good butter on very good bread is some of the best food possible), back to what you nuke for three minutes on your strictly regimented 30m break, before you strap your headset back on and beg people below the poverty line to subscribe to hundreds of dollars’ worth of magazines.*

I’m probably being too hard on this sandwich.  But as I said, after the initial bite where I’d hoped to eat half of it “classically,” that is to say, just beans, and the other half ketchuped (that certainly is not a word), I realized that I couldn’t do it, and slathered the whole mess in ketchup.  Again – this ketchup is really, really good.

No, indeed, The Vicomtesse does not immediately want another.

E: Not as low as my lowest expectations but not as high as my highest hope, the baked bean sandwich is simply “fine.”  It was improved dramatically by ample amounts of ketchup and butter. I do not immediately want another of this sandwich, either.

Ah well.  For Science (TM), we will continue to eat and review ALL of the sandwiches, even the sub-par ones!

*note, please, that this was one of the vicomtesse’s many and splendorous positions, a very long time ago.  oh god.