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Chacarero

HOORAY, SECOND SANDWICH OF THE CS! We’re actually doing this, friends. Riding home from work today (for the Vicomtesse is gainfully employed, yes!), I couldn’t help but think what a fabulous service we are doing unto the world. YOU ARE WELCOME, all two of you! *cough* pardon me sorry excuse me sorry

These beautiful Chilean sandwiches took us both by surprise, contained as they were of skirt steak, avocado, tomato, and green beans (?!). What’s beautiful about this club is that we put many things on many breads, MANY things, that we never would have considered to be husbandsandwich material. So let’s get back to the ingredients. Her Eminence picked them up, and thank goodness we went to New Seasons (sidenote: as it’s probably fairly evident that we are based in Portland, Oregon, I shall further refrain from obfuscation of ingredienteries, unless it is a place we have found distasteful/unseasonably expensive). They have the very very very finest meat of any grocery I’ve ever been to, and the skirt steak that Her Eminence picked up there was not only – like $10 for more than a pound, which for very good beef, is damned economical (if “buying steak” were on the list of things that are economical). I regret, my darlings, not getting a photo of the steak before we seared it – its grain was beautiful and its flesh RED, that harlot (note to self quit anthropomorphizing steak).

The green beans, jalapeño, and avocado were all of terrific quality, but alas, the December tomato is not what you might want. We cut it up and it was in such a sorry state that we made the Official Decree and it was stricken from the sandwich, as it would have palely and sandily detracted from the composition.

As we’ve done in many of our roll-based sandwiches, we hollowed out the bread and took a good fourth of it out. Please do not get us wrong, comrades, we are bread fanatics here at the CSSC, but it must be said! A giant chunk of white roll with no sandwich containment is a sad, sad state of affairs, so more often than not, we forego it.

The steak took no more than about two minutes on each side on high heat with the (lovely, trustworthy) cast-iron, while we charred the green beans in a bit of butter and salt and pepper, a method I picked up in a little place called FRANCE, EVER HEARD OF IT??

sorry

moving on

After we thin-sliced the jalapeño and cut up our perfect, perfect avocado, we took one look at the tomato & threw it out. Hollowing out the french rolls (not completely) made lovely little pockets for us to put the pieces of this interesting sandwich together, and then I put a good amount of the adobo sauce (left-over from the last sandwich – that tells you how recently we did this, AND HOW AMAZING WE ARE ahem sorry again) on it once assembled.

This was a really good sandwich. Speaking as The Vicomtesse of the Bacon Lettuce & Tomato, it didn’t blow me away. I loved the interesting crunch of the green beans and the richness of the (very rare [in France the word for rare translates to “bloody,” isn’t that beautiful]) steak, but I put a bit too much of the adobo on, and honestly, I think the sandwich deserved a bit of mayo over the red sauce! I know this is a pretty ugly American POV that I’m expressing here, but god I love mayonnaise, and a little goes a long way toward tying a sandwich together. Mayo is the salt of the sandwich world (or, um, maybe salt is the salt of the sandwich world) and I feel that it melds the spicy, the umami, the rich and the sour together in a way that brings out the flavors of each. But it WAS good, and Her Eminence liked it I think a good deal more than I did, and I would absolutely make it again with a few tweaks of my own – adobo, yes, but a bit less of it, and a little swipe of the Hellmann’s. For about $20, we had enough for three sandwiches, so again, somehow not cheaper than getting a sandwich out somewhere, but seriously quite good for a terrific steak sandwich, the ingredients of which were purchased at a Fancy market.

SUCCESS FRIENDS

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.

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.]