If we’re talking about food as an expression of oneself, sandwiches are, without a doubt, the perfect platform for discussion. There are virtually no limits to the possibilities of what can go between two slices of bread (may they be whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, Italian, whole grain, sweet, cheesy, or plain old white) or in the pocket of a pita, or nestled into a roll (torpedo, bulky, hero etc). If your choices of outerwear are indicative of anything, the different combinations of this most convenient meal are open to the vastness of one’s imagination and palette. Sweet or savory? vegetarian or meaty? hot or cold? crisp or gooey? How about all in the same sandwich!
Aside from the seemingly endless creations, a sandwich also happens to be the most convenient food to pack for later or to eat on-the-go, for any meal of the day. An entire meal between two slices of bread, held in one hand… simply ingenious.
The love I have for this greatest-of-all meals is shared by a few other people. Take Tom Colicchio, for instance. Co-founder and former head chef of New York’s highly acclaimed Gramercy Tavern, executive chef and owner of Colicchio and Sons and Craft restaurants country-wide, and executive producer and head judge of Bravo’s hit TV show, Top Chef, Colicchio topped off his impressive resume in 2003 with an homage to God’s gift to Earth in ‘wichcraft, a small sandwich shop that takes the idea of a sandwich as a meal to the most sophisticated level. With 13 locations in Manhattan, one in San Francisco, and another in Las Vegas, ‘wichcraft offers delicious combinations of sandwiches using the same ingredients as entire entrees like the ones served at Colicchio’s high end restaurants.
Certainly, we can’t all be expected to have slow-roasted pork, red cabbage, and jalapenos lying around (ingredients to one of ‘wichcraft’s tasty menu options) but a great sandwich can be made from even the simplest ingredients. Below is one of my all-time favorites: Boar’s Head Pepper Turkey, Havarti cheese, avocado, cucumber, and spicy mustard melt.
Fresh ingredients (I decided to scratch the horseradish, last minute).
The hands-on prepping of any meal makes it personal and somehow more yummy.
A panini press/iron makes any “melty” sandwich easier to handle, especially when there are a lot of ingredients. They’re usually not too expensive, either. This one cost $8 at TJ Maxx, and is actually meant to be used for grilling steak, but this works too.
Rounded off with some chips and a glass of OJ, there’s nothing better than a sandwich at lunchtime!
Hope this helped you to rediscover the beauty of the sandwich, and inspired to you empty out your fridge with your own creations!