Tag: sandwich

Tuna Club Sandwich and the advantages of old fashioned traveling

Tuna Club Sandwich

When I visit my mother I usually take the train as I prefer to cross the country on the ground rather than in the air. I like this old fashioned, slow kind of traveling, when you see the different landscapes passing by, the busy train stations, cities and villages flying passed your window. You really feel the distance and enjoy the changes instead of just getting it done.

My choice of transportation has another advantage. Before I jump on my train back home, my mother and I follow one of our many traditions, this one started many years ago. We have a cappuccino, a glass of wine or champagne and a little snack at an elegant hotel right opposite the city’s famous, nearly 800 year old cathedral. Most of the time we sit right next to the windows of the hotel’s old fashioned bistro, always amazed by the sight of the imposing gothic building which seems to grow right into the sky. Sometimes we sit at the bar, on leather covered bar stools, surrounded by a couple strangers reading newspapers, served by waiters who are as elegant as the women and gentlemen sitting at the small tables quietly talking. It’s as if time stops at this place and I always loved it for this reason!

We enjoy our drinks and our last hour together before we go separate ways again. To feed my constant hunger I usually eat a snack as old as the hotel, a club sandwich. The earliest written proof of this sandwich’s existence is from 1899, the hotel opened in 1857 and the current building was completed in 1893. The classic recipe for a club sandwich is made with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Today I will share my club sandwich variation filled with a tuna dip mixed with gherkin, egg, capers, tomato paste and mustard, another one of my mother’s recipes.

Unfortunately our favourite hotel is closed for renovations at the moment and we’re still waiting impatiently for the reopening!

Tuna Club Sandwich

Tuna Club Sandwich

For  4 club sandwiches with 2 layers of tuna dip you need

white bread, toasted, cut in half, 12 slices
green lettuce 4 small leaves

For the tuna dip

tinned tuna in water, drained well (it’s best to squeeze the water out), 185g  / 6.5 ounces
organic egg, hardboiled and finely chopped, 1
gherkins, finely chopped, 2
capers, finely chopped, 7-10
yoghurt 7 tablespoons
olive oil 1 tablespoon
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon
liquid from the gherkin 1 teaspoon
mustard to taste
tomato paste to taste
salt and black pepper

Mix the ingredients for the dip with a fork and adjust the flavours to taste. Lay a leaf of lettuce on half a slice of toasted bread, spread with tuna dip, put another slice of bread on top covered with tuna dip and a final layer of bread, fix with a tooth pick.

Tuna Club Sandwich

 

Tuna Club Sandwich

 

Tuna Club Sandwich

 

Tuna Club Sandwich

Fava Bean Pesto with Mint on a Sandwich

Fava Bean Pesto with Mint

Finally, fava beans are back in season and just peeling them is a sensual experience! These beans are crunchy beauties wrapped in silky transparent shells, protected by the velvety inside of their fleshy pods. To peel them, smell them and finally taste them is a spring highlight to me! I know it sounds a bit overwhelming, but spring vegetables have this effect on me. Luckily, the preparations have a meditative side effect as you have to buy lots of  beans to end up with just a handful of this green treasure, but the effort is worth it. The firm texture and fresh green taste stands for everything I love about spring!

Usually I peel the beans out of the shells to achieve a finer taste but for my pesto I skipped this part. The beans were so young, the skin so tender and soft that I could keep them in their shell which also has a nutritional value.

This time, I made a pesto out of my fava beans, cooked only 5 minutes and mixed with garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and fresh aromatic mint. You could mix it with pasta and some grated Pecorino but I spread it on a sandwich. I covered my juicy focaccia bun with a thick layer which I sprinkled with even more chopped mint leaves.

Fava Bean Pesto with Mint

Fava Bean Pesto and Mint Sandwich

For 4 sandwiches you need

focaccia or soft buns 4 (you could also use thick slices of ciabatta bread)
fava / broad beans, peeled out of the pods, in their shells, 900g / 2 pounds for around 260g / 9 ounces of peeled beans
garlic, quartered, 1 clove
water 100ml / 3.5 ounces
freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 teaspoons
olive oil 1 tablespoon plus more for frying
fresh mint, chopped, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon
salt and black pepper

In a sauce pan, fry the garlic in a little oil on medium heat for 1 minute and mix in the beans. Add the water, season with salt and pepper, close with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.  With a slotted ladle (you will need some of the liquid), take the beans and garlic out of the pan and purée in a blender (or with a stick mixer) together with 1 tablespoon of the liquid from the beans, the lemon juice ,1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of mint. Season with salt, pepper and mint to taste and spread voluptuously on your sandwich.

Fava Bean Pesto with Mint

 

Fava Bean Pesto with Mint

 

Fava Bean Pesto with Mint

A Fried Egg and Bacon Sandwich with Tarragon and Parsley

Tarragon + Parsley Fried Egg + Bacon Sandwich

One morning we decided to “decorate” our fried eggs with fresh herbs and it became a morning classic in our kitchen. It looks really pretty and tastes even better. The variations are endless and change all the time depending on the herbs growing in our terracotta pots, and there are plenty at the moment! Usually the small plants don’t survive the cold winter, the roots aren’t really as protected as they should be. I tried to keep the herbs inside on my kitchen window sill during the cold season but they tend to suffer from bugs and mildew, so I gave up. I wish them the best of luck, protect them with some leaves and hope for the best. To my surprise, a fragile, skinny tarragon plant, an offshoot which I dug out of my mother’s herb garden managed to bear the cold and frost and it’s shining again in its recaptured bloom and beauty. I love its strong aroma which reminds me a bit of aniseed.

For my fried eggs, I picked a few of the tarragon’s long leaves, about 6 slim ones for each egg, and some crunchy parsley, the Italian one with big flat leaves. The combination works well, I just went easy on the parsley, 2-3 leaves per egg were enough as it can easily be too overpowering. I fried the eggs in a little butter on medium heat in a non-stick pan, put the herbs gently on top of the liquid egg whites and yolks and covered the pan with a big lid until the whites turned solid. I kept the egg yolk soft as I wanted it to soak into the hearty bread when I cut it open. To finish off my sandwich, I fried 3 slices of bacon golden brown and crisp and put a few slices of my dark spelt bread into the pan as well. When you roast the bread in the fatty juices, just in the end for a minute or two, it becomes a bit crunchy and is infused with the meaty aroma. I didn’t add any salt, just crushed black pepper, thanks to the strong bacon!

Tarragon + Parsley Fried Egg + Bacon Sandwich

 

Tarragon + Parsley Fried Egg + Bacon Sandwich

 

Tarragon + Parsley Fried Egg + Bacon Sandwich

 

Tarragon + Parsley Fried Egg + Bacon Sandwich

Roast Garlic and Gruyère Sandwich

Roast Garlic + Cheese Sandwich

Garlic roasted in its skin is one of these things I can never have (or make) enough of. No matter how many of these little cloves I throw into the hot oven, I always feel like I could have made more. They cook in their delicate peel like in a little parchment pouch, steaming, softening and unfolding all of their wonderful flavours. It tastes less spicy than raw garlic but yet so aromatic, almost sweet and the texture is smooth, a bit oily. It’s a great spread on bread!

Garlic is considered a natural antibiotic which has lots of positive effects on the body. It strengthens the immune system, stops free radicals and slows down the aging process. A tiny bulb that does a lot of good for our body! I strongly believe in the healing and strengthening powers of natural and good quality food. This is one of the reasons why I buy organic food as much as possible. I want natural food which is kept natural, no GMOs, no pesticides, food attuned to the ecological system and not against it. A few years ago I started to drink organic green tea with freshly squeezed lemon juice every morning, since then I haven’t had a cold or become sick!

There must be something in garlic that my body loves and when it comes to roast garlic I feel like I could eat it with a spoon, in strong doses like in this sandwich made with 14 cloves of garlic for just 2 buns! I baked medium sized cloves of garlic in their skin in a 210°C / 410°F hot oven for about 12 minutes until golden and soft (you can cover them with aluminum foil if they start to get too dark). They were so soft that I could mash them with a fork, I just added some salt and spread the paste on the buns. I put a couple slices of Swiss Gruyère cheese on top (120g / 4.5 ounces for 4 halfs) and let them melt under the grill for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. I finished my sandwich off with crushed black pepper and some watercress sprinkled on top.

An oily and dense Ciabatta bread would have been good too but when I saw the Swiss Buns at the bakery which have a similar texture to the Italian bread I thought they would match the Gruyère cheese perfectly, it became a delicious and healthy Swiss sandwich!

Roast Garlic + Cheese Sandwich

 

Roast Garlic + Cheese Sandwich

 

Roast Garlic + Cheese Sandwich

 

Roast Garlic + Cheese Sandwich

A juicy Lamb Burger with Ramp Pesto

Hamburger with Lamb and Ramp Pesto

Yesterday I mentioned that nothing can escape my appetite for ramp, not even a burger! At first, my plan was to add just a few spices and leave the focus on the strong lamb meat. A juicy hamburger with tomato and lettuce, simple and pure, that was my idea, but when I saw the bowl with yesterday’s ramp pesto on my kitchen top I remembered a beef burger I had made two weeks ago with pesto mixed into the burger mixture and it was so good that I couldn’t resist! I had to make it again and added it to the lamb meat. The pesto doesn’t only add its flavours but it also effects the texture and makes the burger very, very juicy.

Usually, for my sandwiches on Wednesdays I measure the amounts for a quick lunch for 2, but I knew that this would have to be a proper dinner. It’s so good that you can’t stop after one burger! So I got 600g / 21 ounces of minced lamb meat and mixed it with 1 egg, 40g / 1.5 ounces of bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons of salt and ground black pepper. I stirred in 3 tablespoons of my ramp pesto (you can find the recipe here), but you could use any other pesto which matches the taste of the meat. When I made the beef burger I only added 2 tablespoons of the pesto as the meat isn’t as strong as lamb so I put in an extra one. To keep the meat juicy while its frying I form thick burgers. We had 6 which I fried in 2 tablespoons of butter and some olive oil, on high temperature which I turned down to medium immediately after I put the burgers in the pan. After a couple minutes on each side they turned a crisp brown, but still juicy inside.

We put the burgers in some crunchy buns together with thin slices of tomato, a leaf of green lettuce and sprinkled them with some more pesto – and then we ate them all!

Hamburger with Lamb and Ramp Pesto

 

Hamburger with Lamb and Ramp Pesto

 

Hamburger with Lamb and Ramp Pesto

A Bavarian Sandwich with Obatzda and spicy Radish

Obatzter Sandwich

In a Bavarian beer garden, you can be sure you will find plenty of beer, sausages and at vesper time a traditional delicacy which is served with bread, I’m talking about Obatzda also known as Obatzter meaning mashed. Drinking beer in Bavaria demands strong physical condition as it’s served in a 1 liter mug, the “mass”. You may imagine that it’s quite helpful to have  some rich food on the side when drinking such quantities (obviously people don’t stop after their first “mass” of beer). Obatzda is one of them and it’s offered in huge varieties. It’s basically a cream made of aged cheese leftovers often mixed with either herbs or spices like hot paprika powder or caraway seeds, onion, garlic, a shot of beer, horseradish, butter, cream cheese, I could continue endlessly. It is, again one of those dishes that evolved in each region with each personal preference and local tradition.

My Obatzda is green, it’s based on rucola and a middle-aged camembert and cream cheese. I added some radish and watercress to bring out the rucola’s mild spiciness next to the rich and tangy cheese. White bread wouldn’t have managed to keep up with these strong flavours, I used dark spelt bread. This sandwich needs a dense and juicy texture, strong bread with a nice crust. What is great about this dip is that you can really play around with the leftovers of your fridge. Spring onions, dried tomatoes, olives, all the ingredients mentioned above, you can create your own Obatzda after your own preferences. After your selection is made, mix everything in a blender or mash with a fork and spread on a slice of bread, a thick layer, this is a luscious Bavarian sandwich after all!

For a little bowl of Obatzda, I mixed 30g / 1 ounce of rucola with 50g / 2 ounces of aged camembert, 150g / 5.5 ounces of cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the camembert’s age and tanginess you might need more or less cream cheese, the same with salt. When the dip is spread on a slice of bread, sprinkle with thin slices of radish and some watercress.

Obatzter Sandwich

 

Obatzter Sandwich

 

Obatzter Sandwich

Serrano, Mozzarella di Bufala and Pesto Focaccia

Serrano Mozzarella Pesto Focaccia

When my brother in law stayed with us 2 weeks ago I asked him about his favourite sandwich. I often ask friends as it’s a great inspiration for my Sandwich Wednesday but it’s also interesting to find out about different sandwich preferences. It may sound silly, but a favourite sandwich says a lot about a person! He answered quick and with a smile on his face, Serrano, mozzarella and pesto sandwich with toasted pine nuts on top. He is a true gourmet, I know and appreciate his sense for fine food, so I didn’t wait too long to get all the ingredients, I was curious!

I chose an Italian Focaccia bun from my bakery for this sandwich, juicy and baked with lots of olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. I bought 8 thin slices of Serrano and one Mozzarella di Bufala of 125g / 4.5 ounces which I cut into thick slices. I made a quick pesto, a handful of basil leaves chopped finely with a big knife, mixed with a tablespoon of good olive oil and some salt. While I cut the 2 buns open and filled them with the prosciutto and mozzarella, I toasted the pine nuts in a sauce pan without oil on medium heat for a couple minutes until golden. I drizzled the pesto and pine nuts on top, took the first bite and smiled like my brother in law did when he told me about this absolutely delicious sandwich! It’s great!

If you would like to share your favourite sandwich with me, just get in touch! I would love to try different sandwiches from all over the world, quick ones, complicated ones, exotic, puristic or sumptuous, whatever your taste buds like! Just get in touch here,

Meike xx

Serrano Mozzarella Pesto Focaccia

 

Serrano Mozzarella Pesto Focaccia

 

Serrano Mozzarella Pesto Focaccia

Sabih – A Sandwich with Hummus, Egg and Grilled Aubergine

Sabih

The last time I ate Hummus at a restaurant I decided that the time has come to make my own. It’s one of my favourites from the Middle Eastern cuisine and you can be sure that I always order my own little bowl of this delicious spread when we go to a restaurant to make sure that I definitely have enough for myself.

I’m an expert when it comes to eating it but not preparing it and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself so I decided to ask two experts, both very good friends of mine from Israel. They recommended using really good quality Tahini from Lebanon because this sesame paste has a big influence on the Hummus’ taste. It’s one of the main ingredients together with cooked chickpeas and this is actually where Hummus gets its name from, meaning chickpeas in Arabic. It’s very easy to prepare if you use tinned chickpeas – that’s what I did and the expert opinions didn’t object – you just have to peel them which only takes 5 minutes. It’s more like popping them out of their peel between two fingers, it’s fun! Then you add the Tahini, fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt, water, mix everything in a blender and your Hummus is done.

My friends also told me about a sandwich which is very popular in Israel – Sabih (meaning the handsome one!). You spread Hummus on some good white bread (I use my olive bread which fits really well with its juicy texture and flavours of green and black olives), then you put slices of grilled aubergine and boiled egg on the Hummus and sprinkle some Harissa on top. This is too good! I’m not normally the first one to put an egg on a sandwich, but here I make an exception. The creamy Hummus, the juicy bread, the aubergine, the egg, the whole combination is just divine, I’m not surprised this sandwich is so popular!

Sabih

 Sabih with Hummus, Grilled Aubergine and Boiled Egg

I made enough Hummus to fill a large bowl as you can keep it in the fridge for a few days. For the sandwich you can also use white flatbread but I must say that I really enjoyed it with my thick and juicy olive bread.

For the Hummus

canned chickpeas, cooked and peeled, 475g / 17 ounces
Tahini 300g / 10.5 ounces
garlic, crushed, 2 big cloves
salt 1 1/4 teaspoon
freshly squeezed lemon juice 5 tablespoons
water 100-125ml
olive oil for topping
Harissa for topping

Purée all the ingredients in a blender until you have a smooth paste, you can add a little more water and lemon juice if you want the Hummus less thick. Fill in a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and Harissa.

 

For the grilled aubergine

one aubergine, cut into 7mm / 1/4″ slices
olive oil to brush the aubergine slices (around 50ml)
salt and pepper

Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill in the oven until golden brown and soft.

 

For the sandwich

white bread, 4-6 thick slices
boiled organic eggs, cut into slices, 2

Spread the Hummus on a slice of bread, put 1-2 slices of the grilled aubergine and some of the egg on top and sprinkle with a little Harissa to add more spiciness. Close with a second slice of bread to finish your sandwich.

Sabih

 

Sabih