Tasty Sandwiches for Busy Nights

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“Too few people understand a really good sandwich.” – James Beard

James Beard was an American cook, author, teacher, and television personality – and he recognized that a good sandwich is a thing of beauty. And if you don’t agree with James Beard, maybe you just haven’t had the right sandwich.

The sandwich was made popular in England in 1762, when Lord John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, did not want to leave the gaming table. So he could continue gambling, he asked that his meal be brought to him between two pieces of bread. And the sandwich was born!

Sandwiches have come a long way since the 1700s. They are popular around the globe and come in so many different variations that you could probably have one every day of the year and never repeat yourself. 

If you need a few new ideas to add to your menu, these are some pretty delicious sandwiches!

  • The Classic Cuban Sandwich: If you’ve ever tried a Cuban Sandwich, you know that it’s not your average grilled sandwich. It’s a tasty combination of ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and mustard on crusty Cuban bread (or French or Italian if you can’t get Cuban) and then slathered in buttered and pressed under a heavy skillet or foil-wrapped brick. So hearty that it makes for a great dinner!
  • Shrimp Banh Mi: Banh Mis is street food in Vietnam and comes with all sorts of different proteins, but this recipe is for a Shrimp Banh Mi – that you’re going to love. It has shredded carrots that are “pickled” quickly in vinegar for some tang. There’s a spicy mayo that adds a little heat, and then you top it with some cucumbers and fresh scallions. It has so many fresh elements in it that it makes an ideal summer sandwich on a hot day.
  • Homemade Greek Chicken Gyro: If you’ve ever had a great tasting Greek gyro – you know why they are so popular – and not just in Greece but around the globe. Of course, making them at home can seem a bit more daunting, but with this recipe, you’ll no longer have to pick them up to-go. Make the marinade for the chicken (it’s key!) and try making your own homemade Tzatziki sauce to create the most flavor. And don’t forget all of the fresh vegetables to round it out.
  • Croque Madame Sandwich: You’ve probably heard of a Croque Monsieur, but have you heard of a Croque Madame? It’s the ultimate grilled ham and cheese with the added bonus of being topped with a Bechamel sauce and a fried egg. This is a great sandwich for Sunday brunches!
  • Maine Lobster Rolls: Okay…you may not consider a lobster roll to be a sandwich, but let’s throw it in the sandwich category because it’s just plain delicious, and it’s a summertime classic. While lobsters are a splurge, the simplicity of a lobster roll with just a little bit of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and celery allows the full flavor of the lobster to shine through. Serve it with some French fries or chips!
  • Monte Cristo Sandwich: Do you love the combination of sweet and savory? Then the Monte Cristo is for you! It’s a turkey and cheese sandwich fried in an egg batter and then served with a sweet jam. This one suggests blackberry jam, but raspberry works well, too.
  • Reuben Sandwich: Rye bread, Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing are all you need for a good Reuben sandwich. And don’t be skimpy when you load up the ingredients! A well-made Reuben should require you to do the “hunch and lean” – so you avoid spilling any on your shirt.

The next time you start menu planning for the week – why not throw a sandwich or two into the mix? Your tastebuds will thank you for giving sandwiches the respect they deserve!

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