The best sandwich starts with two substantial slices of still-warm from the oven, crusty bread. I never use that day-old bread crap often buried in your mom’s chest freezer. Found six months later, the loaf’s slices have already started to show off their curled corners. With ice particles clinging to the outer crusts, the bread slices are separated and thinned from their once highly advertised, don’t squeeze the bread bag, freshness. What I’m talking about is a hearty bread with a crust worthy of a sandwich. Perfect tops and bottoms, perfect bookends to hold all the flavorful goodness of your sandwich makings together.
The best sandwich always has some sort of special sauce. Generously spread on the inside flanks of the sliced bread, it might be a garlicky aioli, or a spicy brown mustard, or perhaps a savory chutney. An oniony jam, a cranberry-brandy marmalade, a citrusy-fruity preserve, are all considered for their deliberate culinary palates. The special sauce is an integral part of the whole sandwich package, a succulent pairing of tang and piquancy.
The best sandwich has complementary enhancements. Such as Romaine lettuce, a thick slice of “tamatah” from a dark reddish-purple hued Beefeater, or some roasted green chili peppers. Augmented with a wedge of peppery jack cheese or some smoked Gouda, and you’ve just increased your sandwich stack with both subtle flavors and added height.
The best sandwich has a mountain of tender, thinly sliced meat. Usually left over from last night’s dinner and stacked in the middle of the sandwich with folded precision. The sandwich is best when layered with beef steak that has been grilled over aged and seasoned oak logs, finished to a medium-rare redness and has a light dusting of seasonings still sitting on it’s outside edges. Or perhaps some residual roasted turkey from Thanksgiving dinner. Or maybe some BBQ’ed boneless pork loin chilled in a mustard sauce. In any case, the main entrée of the sandwich, the meat, is the key principle in any double-decker and the center piece of any sandwich arrangement.
Some might think the best sandwiches are bestowed with specialty side lineups. A scoop of homemade potato salad or a small cup of minestrone soup. But for Malcolm and I, we have a totally different idea of the best sandwich. Our view of the perfect sandwich doesn’t need any of the above …..
You see, for us, we would rather be sandwiched in between our two girls, Dolce and Amore. Folded in the middle by 100 pounds of fur on each side, we call it our Berner sanwich. The Berner Sandwich is generously spread with a huge dollop of canine kisses, drool, and enhanced with paw pats and nose nudges. Add a wedge of dog hair, some slices of doggy love and you have the best dog gone sandwich ever. The Berner sandwich!
Now, that is the best sandwich ever!
TRI-TIP STEAK SANDWICHES WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO PESTO
- 2 -3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup drained bottled dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed, cleaned
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound thinly sliced medium-rare Tri-tip steak (about 2 cups)
- 4 Romaine leaves, cleaned and left whole
- thin sliced Monterey Jack cheese
- eight 1/2-inch slices sourdough bread, toasted lightly
In a small saucepan, saute’ garlic in olive oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Cool. In a small food processor or blender purée tomatoes, basil, oil mixture, and vinegar until pesto is smooth. Set aside.
In a bowl toss steak slices with half of pesto and spread remaining pesto on bread. Divide steak among 4 bread slices and top with romaine lettuce leaves, Monterey Jack cheese and top with the remaining 4 bread slices.