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Give piece a chance; Food.

Byline: with Michael Kilkie To find out more visit www.michaelkilkie.co.uk

Today's dish is something a little bit different – not a sit down meal but a fantastic, tasty sandwich. It is perfect for a lunchtime treat when you have the time to spend making it and to sit down, relax and enjoy it.

It's not the kind of thing you want to throw into your lunch box or a sandwich bag. It is definitely best eaten hot and freshly made.

It's my take on a classic club sandwich but with lots of interesting additions to the ingredients list. All the ingredients are there – bread, chicken, bacon and salad – but there's so much more added to elevate this to another level.

Club sandwiches have got a bit of a bad name over the years, mainly due to poorly made ones. I put this down to a couple of things – one is the soggy overpriced offerings masquerading as club sandwiches you find at motorway service stations and cheap newsagents and grocers.

The other culprits are hotels. Most have a club sandwich on the room service menu...and quite a lot are disasters. The main problem is the length of time the sandwich takes to get to you, along with the fact the chefs have gone and a porter is making it.

So let's get on to the reincarnation of the club sandwich and what I do differently. Firstly, you need some really good bread. I like to use white bread but not cut too thick as you want to layer the sandwich up with three slices.

If it's too thick by the time you put the fillings in, you won't be able to fit it in your mouth. Try to choose something other than standard bread. Have a look round your supermarket, if it has a bakery section, and see what takes your fancy.

Along with the chicken and bacon, which you find in all club sandwiches, I've added and changed a few things.

I've put some sliced boiled egg in there. You want the egg to be hard enough to slice but don't boil the life out of it as the yolk will go a horrible grey.

Another notable addition is two types of mustard for the mayonnaise. For the lettuce, I've used a mixture of little gem for crunch and rocket for pepperiness. I've also used avocado, done similarly to guacamole, but without the spice.

To turn this sandwich into a vegetarian delight, leave out the chicken and bacon. But also try taking out the sliced cheddar and replace it with halloumi cheese. Cut the halloumi into slices and pan fry in a hot pan to give it a lovely crisp exterior. Use this instead of the chicken and bacon for a fantastic veggie club sandwich.

MY CLUB SANDWICH

MAKES 1 SANDWICH (EASILY MULTIPLIED)

3 slices white bread 1 small cooked chicken breast, sliced 2tsp olive oil 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley 3 slices bacon, cooked until crispy 1 plum tomato, sliced 4 sun blushed tomatoes, chopped Small handful little gem lettuce, shredded Small handful rocket 1tbsp mayonnaise mixed with 1tsp grain mustard 1tbsp mayonnaise mixed with 1tsp Dijon mustard Sliced cheddar cheese 1/2 ripe avocado 2 spring onions, finely chopped 1 hardboiled egg, sliced Salt and pepper

Mix the olive oil and parsley together and add a pinch of salt and pepper, then add the chicken, coat with the oil and set aside for half an hour to marinate.

Mix the avocado with the spring onion and season with salt and pepper.

Toast all three slices of bread, spread one with the grain mustard mayo, one with the Dijon mustard mayo and leave one blank.

Top the mayo covered ones with rocket, little gem and slices of tomatoes and season with salt then top both with an equal amount of the avocado.

Top both with the sunblushed tomatoes then with slices of egg, then one with the bacon and one with the chicken and finally slices of cheese on both.

Place one slice on top of the other, spread the remaining slice of toast with a bit of both mustard mayos.

Place on top to make a triple decker and secure the sandwich with toothpicks or wooden skewers.

Perfect served with chips.

Q & A

Q Do you know of a good way to thicken soup? I don't eat flour due to allergies.

A You can use pureed potatoes or beans, such as cannellini, to thicken soup. Lentils are also good.

Q Do I need yeast if I'm making rye bread at home?

A The main change is the type of flour. Rye flour is used, normally with a mix of bread flour and, yes, yeast.

Q I'm always looking for ideas to perk up my homemade macaroni, particularly things the kids will like. Any ideas?

A A good one is to put meatballs through the macaroni cheese before baking it in the oven.

Q Is there a healthy way to make buttercream frosting? I love it but it seems awfully unhealthy.

A Not really – you have to use real butter and sugar if you want that authentic taste. I would recommend just not using as much of it, spread it thinly.

Q How do you get that lovely glaze on hot cross buns? I want to make them when Easter comes around.

A When the buns come out of the oven still warm, lightly brush them with melted sieved jam, maybe something like apricot jam.

Q I want to make little bite–size wraps for a party with various fillings. What is the best way to cut them?

A Make the wraps and roll them tightly, then cut them into slices. These are known as pinwheels and when you turn them on their side, you'll see why.

If you fancy making this sandwich more meal–like, turn it into an open sandwich. This time use on e slice of bread, cut thick and toasted. Layer up all the same ingredients in the same order, except for the egg. And instead of u sing sliced boiled egg, top with a nice poached egg with a so ft centre. It 's a delicious take on a club sandwich.

CAPTION(S):

Glaze hot cross buns with jam
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Mar 3, 2013
Words:1056
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