Serious sandwiches: my current top 5

I’m a sandwich fanatic. Rarely does a day pass by sandwich-less; often I’ll grab a  slice of bread with a meal and stuff whatever is on my plate into it. There’s something so satisfying about biting down on a well-made slice; the countless contrasting combinations within; the carb fix; the convenience. So, my current top 5 Serious Sandwiches:

1. The Mexican Torta (top).  I first came across this in Thomasina Miers’  book, Mexican Food Made Simple. It’s basically a big party of Mexican tasty all stuffed into a sturdy ballast of bread; probably the messiest sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Mine was packing: guacamole; tomato salsa; grilled chorizo; smoked chicken; refried beans; lettuce and smoked scotch bonnet mayo. One of the most delicious and gut-busting sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. I had to lie down on the sofa afterwards, like a giant beached blimp.

2. The BLAT. Bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato (sometimes a cheeky touch of spring onion). A hangover stalwart for the past goodness knows how many years. Proper bacon is essential; none of that supermarket shite. My avocados of choice are those massive ones you can find easily in Peckham. Hass are otherwise good, if you can actually find a ripe one.

2.1 A sneaky extra coming in at number 2: the BLT with fried green tomatoes. This got made because I was kindly gifted a big bag of green tomatoes by Andre, which I sliced, coated in crumbs and fried, the American way. I’d heard somewhere that these are good in a BLT. They were. A nice crunchy layer of fried stuff in the middle of a bacon sandwich was never going to be a bad thing. That’s a remoulade on the bottom made with mayo, pickle brine and Frank’s hot sauce.

3. Ham cooked in cola with deep-fried pickles. Deep-fried pickles are the best thing to happen since regular pickles and deep-fried things that are not yet pickled. The ham was simmered in cola and glazed with molasses. I finished the sandwich with home-made hot sauce. Another day I deep fried more pickles, and okra, to make a sandwich with shredded, hickory smoked hot wings. Never dismiss the option of slinging in a few deep-fried pickles. Did I mention how brilliant the deep-fried pickles are? The deep-fried pickles are very good. This is an important message.

4. The best chicken sandwich of my life. I made this after I’d cooked chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, using the garlic and chicken fat enhanced oil to make mayonnaise which I mixed with the leftover chicken. Phwoar. About 10 million calories in that one by my very scientific reckoning.

5. The SPAM mi. It’s a banh mi with SPAM. The thought of eating chopped pork and ham from a can may repulse you, but this is one of my favourite guilty pleasures and something I ate rather a lot of as a child. The Chinese love the stuff (I enjoyed it a lot at a steamboat restaurant in Chinatown the other evening) and it also works very well indeed in this Vietnamese banh mi.

I’ve just realised that 5 of those contain pork. Ah well, I don’t think anyone is under any illusions any more about how much pork I eat. I think this also illustrates rather nicely why I need to get up at 6am to exercise. Swings and roundabouts.

Category: Round-ups, Sandwiches | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 14 comments »

14 Responses to “Serious sandwiches: my current top 5”

  1. Christina McDermott

    Speaking as a person who is currently hungover, all of these sandwiches look like perfect hangover-busting-food. And I want all of them. Now.

  2. Gary @ The Greedy Fork

    I could happily munch away on any of them, especially the ham cooked in cola and fried pickles.

    Dying for a sandwich now lol

  3. Leslie Fabello

    Nice post. Yum sandwiches are great… check out http://scanwiches.com/ by a colleague…

  4. Shu Han

    gah they all look so good. especially the chicken with chicken mayo made from chicken fat. OMG kill me and stuff me now. anyway i also make it a point to exercise almost every day, so i’m licensed to eat all I want right? ;)

  5. Andy

    <3

  6. deepa / lazy giraffe

    Two of my favourite sandwiches in here – the best chicken sandwich and the BLT with fried green tomatoes. OMG.

    Another one to try – bacon with fried portobello mushrooms (fried in the bacon fat obviously), avocado and with basil or basil pesto, or even basil mayo.

  7. Paul

    I want that fried green tomato BLT in my life! That is all.

  8. Miss Whiplash

    Oh My Goodness! Look at those TOMATOES :-)

  9. miss south

    Could you put the culinary equivalent of a trigger warning on posts like this? I just had a bacon butty, but my stomach started growling and howling and throwing itself around demanding more pork with a side helping of fried stuff immediately!

  10. thelittleloaf

    Man vs Food! Epic sandwich post :-) Agree, BLT just isn’t the same without creamy avocado to offset the salty, crisp bacon. I still haven’t got round to making those deep fried pickles (why not? why not?!) but am definitely having a go very soon (possibly after next week’s holiday…how are you not the size of a house?! :-) )

  11. Robert

    You continue to torment me with your fabolous food. :-) I need them all now!

    When will you set up a cafe/stall selling your fantastic cooking?

  12. Helen

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Robert – I’m hoping to do the Warwick Winding again this year (http://helengraves.co.uk/2010/09/the-warwick-wingding-2/), if they’ll let me!

  13. Becs@Lay the table

    I quite fancy the spam mi! My boyfriend and his colleague have an hour and a half lunch break and buy lunch together so they always have artisan breads and beautiful italian salami from the salumeria in their part of town. It makes me very jealous when I’m sitting there slurping soup.

    My personal favourite is salami with emmental and tomato mayonnaise!

  14. bigsands

    My favourite is still the Club Sandwich. It varies from one place to another, but I would recommend it.


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