Make us your home page
Instagram

Up your sandwich game with these 12 ideas

Sandwiches are the ultimate creative food outlet.

Put enough protein and vegetables and schmears between two pieces of bread, and a sammie can be suitable for any meal, a way to get ingredients to party in a way they never organically would.

Sandwiches can also be pedestrian (though sometimes, as with a classic PB and J, that's satisfying, too). But they don't have to be. We asked an expert how to take your sandwich game up a level.

Matt Bonano, owner of the sandwich and cheese shop Brooklyn South in St. Petersburg, considers almost every filling squeezed between a bread product a sandwich. Burger? Yes. Quesadilla? Sure. Crepes? Why not?

For Bonano, building a sandwich is all about having fun, being creative and mixing flavors to make something better than the sum of its parts.

"If there's any place there are no rules, it's in the sandwich world," he said.

One of his big tips for home cooks putting together their own sammies is to rely heavily on leftovers. Next time you cook salmon, double the amount of servings and repurpose it the next day between two slices of bread. (He likes to dredge his fillets in an egg wash and pan-fry them.) Meatloaf, roast chicken and large cuts of beef can be used the same way.

And if you do opt for standard sliced meat from a deli counter, try asking for a thicker portion, then grilling just until it gets some gentle grill marks.

"You'd be amazed how much more flavor you can add this way," Bonano said.

He loves to play around with sandwich recipes at his shop on Central Avenue (which just expanded from tiny to slightly-less-tiny, going from two tables to seating for 23 people), coming up with new combinations constantly. He rattles off some of his recent favorites, which range from whipped ricotta cheese with roasted fruits and honey to peanut butter and fig jam to a corned beef-Gruyere-sauerkraut rollup. His personal go-tos? Tuna salad, made with lemon juice and olive oil instead of mayonnaise and topped with crunchy veggies like fennel, celery and capers; and anything with pulled pork.

Other sandwich-making tips from Bonano: For the best results, toast your bread before applying sandwich fillings; keep the dry components of a sandwich toward the top, and make sure wet items like tomatoes and lettuce are in the middle so they don't turn either piece of bread soggy; use romaine or oak leaf lettuces, which have a nice crunch, instead of iceberg, which he refers to as "sawdust." Don't be afraid to change the composition — think fried sandwiches, open faced, pressed. Make something up. Play with your food.

"Trying to make a meal and put it between two pieces of bread — that's what I love to do," Bonano said.

Now it's your turn to build your own sandwich. Follow the pairings below for some suggestions.

Meat

Start with ... Roast beef

Add ... pumpernickel bread; red onion, tomato, lettuce; cheddar cheese; horseradish sauce.

 

Start with ... Turkey

Add ... sourdough bread; sprouts; provolone cheese; whole-grain mustard.

 

Start with ... Chicken

Add ... ciabatta bread; tomato, mozzarella cheese; balsamic vinegar; basil

 

Start with ... Ham

Add ... rye bread; lettuce and pickle; Swiss cheese; chipotle mayonnaise

 

Fish

Start with ... Tuna (canned, in water, mixed with olive oil)

Add ... whole wheat roll; arugula, cucumber, sliced olives; mayonnaise, fresh dill

 

Start with ... Salmon (blackened)

Add ... brioche bun; avocado, red onion, tomato; mayonnaise, lemon zest

 

Start with ... Cod (breaded and fried)

Add ... sourdough bread; bibb lettuce, pickles; American cheese (optional); tartar sauce

 

Start with ... Shrimp (deveined and sliced in half)

Add ... baguette; celery, grated sweet onion, capers; mayonnaise, hot pepper sauce

 

Vegetarian

Start with ... Peanut butter

Add ... whole wheat bread; sliced banana; honey, slivered almonds, raisins

 

Start with ... Beets (cooked and sliced thin)

Add ... ciabatta bread; red onion, spinach; feta cheese; hummus;

 

Start with ... Roasted veggies (try squash, red pepper, mushrooms)

Add ... baguette; sprouts, watercress; goat cheese; pesto

 

Start with ... Black bean burger (store-bought or homemade)

Add ... hamburger bun; shredded carrots; cheddar cheese; ranch dressing

 

Up your sandwich game with these 12 ideas 05/09/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 9, 2016 12:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando Events for Sept. 22

    Events

    22 Friday

    Academia Hernando Fall 2017 Lecture Series: "Eleanor Roosevelt at the U.N. — Human Rights," by Susan Marie Frontczak. Series includes eight lectures and one field trip. Field trip only open to subscribers. 10 a.m. to noon. $65 for the entire series, including field trip; $9 per …

  2. Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Sept. 22

    Events

    Festivals

    Music and brews: "Brews and Wine on the Bayou," a benefit for Youth and Family Alternatives, will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Gill Dawg Marina, 5419 Treadway Drive, Port Richey. The event will feature all-you-can-taste beer and wine, with 20 craft beers and 20 wines. There will be a …

  3. 5 things you didn't know about 'Wall Street' on its 30th anniversary

    Blogs

    It’s hard to think of the 1987 movie Wall Street and not picture Michael Douglas as a megalomaniac tycoon spouting “Greed is good” until shareholders fall in line. 

  4. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  5. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.