Posts Tagged ‘Sandwich’
I quizzed Chowhound folks ahead of time to see where I might score some good Kentucky Country Ham in Louisville, and got lots of great suggestions where I could get it to nosh on or get a big ‘un to go.
I ended up at one of the top suggestions for sandwiches, Morris Liquor and Deli, a small liquor store in the center of the city with a deli counter. You walk up to the counter and select your bread, meat, cheese and condiments; sandwiches are sold by weight, and I can’t tell you what the price per pound is, but I can tell you I paid $13 for two sandwiches, two sodas and a bag of chips, which seemed quite reasonable to me.
I went with country ham on dark rye with provolone and yellow mustard. Also got a corned beef with Swiss on pumpernickel with German mustard. Both with superb. I would have bought sliced ham by the pound there ($16) but I knew I would be hitting a couple of groceries in search of a big chunk later, which I did.
This is a really excellent sandwich place, mostly take-out, a few tables inside and outside, great liquor selection as well as liquor mixers and such. Parking and entry/exit is a little dicey, but it’s worth taking your life in your hands for this country ham. Truly.
Morris Liquors and Deli Review
I first heard of, and experienced the “pastrami dip” at a West Los Angeles icon, Johnnie’s Pastrami, on Sepulveda near the Culver City border. It’s a favorite corner of mine, also home to “Cinco de Mayo” (formerly Lucy’s #2) a Los Angeles style Mexican fast food stand open all night. I used to sit there in the middle of the night and write. Behind it is Tito’s Tacos, another local joint you’re bound to have to stand in line for. There’s a pretty fair pizza in the next block, as well. I like this corner so much, I have been known to hole up in a crappy motel across Sepulveda for a weekend and indulge myself….on several planes.
There are a couple of different Los Angeles places that claim to have invented the “French Dip” a couple thousand years ago, and surely the pastrami dip is an off-shoot. You can sort out that whole “origin” thing at that online bastion of misinformation, Wikipedia, if you want, at their article on the French Dip.
Making the sandwich at home isn’t particularly challenging. Buy some high quality pastrami (high quality = at least $12 and up a pound), stuff it in a French roll, and prepare a dip.
Cheat on the dip by buying a packet of dry mix at the grocery, or beef bullion and adding (at least ) 5 cloves of garlic and simmering for an hour. Or the better way, deglaze a pan from a beef roast and make au jus from “scratch.’ My favorite way.
The Chicago version of the French Dip is called “Italian Beef” which is a marvel in itself. I’ve written a lot of posts on Italian Beef.
Pastrami Dip Recipe
I’ve been trying out a lot of deli meats, lately, mostly pastrami and corned beef. I’m a fairly big snob / choosy about what I buy, eschewing the more inexpensive brands, which tend to be what I refer to commonly as “chopped, pressed, and form,” meat and other additives reconstituted to resemble roasts. I much prefer companies that use whole muscle meats for their deli offerings, like NY’s Carnegie and Chicago’s Vienna Beef.
Today I picked up a pound of Hormel Roast Beef ($6.99 a pound, Wal Mart), and upon investigation of the packaging, and noting the USDA establishment number (15835), I find this product is produced and packaged for Hormel by a company called Dan’s Prize, in Long Prairie, MN. Dan’s Prize was started in the 80s; Long Prairie is in the middle of the state, about 3.5 hours NW of Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota.
The taste and texture of the meat is acceptable, and my only red flag is the printing on the front of the package “contains isolated soybean proteins.” Upon further investigation, this is a powder used to emulate flavor in food products, and are a highly concentrated form of protein. They were developed nearly 80 years ago for industrial purposes, mainly as (wait for it) adhesives for paper coatings. Yum.
If you choose to shop the deli counter at most Wal Marts, your brand selection is pretty narrow. Most of the product is Prima Della (Wal Mart’s house brand) (also made by a variety of contract manufacturers), at the store I stopped at today, in addition to the one Hormel product, there were about half a dozen Sara Lee deli meats.
They don’t stock any of the premium national brands at the service deli, however you may find some pre-packaged items elsewhere in the store.
Would I buy the Hormel beef again? Well, most likely, it’s a fair price, and as I said, the taste and texture are palatable. And who can’t use a little more paper coasting adhesive in their diet? Pix of Dan’s Prize factory below.
Hormel Deli Roast Beef Review
Millionaire Tuna Salad / Melts
Why “Millionaire?” Because I start with fresh Ahi which I order from a sashimi supplier. Regardless of your source, using fresh tuna of any ilk to your preparations that call for tuna, adds an entirely new depth of flavor and texture over the canned product.
- Fresh tuna steak, sushi grade ( I buy it here, great company)
- Mustard (your choice) Stone ground, Dijon, Yellow) (French Maille is the best, you can order it here).
- Diced Green Pitted Olives
- (Optional crunch factor) Add diced celery or onion if desired
- Bread (choose English muffins,split baguettes, or sliced bread)
- Cheese for melting (Havarti, Provolone, or American)
Sear the tuna well on both sides in a hot skillet. I season mine with Tony Chachere Seasoning….it’s similar to a ‘blackened’ seasoning, but with more heat and less salt.
Rough chop the tuna and olives.
Mix in mayo and mustard, measurements depend on your preference for creaminess.
Lightly toast your bread, ladle on the tuna salad, cover with cheese, and dust with paprika, before putting it under the broiler until the cheese is thoroughly melted.
Tuna Salad Recipe
You may have made a strata before, it’s sorta like quiche, but because of its construction, opens up other flavor possibilities. One of my favorites is to make a “Reuben” strata, which is a perfect alternative brunch recipe. Here’s the dope.
- 8 slices hearty rye bread, crusts removed
- 2 cups milk or half and half
- 3 eggs beaten
- 6 slices swiss cheese
- ½ pound corned beef
- ½ cup sauerkraut, thoroughly squeeze to remove moisture
- 1 t powdered mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Spray 8X12 baking dish with quick release
Place bread in bottom of baking dish, cut to fit dish
Beat eggs with milk and dry mustard
Place layer of corned beef, topped with swiss cheese on top of bread
Pour milk / egg mixture in baking dish
Let sit in refrigerator over night
Pre heat oven to 375
Cover dish with foil, bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. Serve hot, with side of mixed fruit.
Possible variations: substitute Italian sausage, salami, or pepperoni and mozzarella. Bacon or ham and cheddar. Country sausage crumbles, american cheese and drizzled with county gravy.
The gyro (however you choose to pronounce it, ”yero’, ‘jy-ro’, ‘geer-o’) is a sandwich of Greek origin consisting of vertically spit roasted meat, cucumber sauce, onion and tomato on a split or folded pita. The name comes from the Greek word which means “turn” – a description of the meat roasting on the revolving vertical spit. The meat is thin sliced and placed into the folded pita with the condiments. Documented history of the sandwich dates back to the 19th century.
Chicago’s Devanco Foods is one of several large suppliers of gyro sandwich fixings; they supply to both restaurants and package in retail for purchase by consumers at groceries. The kits are “heat and eat” affairs, weighing in at about two and a half pounds, and priced in the $8-$9 range. Contents include six pitas, 10 ounces of tzatziki (cucumber) sauce, and a pound of gyro meat, which is beef, lamb, breadcrumbs, flavoring and spices. The kit is supposed to make six sandwiches, which comes out to about a buck and a half each, considerably less than restaurant pricing. Consumers may add tomatoes and onions to their sandwich, which they must supply from their home pantry.
The product is sold frozen (hard) and instructions recommend thawing the ingredients overnight in the refrigerator. Further instructions allow for heating the thawed product in the microwave or in a skillet on a stove top. The box further directs consumers to place ‘about’ 5 slices of meat in each sandwich.
Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, I wasn’t aware of gyros until the advent of adulthood, and later, when work took me to the Middle East, the variations became a favorite. The sandwiches were also quite plentiful when I lived in Paris, in the 10th, as our neighbors were primarily Turkish and there were a lot of shawarma/gyro shops in the neighborhood.
In addition to gyro fixings, Devanco makes other Chicago favorites, including Ditka’s Italian Beef (review), various types of Giardiniera, a pickled vegetable mix Chicagoans enjoy on hot dogs and other sandwiches.
As always, I went with stove top prep, believing “slow and low” the key to success in the kitchen, most of the time. I did add tomatoes and onions to my pita.
Will you notice much of a difference between these heat and eat versions and ones you’d purchase at a shop? Not really. One exception would be at a shop you can ask for ‘crispy’ bits of meat, and some shops add lettuce, which I eschew on any sandwich. Devanco’s meat is tasty, they include an ample amount of cucumber sauce, and their pitas are about as good as any anywhere. Funny, near my old house in Portland there are some hummus shops, and the one that specializes in hummus has the worst pita and chips I’ve ever consumed anywhere.
Would I buy the kit again? Absolutely! Tasty food, great value.
Devanco Gyro Kit
Had a craving for corned beef today, out in the old stomping grounds of idyllic Barrington, IL. So it was off to the Bread Basket, one of the two old standbys for locals in the village. (The other being “The Canteen“). Been here dozens of times, back in the day, it was a favorite of my daughter when she was coming up.
I opted for the corned beef on rye, and the waitress told me “some people like it cold,” to which I retorted, “no, it’s supposed to be warm.”
End of discussion.
It was a good sandwich, lean corn beef, probably from Vienna, many restaurants in the Chicago area use that supplier, and they have a great product.
My only “beef?” The restaurant uses “extruded” fries. That’s a potato product, a slurry of mashed potato-like batch is whipped up, and then “fry-shape” pieces are shoved through a mold and flash frozen. They get a certain crispness on the outside, and are smooth and soft inside. Just not my favorite.
But! I was there just before closing, so the waitress gave me a go-cup of coffee, gratis. Score! (Great coffee, too, btw).
There are what – 40,000 Subway sandwich places in the world. The franchised brand name one, not including other chains, Quiznos, Jimmy Joe Bob’s or whatever that one is. Yet “independents” keep springing up and competing.
Like Uncle Sammy’s Sandwich Classics, in Chicago. Uncle Sammy’s is in Lincoln Park, the first neighborhood I ever lived in Chicago. I was at the corner of Lincoln and Wells, Old Town, a few years too late for the hippie fest that went on there, and a few years too early for Belushi and all the pros of his era marching through Second City, just down the block.
Uncle Sammy’s is described by Time Out Magazine of one of Chicago’s six great sandwich shops. They’re open late, and offering a pretty limited menu, a handful of fresh made subs, chips, and brownies. They do catering, meaning, they will deliver quantities of box lunches to your workplace.
Such was the occasion that I got to sample Uncle Sammy’s “Little Italy” sandwich. A friend of mine had a truck load of the sandwiches delivered to her work, and I got the left overs.
The Little Italy has a little kick to it, with Genoa salami, capicola, prosciutto, provolone, lettuce, tomato, vinaigrette, and a little giardiniera.
The bread was incredible fresh, the meats were tasty, extremely thin sliced, and I personally think there could have been more filling.
But it is a good sandwich. One of Chicago’s six best? Hard to say, and I won’t get around to making that determination in this lifetime, for sure!
We pulled into Aberdeen on a Saturday morning expecting to imbibe in a regular “Dennys type” morning breakfast. That’s what we talked about, that’s what we were looking for. Driving down US 101 North near the downtown, I spotted a sign, and turned to Mrs. Burgerdogboy and said “how about Salvadoran?”
She said “yes,” and I shocked the hell out of her and made a hard right into the small parking lot.
About a dozen tables inside, one other occupied, we slid into a booth and were promptly greeted. One can order from the server or at the counter, and Mrs. BDB was so excited at the possibility of an “authentic” meal, she popped to the counter and ordered for us.
The Mrs. opted for a plate of a half dozen small tongue tacos, ordered a pupusa on the side, and a steak torta (sandwich) for me. As an after thought, I asked if she had ordered a side of beans, she hadn’t, and then did, and was she / we ever glad! Best frijoles I have ever had – anywhere on the planet, including Mexico, Spain, and Central America!
My sandwich was overwhelming in both size and flavor. It came on fresh baked, very soft roll, with chopped lettuce, tomato, and dressing.
The tacos were outstanding as well, served with the traditional accompaniments including pickled vegetables.
We both had a Jarritos soda, lime for her, pineapple for me (one of my “couple times a year indulgences I really shouldn’t have).
The pupusas were grand as well.
We couldn’t leave without throwing some of their wonderful, yet unpretentious food in the cooler to take home, so add another half-dozen tamales and a double order of the beans, and it brings our bill to under $30.
This joint was a fabulous impulse. Don’t dine in Aberdeen without considering a stop here.