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Cooks Corner

By By Lisa Tindell
I know, a recipe for a sandwich sounds crazy. I saw a recipe a few months back for Tomato Sandwiches. My first thought, Crazy fools – who needs a recipe for a tomato sandwich? This is, after all, the deep South. All we need is bread, mayonnaise, salt and maybe some pepper. That's it. The perfect tomato sandwich. Recipe, my foot.
This got me to thinking that maybe there are some folks out there who need a little help. Everyone in this area, we hope, can make a tomato sandwich, but to liven up the ole white bread lunch may take a little work.
Some folks prefer wheat bread over white. That's fine – sometimes I like a change as well. But when you start your search for the perfect sandwich bread, be prepared. There are many, many kinds of breads out there waiting for your condiments.
I realized as I began doing research for this column that it's not necessarily the "sandwich" recipe we need so much as it is a need for the "filling" recipes.
I've included only a few of the many recipes I perused for this column. Pull out "Cook's Corner" from a few weeks back and you may even find some additional ideas for revving up the mayo and other spreads usually used in building a good sandwich.
Monte Cristo
8 slices sourdough bread
2 tbsp. honey mustard
4 slices (1 oz. each) cooked ham
1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
one-half cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
one-fourth cup milk
one-eighth tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. butter
Spread one side bread slices with mustard. Layer on ham and cheeses. Top with remaining bread slices. In a shallow dish, combine eggs, milk and nutmeg. Melt butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Dip each sandwich into egg mixture, coating well on all sides. Let excess drip back into dish. Place sandwiches on hot skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides and cheese has melted.
Note: I have had this sandwich served with a dusting of powdered sugar. That part, of course, is optional
Reuben Sandwich
2 tbsp. butter
8 slices rye (or other firm, dark bread)
8 slices deli-style corned beef
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 c. sauerkraut, drained well
one-half cup thousand island dressing
Preheat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat. Lightly butter one side of bread slices. Spread non-buttered sides with dressing. Top four slices with slice of cheese, two slices of corned beef, one-fourth cup sauerkraut and the second slice of cheese. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered side out. Grill sandwiches on both sides until golden brown.
Note: My son, Landon, will someday, no doubt, turn into a grilled cheese sandwich. Since this is a fact of life at my house, I have learned one very important rule concerning grilled sandwiches – DO NOT RUSH IT! To get a good grilled sandwich (without the tragedy of a "do over") it's best to take it slow and easy. This will also ensure a wonderfully crustiness to any sandwich prepared on the griddle.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
three-fourth cup mayonnaise
8 oz. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack Cheese
three-fourths tsp. garlic salt
8 slices French bread
2 tbsp. butter
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, shredded cheese and garlic salt. Beat until smooth. Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spread the cheese mixture on four slices of bread and top with remaining slices of bread. Lightly butter outsides of sandwiches. Place on griddle and grill until golden brown on both sides.
Baked Ham and Cheese
2 cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick)
1 cup milk
2 tbs. yellow mustard
1 egg
1 (6 oz.) pkg. sliced, cooked ham
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan. Mix biscuit mix, milk, mustard and egg until well blended. Pour half of the batter into baking dish. Top with half of the ham and one-half cup of the cheese. Top cheese with remaining ham. Pour remaining batter over ham and baked 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and set. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and let stand five minutes before cutting.
Sandwich Tips
Instead of jelly with your usual peanut butter, try apple sauce or grated apples. The sugar content is greatly reduced and kids enjoy the difference.
Try seasoning the bacon as you fry it for that BLT you're craving. Season the slices with pepper, curry, garlic or your favorite spice before you fry.
Top your favorite ham or turkey sandwich with something new. Try using fresh baby spinach leaves instead of lettuce or Roma tomatoes instead of regular ones.
Bean sprouts make a great addition to a meat sandwich. Even cucumbers offer a refreshing difference.
Check out the cold-case near your grocer's deli. You'll find interesting items like hummus, various cheeses and spreads to give you a change of taste.
If your kids refuse to eat anything but white bread, offer a sandwich made with one slice white and one slice whole-wheat. They will get what they want and so will you. This will make it easier to slip in a sandwich made on whole-wheat someday.
There are many more sandwich recipes I could give you in this column today, but I can't decide which ones of the more than 300 recipes I've looked at this week to share here.
Check back here next week for what could be a very interesting column. I will share some ideas on bread making….
Until then, happy eating!