Sandwiches – Make a quick wholesome meal


Sandwiches are one of the easiest complete meal to put together. Sandwiches can also put your culinary skills to test. Sandwiches can let you experiment and be creative with your food. So, here is to some fundamentals about sandwich making and a few recipes too.

I was going through the Ask Experts section here on ISC, when I came upon a question on how to make sandwiches. Sandwiches seem so easy to put together, but there are a few tricks involved in getting the sandwiches right. Remember, the perfect sandwich should not be dry nor be soggy. So, how do you manage to make those perfect sandwiches?
There are a few things to keep in mind when making sandwiches.

  • The bread must be fresh
  • The bread must be buttered
  • Once made sandwiches must be stored properly, to maintain their freshness

This article will show you the little nitty-gritties of making a sandwich, along with a few no-fuss and interesting recipes.

Buttering of bread is essential for the perfect sandwich


When you make a sandwich, buttering the bread becomes essential. The reason for this is simple the moisture or the liquid from the stuffing that you put in your sandwich will seep into the bread, making it soggy and unpalatable. Use softened butter and spread it evenly on the side of the slices that will hold the fillings.

What do you do if you are making sandwiches with mint chutney? Applying the chutney to the bread will make the latter a soggy mess and if you butter the bread, the chutney will probably slide, instead of sticking on to the bread. A good way of making mint chutney sandwiches is to blend a little butter with the chutney and refrigerating it for about an hour. The butter and chutney spread can now be applied directly onto the bread.

Similarly, you can add butter to tomato ketchup and use it the same way as the chutney.

Using mayonnaise in a sandwich


If you plan to make a sandwich with mayo in it, make sure to butter the bread. Add the mayo to whatever you are using as a sandwich filling. You can use tuna and mayo or shredded chicken and mayo or veggies and mayo. Mixing the mayo to the filling gives it a body and makes it sit perfectly in the sandwich.

How about a hung curd sandwich


Hung curd is nothing but curd from which the whey has been removed. You can tie curd in a muslin cloth and let the liquid drip away, or place curd in a fine strainer to remove excess liquid. Once the solid part of the curd is available, season it, with salt, chilli flakes/pepper and use as you would the mayonnaise.

Keeping sandwiches soft and fresh


If you are not eating the sandwiches immediately, it is important that you keep them fresh. When packing the sandwiches into as tiffin-box wrap them in plastic wrap or silver foil. If you prepare them beforehand for tea or an evening get-together cover them with a damp muslin cloth. Your sandwiches will remain fresh.

What goes into a sandwich


Sandwiches are the easiest food to put together. There is no hard and fast rule of what can be put into a sandwich and what cannot. Learn to experiment, with whatever you have. You also have the choice of using readymade sandwich and/or cheese spreads. Spice up a cold sandwich with some delectable sauces and you'll be good to go. Here are some good options for fillings are:
  • Shredded leftover chicken
  • Canned fish – tuna, mackerel, salmon or sardines
  • Cold cuts - ham, salami, smoked chicken etc
  • Left over veggies – especially dry preparations such as potatoes, peas and carrots, mushrooms, paneer etc
  • Eggs make great sandwiches – you can make an omelette and team it with slices of onions, capsicums, cucumber and tomatoes or use boiled and mashed eggs, seasoned with herbs of your choice. Interestingly, boiled egg sandwiches taste delicious paired with a tomato ketchup and butter spread
  • Sandwiches with slices of cucumber, onions, tomatoes and boiled potatoes with a green chutney and butter spread are healthy and cool on a hot summer day

Recipes for special sandwiches


I make a meal out of sandwiches quite often. There are a lot of interesting things that you can try. Here are three of my favourite grilled sandwiches. They can be served with lightly sautéed veggies or herb potatoes and a soup, to make a complete meal.

Mushroom & Ham Double Cheese Grilled Sandwich


This is a rich and wholesome sandwich, which goes well with a light, clear soup. These sandwiches need to be served immediately. If you are vegetarian, you can skip the ham and add grilled slices of paneer, instead. Though the recipe calls for mushrooms, you can experiment with other veggies. Try using chopped spinach or corn kernels instead of the mushrooms. Do not add salt to the sandwiches, as the cheeses make up for it. Add black pepper if you want or mixed herbs/spices for more flavour.
Sandwich spreads

Ingredients:


  • 8 Bread slices (I use whole wheat/multigrain)
  • Butter
  • 1 packet of mushrooms, chopped
  • Onions sliced into roundels
  • Tomato sliced into roundels
  • Ham slices (you can use salami too)
  • 6tsp Cream Cheese
  • Cheese slices (or grated processed/cheddar cheese)
  • Chilli flakes
  • Finely chopped garlic

Method:


  • Put a little butter in a pan and to it add the mushrooms and butter
  • Cook the mushrooms for a minute (we don't want it cooked completely)
  • Remove from fire and cool the mushrooms
  • Blend the cream cheese and the mushrooms, and set aside
  • Butter both sides of the bread slices and spread them out for assembly
  • Place the onion rings, tomato slices and the mushroom mix on 4 slices, add the ham on top it off with the cheese slices
  • Place another buttered slice on top
  • The sandwiches are ready to be grilled – you can use a sandwich toaster or toast them in the microwave or oven, until they are nice and crispy on the outside

Bell Pepper & Cheese Sandwiches


This sandwich is easy to put together, and does not require any skill. You could make the sandwich with spinach instead of capsicums. If you want to make it healthier then add grated carrots and beetroot and finely chopped beans to the mix.

Ingredients :


  • 8 slices of bread
  • Cheese spread of your choice (1 tub)
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • Finely chopped bell peppers (use red, yellow green peppers, or stick to just one variety)
  • Finely chopped green chillies ( the number depends on how sharp you want the sandwich to be)
  • Chilli flakes ¼ tbsp.
  • ¼ tbsp mixed herbs (optional)
  • Big pinch of pepper powder

Method :


  • Transfer all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well
  • Spread the mix on 4 slices and cover each slice with a plain slice
  • Grill them in a sandwich grill, in an oven/microwave or on a regular griddle pan, until crisp and slightly browned
  • Serve hot, with a hot and sweet tomato sauce

Cheesy Paneer & Green Chutney Chatpata Sandwich


Rainy weather calls for a hot cuppa and something what we Indians refer to as 'chatpata'. 'Chatpata', is best described as a flavour that is tangy and sour. It's a flavour that opens taste buds and brings in spice into an otherwise dull weather.

Ingredients :


  • 8 bread slices
  • Butter
  • 4 Cheese slices (grated processed cheese will also do)
  • Thinly sliced paneer
  • Mint & coriander chutney
  • Garlic finely chopped
  • Ginger finely chopped
  • Finely chopped green chillies (according to taste)
  • Chilli powder 1 tsp( or according to taste)
  • Zeera powder 1 tsp (or according to taste)
  • Chat masala powder 1 tsp
  • Onion cut into circles

Method :


  • Mix butter and the mint & coriander chutney and refrigerate for ½ hour
  • Spread the mix liberally on 4 slices
  • Place paneer slices on top (make sure that the paneer covers the entire surface)
  • Sprinkle all the powders on top of the paneer
  • Scatter some garlic, ginger and green chillies on each paneer topped slice
  • Spread onion rings and cover with a cheese slice each
  • Spread the chutney mix on the balance slices and cover the paneer based slices
  • Grill the sandwiches as mentioned in the above recipes and serve hot

Varied sauces for sandwiches
The next time you are hungry or in the mood to try something different, why not make yourself a sandwich. To make your sandwiches more appetizing stock some sauces at home.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 448 articles authored by Juana

Comments

Author: umesh28 Jan 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Great Juana! A beautiful article regarding sandwiches and what I liked most was the clarity and details with which things are explained. Sandwiches are very popular throughout the globe and they are not only good snacks but also wholesome filling foods. As people are on the go and have limited time for leisure eating, sandwiches come handy. I remember one incident when we were traveling in a car from Addition to Texas in US and were in a hurry to reach a particular technical installation, we were offered big sandwiches by our host during lunch time and we relished these on the way.

Author: Juana31 Jan 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 9

Sandwiches indeed can be wholesome meals, provided the bread in use is a healthy variety and the filling is equally healthy. Bread is a rich source of complex carbohydrates and are high in niacin (vitamin B3) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) and other B complex vitamins. Whole grain bread is packed with nutrition and has a high-fibre content. These days bread sold in shops is fortified with multigrain and supplements which make them quite healthy.

Apart from regular sliced bread that is sold in grocery stores one must also try special bread from bakeries or try baking their own. I would recommend Baguette and flavoured bread for sandwiches. The former has a nice firm crust, while the latter can be flavourful and add a punch to every bite.

Pita bread is also a nice way of putting together a sandwich, though technically it is not a sandwich, but it’s easy to eat on the go.
I think that sandwiches are a great way of serving veggies that children won’t eat. A pureed and lightly sautéed pumpkin or gourd can be flavoured with herbs and spices and a dash of ketchup and mixed with butter to make a spread. Voila – kids will relish the sandwich without knowing what you’re feeding them.

Author: Swati Sarnobat30 May 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Delicious sandwiches! Better use a wheat bread, rather than fine flour bread for sandwich. Use butter that is naturally prepared at home. Then use plenty of vegetables along with some spices. Then the sandwich becomes delicious.

Author: Juana30 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

Swati,

Thank you for your tips. Can you please explain the difference between white bread and fine flour bread? Are the two not the same? What is fine flour - is it different from 'maida' from which white bread is made?

I prefer using whole grain bread, even when I bake my own bread I ensure it is multi-grain. These are healthier than white bread, which is nothing but refined flour.

Which vegetables and spices do you recommend? Any special recipes?



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