Sandwiches are built from four simple elements-Bread, a spread, a filling and a garnish. They are found on breakfast and luncheon menus as well as supper menus. Sandwiches can range from a simple to elegant, depending upon the ingredients you choose.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES • Name the four basic elements in a sandwich. • Describe the purpose of the four elements in a sandwich. • Select breads suited to a specific type of sandwich. • Name the seven types of sandwiches • Prepare sandwiches both to order and in volume.
KEY TERMS and CONCEPTS • Bread • Closed-faced Sandwich • Club Sandwich • Filling • Finger or Tea Sandwich • Griddled Sandwich • Open-faced Sandwich • Spread
Griddled Sandwich-Cooked on a griddle or sandwich press until toasted and heated through; melts, Reuben, and grilled cheese sandwiches, for instance.
Cold Sandwich-or deli-style, filled with sliced meats, mayonnaise-dressed salads, vegetables, or cheeses.
Hot Sandwiches-a closed sandwich with a hot filling, such as a hamburger or pastrami, or an open-faced sandwich that includes a hot filling
Finger or Tea Sandwich-made on a fine-grained bread and cut into precise shapes and sizes that can be eaten in about one or two bites
Breads The characteristics of the various breads and how they will affect the sandwiches should be considered. The bread should be firm and thick enough to hold the filling but not so thick that the sandwich is too dry. Most breads can be sliced in advance of sandwich preparation as long as they are carefully covered to prevent drying. Toasting should be done only immediately before assembling the sandwich.
Fine-grain breads (Pullman-style loaves, white, wheat, or rye) are particularly good for delicate tea or finger sandwiches, since they can be sliced thin without crumbling
Coarsely grained or peasant-style breads (pumpernickel, sourdough, pain de campagne, and boule) are good for larger sandwiches served as main-dish items.
Rolls (hard, soft, submarine or hoagie, and Kaiser rolls) are split before filling.
Flatbreads (focaccia, pita, or ciabatta) may be split before filling or used as the base for an open-faced sandwich.
Wrappers (plain or flavored wraps, wheat tortillas, and similar flexible flatbreads) are featured in special sandwiches, especially those found in regional or ethnic cuisines.
Spreads A fat-based Spread (mayonnaise or butter, for instance) provides a barrier to keep the bread from getting soggy. Spreads also add moisture to a sandwich and help to hold it together as it is held and eaten. Many sandwiches call for a spread applied directly to the bread. Some sandwich fillings have the spread directly in the filling mixture; there is no need then to add a spread when assembling the sandwich. Spreads can be very simple and subtly flavored, or they may themselves bring a special flavor and texture to the sandwich.
Mayonnaise (plain or flavored, such as aioli and rouille) or creamy salad dressings.
Some Great Spread To Consider • Mayonnaise (plain or flavored, such as aioli and rouille) or creamy salad dressings. • Plain or flavored butters • Oils and vinaigrettes • Mustards • Ketchup • Spread able cheeses (ricotta, cream cheese, mascarpone, or crème fraiche) • Vegetables or herb spreads (hummus, tapenade, or pesto) • Jelly, Jam, compotes, chutneys, and other fruit preserves. • Guacamole.
FILLING Sandwich fillings are the focus of a sandwich. They may be cold or hot, substantial or minimal. The filling determines how all the other elements of the sandwich are selected and prepared.
Choices for fillings • Sliced roasted or simmered meats (beef, corned beef, pastrami, turkey, ham, pates, sausages) • Sliced cheeses • Grilled, roasted, marinated, or fresh vegetables • Grilled, pan fried, or broiled burgers, sausages, fish, poultry, or eggs. • Salads of meats
Garnishes Lettuce leaves, slices of tomato or onion, sprouts, marinated or brined peppers, and olives are just a few of the many ingredients that can be used to garnish sandwiches. These garnished become part of the sandwich's overall structure, so choose them with some thought given to the way they complement or contrast the main filling. Addition to garnishes incorporated directly into the sandwich, you can also include side garnishes, such as salads, pickles, or fruits to complete the plate.
Garnish Choices • Sliced Fresh Vegetables • Pickle spears or olives • Dips, spreads, or relishes • Green salad or side salad (potato salad, pasta salad, and coleslaw) • Sliced fruits
REMEMBER… Sandwiches are a mainstay of casual menus. They are served as the main course for breakfast, lunch, and even supper. Smaller versions of sandwiches, finger or tea sandwiches, are often served at receptions. No matter what the style of service, sandwiches are best when the basic elements are thoughtfully chosen, properly prepared and appropriately garnished.
HELPFUL TIPS… Organize your workstation carefully to be as efficient as possible. Whether you are preparing sandwiches to order or in large quantities, have all the ingredients at the right temperature, properly season and sliced as necessary • Organize your mise en place so that everything you need is within arm’s reach. • Maximize the workflow by looking for ways to eliminate any unnecessary movements: Rearrange the direction the work moves or prepare larger (or smaller) batches of items. • Prepare spreads prior to service. Use a spatula to spread the entire surface of the bread. • Slice breads and rolls prior to service for volume production. Whenever possible, toast, grill, or broil breads when ready to assemble the sandwich. If bread must be toasted in advance, hold the toast in a warm area, loosely covered. • Prepare and portion filling and garnishes in advances and hold them at the correct temperature. • Clean and dry lettuce or other greens in advance. • Grilled sandwich such as a Reuben sandwich can be fully assembled in advance of service, then grilled or heated to order.