I am slowly and steadily making my way through the stack of cookbooks I've been sent to review over the past few months. One of those cookbooks is The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, written by food blogger Susan Russo of Food Blogga.
The book is small (with lots of small type) but chock-full of information. The sandwiches run the gamut from A to Z and range from those so simple I wouldn't even bother to use a recipe to make them (hello, BLT, grilled cheese, and PB&J) to more complex recipes with many steps (I'm looking at you, pulled pork sandwich). Every sandwich is pictured, which I really like, and accompanied by some sort of history or trivia. If you're curious about the difference between a hoagie, a hero, and a grinder, you'll want to read this cookbook.
I know I'll be making many of the sandwiches in this book, but I opted for a fairly simple sandwich for my first one: the chicken salad sandwich. I'd like to say I followed the recipe exactly, but I learned I'm not so disciplined when it comes to following a recipe for a sandwich. By nature, sandwiches call for ease and simplicity, so I did a lot more estimating than measuring.
I also ended up cutting back on a lot of the ingredients, and I still had enough chicken salad to make four sandwiches, which is the original yield. I can't imagine how big the sandwiches were supposed to be! Below is my scaled-down version. (Note that I used this recipe to cook the chicken to give it more flavor.) The chicken salad is sweet and tangy and definitely worth making.
Chicken Salad Sandwiches (adapted from The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches)
Makes 4 sandwiches
8 ounces poached, shredded chicken (from about two boneless, skinless breasts)
2 tablespoons finely diced celery
2 tablespoons relish
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon finely diced Vidalia onion
Salt and pepper
4 slices cheddar cheese
8 slices whole-grain bread or bread of your choice (toasted if desired)
Combine chicken salad ingredients in a bowl. If desired, cover and refrigerate 2 hours to let flavors meld (I didn't do this).
For each sandwich, top a piece of toast or bread with a slice of cheddar and one-fourth of the chicken salad.
Then top the sandwich with another piece of toast or bread, and serve.
"It's nothing fancy -- just a simple, delicious meal between bread." - Susan Russo
What's your favorite sandwich?