Intro: Le Ultimate Sandwich Guide
Lunch ought to be a feast of juxtapositions. That's the idea behind this sandwich. Who would of thought of a crunchy crispy sandwich with a moist inside? Thats the whole point of this sandwich. Before you begin on your journey to sandwich heaven I thought it prudent to let you know that this guide ought to serve not as instructions for one sandwich, but more as a launching point to create other, more elaborate sandwiches. This is your introduction to what makes a sandwich good, not necessarily how to make one type of good sandwich.
Step 1: Ingredients!
A good sandwich needs good ingredients. All you need to make a great sandwich is bread, sauce, a meat base, and something to boost the flavor. Here's a basic list of the ingredients I used in my sandwich.
1. Oatmeal Bread
2. Barbecue Sauce
3. Pancetta (Bacon Bits)
5. Cheese (Hand Grated)
6. An Egg
Here's a more detailed explanation of each of the different ingredients:
I can't really tell you what bread is the best. All you need to know is that it's whatever floats your boat. I used oatmeal bread because that's what I had around. Generally, the fresher the bread and the better the ingredients, the better your sandwich. That said, don't break the bank on your bread. Farmers markets (that'll be a recurring theme) are a great place to get good bread that won't make you go broke.
The next component to a great sandwich is a sauce. I used Sir Charles and Queen Cameron's barbecue sauce, but that's only available in greensboro because it's just a couple people who make it and sell it at our local farmers market (there it is again). Other sauces that work are the beautifully tangy Boar and Castle sauce, the perfectly rich Sweet Baby Ray's sauce, a nice asian peanut butter sauce, or even Siracha! I included pictures of all of these options so you can recognize them in the grocery store.
For the meat I like to use something off of a pig (because they are so tasty!). Thus I used pancetta (fancy bacon bits), and prosciutto (cured ham). Some other good meats are regular bacon, pepperoni, and cured honey ham. That said, you don't need to stay with the ham theme, whatever you enjoy works. (Pulled meat is delicious)
Flavor additives are just whatever that is tasty and around. Cheese works (always grate fresh), also a nice roux makes everything fantastic. If you do use a roux make sure that you cook the flour completely or it will taste to much like flour. Mayonnaise is also a great option for flavor.
Step 2: Cook Le Sandwich
For my sandwich I started off by putting butter on the bread. I like to shred my butter so its easy. There's no real science to it, just anything to get the butter onto the bread. Then I grated some cheese onto my base slice of bread. Once the cheese had been grated I added the pancetta and the sauce, which was then followed by the prosciutto and the other piece of bread. Then I topped it off with cheese and popped it into the oven at 350 ºF. It took mine about 17 minutes to cook so I would adjust that for your oven's intensity. In any event it's done when the cheese is melted. (and hopefully bubbling) For the last few minutes do your egg sunny side up. Make sure your pan is hot and greased before the egg goes in and then just look at it and when it seems done turn off the heat. You can leave it in the pan to preserve the heat while you wait for the sandwich to finish.
Step 3: Eat Yo Food!
Now that it's done just put the egg on top and eat yo food! Don't be modest about this sandwich, love it even though you made it. If it's delicious, say so, restraint is the enemy of good food.
Let me explain to you why this sandwich is so good. It goes back to the original concept of juxteposition. You need great crunchy with a nice moist center. Think: what do we use to describe a delicious grilled cheese? Gooey. Gooey is inherently wet and delicious but your sandwich isn't worth anything without crispy bread. Thus you need the sauce, but you also need a complementing crispness.
Now that you're a sandwich master go cook yo sandwiches! Post the images in the comments. Virtual high fives will be in order.