When I was a kid, I had to bear the horrible task of going grocery shopping once a week with my mother. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the root of my hatred of grocery shopping that continues to this day. Every now and then, however, my mother would buy me a sandwich from the deli. The deli can stuff just about anything into your sandwich – even things you wouldn't eat by themselves – and make it delicious. Since I have a personal rule about never cooking on Fridays, tonight we decided to go the deli sandwich route.
One of the things that made those grocery store deli sandwiches so tasty was the sauce. As a kid, I wouldn't touch mayonnaise with a 39 1/2 foot pole, but I snarfed down the deli sandwich sauce like a refugee. I later discovered that it was just equal parts mayo and mustard.
You wouldn't think that mixing together the mayonnaise and mustard for your sandwich makes much of a difference, but it really does.
Toasting the bread is also a good idea if you plan on using damp ingredients, such as tomatoes and pickles. Meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato are a given, but you can use just about anything you have laying around to make a killer sandwich. I do this frequently when I purchase something for a recipe that we don't normally eat. Rather than letting it sit in the fridge and slowly die, I put it in a sandwich. Here is a short list of just a few sandwich-stuffing items you might have around the house that you may not have considered:
- Sliced onion
- Apples or pears, thinly sliced
- Sweet or dill pickles
- Shredded carrot
- Fresh spinach or watercress
- Sliced artichoke hearts
- Almonds or pecans
- Chopped nopal
- Bean sprouts
Unorthodox is fun. For example, toasted ham, pear and mozzarella sandwiches are divine. Don't be afraid to experiment. You might be pleasantly surprised. Plus, screwing up a sandwich isn't as bad as screwing up a casserole. You can toss a bad sandwich in the trash without feeling like you wasted time and money.