Blueprints to Making the Perfect Sandwich
by Tina Miller
Sandwich Rules to Live By
It’s all about construction. Good construction and, sometimes, deconstruction create the balance of flavors and textures in each sandwich you make and eat. Here are some rules I live by.
1. Never let meat and cheese touch. Meat and cheese need to be separate to be defined.
2. Put tomatoes next to cheese and cheese next to the bread. The texture of tomatoes pairs well with a slice or two of cheese, keeping moisture and flavor from escaping. Putting the cheese next to the bread helps keep the structure of the sandwich and makes it less messy and less willing to fall apart after the first few bites.
3. Pickles belong next to meat. Placing dill pickle slices near meat enhances the salt in both, creating a flavor burst.
4. Stagger the vegetables. Vegetables should be spread out, not lumped together, to make the layers equally crunchy.
5. Condiments should be between the meat and the bread, roll, or wrap. I don’t like too much bread, but different style sandwiches call for different breads. The classic Caprese (tomato, fresh mozzarella, and pesto) requires heartier bread, like a ciabbata or classic baguette. Pastrami on rye: enough said with three to four inches of meat spilling over firm rye bread. There is no room for anything else, except perhaps a smear of mustard.
How to build a BLT
The BLT is a great example of a well-rounded meal: protein, carbs, grains, vegetables, and fruit (the tomato).
It has five ingredients including mayo and bread. A BLT can be bland or one of the best blissful bites of hot and cool, salty, sweet, and tangy.
Ingredients of course, are key: the type of bacon you choose, tomato, lettuce, bread and mayo choices. But that is not all; remember, the design and construction of the ingredients are equally as important. If there is no thought to how you stack or smear, you could just get a blended sandwich. If they are properly placed, you should be able to taste each component.
For BLT bread, I like a Farmhouse white or sourdough, and only lightly toasted. If the bread is too toasted, not only does it scrape off the roof of your mouth, but also the ingredients do not adhere well.
A BLT should not sit or cool down. The bacon should be fresh off the grill. Always spread mayo evenly on both pieces of toast. There should be a bed of Romaine or green leaf lettuce on the bottom, with equally thick tomato slices. Top these with hot bacon, and smoosh the lid down a bit, then cut it in half, and it’s ready to be served.