Sandwiches…who doesn’t love them? Little (…and not-so-little) kids love PB&J…and grown-ups love BLTs and chicken salad. Here’s the thing, though. Done incorrectly, a sandwich can be a little on the boring side...but done right? They are a thing of beauty. Emeril Lagasse is my kind of chef: he specializes in the big-flavor cooking that I crave. His latest cookbook is Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches. As part of this week’s New Year's Eve Potluck #SundaySupper Emeril Style, I was selected to receive a copy of this amazing book and share a recipe with you. What can I say? This book is AWESOME! I found so many recipes that I can’t wait to make! Check out these selections: French Bread Pizza Sandwiches with Hot Italian Sausage, Roast Beef "Debris" Po'Boy, and Chicken and Biscuits with Redeye Gravy. I'm going to have a blast cooking my way through this cookbook!
One recipe stood out as the perfect Texans football game-watching food, though: Columbia Street Grinder. This stuffed hoagie-style sandwich pairs crusty bread with tons of tasty deli meats and cheese, flavorful veggies, and a zingy herb-flavored balsamic vinaigrette. This sandwich is super-easy to assemble the morning of the big game, and you don't even have to fire up the oven. I followed the recipe exactly, with one small exception: since I'm making my sandwich for a party, I made two large sandwiches rather than four smaller ones. Then, when everyone’s ready to eat, they can simply slice off part of the sandwich and dig in. Men especially seem to love eating a meaty sub sandwich for some reason, so this one’s going to be a big hit at my house!
Columbia Street Grinder
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, William Morrow Publishers, New York, 2012
- Four 6-inch loaves Portuguese stick bread, or Italian or French loaves
- Balsamic-Herb Vinaigrette (see below)
- 8 ounces provolone cheese
- 8 ounces sliced mortadella
- 8 ounces sliced spicy ham, such as capicola
- 8 ounces sliced salami
- 1 large tomato, cut into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 12 thin onion slices
- 12 jarred hot or sweet cherry peppers, drained and roughly chopped
- 2 cups torn green-leaf lettuce
Balsamic-Herb Vinaigrette (makes 3/4 cup):
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To make vinaigrette:
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, and garlic; whisk well to mix. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.
2. The vinaigrette may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To assemble the sandwiches:
1. Cut the loaves of bread in half lengthwise, and arrange them in a single layer, cut sides up. Liberally brush the bread with the vinaigrette. On the bottom half of each loaf, evenly layer one-quarter of the provolone, followed by one-quarter of the mortadella, one-quarter of the spicy ham, and one-quarter of the salami. Top with 2 slices of tomato and 3 slices of onion. Divide the cherry peppers among the sandwiches. Stir the vinaigrette and generously drizzle it over the onion and tomato.
2. In a small bowl, toss the torn lettuce with some of the remaining vinaigrette. Divid the lettuce among the 4 sandwiches, top with the other halves of the bread, and serve.
Verdict: this sandwich is anything but boring…Emeril scored a touchdown with this sandwich! Flavorful deli meats, creamy provolone, zesty onions and peppers…and that tart, herby vinaigrette combined to make one heck of a sandwich! I plan to serve this sandwich with two kinds of chips, a couple of dips, and homemade cookies. Because this sandwich was made ahead of time, I won’t have to miss one play of today’s Texans-Colts game! I especially loved that the recipe offers up a couple of variations on the bread and peppers that can be used. To me, the key to this sandwich is to buy the best-quality meat, cheese, and bakery bread that you can get your hands on. When a dish is simple, the quality of ingredients makes all the difference.
Our #SundaySupper group is featuring two Emeril cookbooks today: the Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches book I received and Emeril's Potluck! I have both of these books in my cookbook collection and love them! They can be purchased by clicking on the following links:
Be sure to join the #SundaySupper crew for a Twitter chat tonight at 600 CST. We’ll be sharing all our favorite tips for making great sandwiches and potluck foods. As a special post-holiday treat, Willam Morrow Publishers is going to give one of my readers a copy of Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches. To be entered to win, you have to take part in the Twitter chat this evening, and winners will be selected during the chat. I hope you'll take a few minutes to check out the fabulous Emeril recipes that my fellow #SundaySupper bloggers are sharing today...you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for upcoming bowl game parties or NFL playoff parties!