Fishing trip sandwich
Long ago we had a blog thread here on GFF about the World's Greatest Sandwich. I'm not saying that this sandwich is it, but it has gone down well on many a fishing trip.
Back in 2004 fellow GFF partner Bob Petti and I had a small sandwich battle on our blog. It was about the World's Greatest Sandwich and Europe's Greatest Sandwich. The sandwiches were Bob's and my own bids on sandwiches to devour on your "working-from-home" days.
This step-by-step "sandwich pattern" is kind of a continuation and expansion of that thread. I have often been the one that has been designated to make sandwiches for my driver on fishing trips. Only fair if you ask me: I get picked up and the driver is relieved of having to make a lunch pack, which is mostly welcome, especially on early morning trips.
Most of my sandwiches/lunch packs is a variation of the theme sketched here. Most Danes will make open sandwiches and use what we call rye bread - a very dark and dense bread baked on a sour dough - but I like to do my sandwiches on wheat bread that I bake myself.
The ham is usually the central ingredient, but sometimes I use sausage or other types of cold cut meat like leftovers from a roast or what I have in the fridge.
I bake my own bread, and whenever I have home made bread, that's what I use. If I have to buy, I buy at a baker and get something like a Filone or Ciabatta, which is Italian bread with a great crust and a very good texture.
Do not, I repeat: DO NOT buy some flimsy, sliced wheat bread in a plastic bag! That has very little to do with real bread, and will not allow you to cut thick slices, which is a must to get a good sandwich where the bread is the main ingredient.
And square, white sandwich bread...? Don't mention the war!
The ham I use is real ham, meaning that it's meat cut from a pig, and not some chemist's wet dream of enzymes and whatever was left over from an obscure meat production.
I prefer air dried ham, either Spanish or Italian, but both Danes and Germans can also make really good ham, smoked or dried or both. The southern European stuff is usually dark, cut in paper thin slices and very tasty. Pay what it costs. It's worth it.
You can use boiled ham, but get something with good taste, true meat structure and a ham that has been smoked - with smoke from a fire (yes, they do use artificial smoke flavor for many hams!).
Should you want to make your sandwich more fishy, consider a good smoked salmon (wild, not farmed!), a smoked trout or a smoked halibut (a real delicacy with its very lean, white meat) in stead of the ham. The rest can be kept as described here.
The other critical ingredient is mustard. Stay clear of all kinds of spreads, whips and what-nots! Real mustard is basically made from ground mustard seeds, water and maybe some sugar, lemon/vinegar and spices. It's tasty and healthy and doesn't contain a gram of added fat.
I "make my own" in the sense that I mix a jar of French Dijon mustard (strong beyond comparison) with a jar of mild, sweet mustard. I sometimes add a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar if I want more sweetness. The result is very tasty, but won't burn your nose like a pure Dijon.
Making a sandwich shouldn't require much instruction. Cut the bread in generous slices, spread som mustard on each slice, add whatever you like - lettuce, ham, bacon, sausage, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, onion, pickle, jalapenos. Not it all, but a suitable and balanced selection. Remember that the bread and the vegetables is the meal. The meat is the treat!
Sprinkle with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper and put the second slice of bread on top, press a bit and you are set.
Side dishes, desert
I like to add a little extra, typically some raw vegetables. Some cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes or some other supplement that's not already in the sandwich.
I also like to bring some peanuts, hazelnuts or almonds and maybe some dried fruit like dried apricots or just simple raisins.
Should your fridge contain a piece of chocolate or should a muffin have hidden itself somewhere, it's not the worst thing you can finish your lunch with.