“Your Most Perfect Food Is Your Sandwich”

Can we be “PC” and yet agree with Archie Bunker on one thing? For example, what if you (maybe secretly) agree with Archie when he remarked to his son-in-law, aka Meathead, “your most perfect food is your sandwich”?

Because everything you got in there.
You got in there, your meats is there,

your cheese is there, your
tomato sauce is in there.

Delicious bread on the top,
delicious bread on the bottom.

You take a bite of that and everything
is all nice and mixed up there.

And it goes down, all
mixed, see, with each bite,

And is it good.

I gotta have a
sandwich, Meathead.

from “Archie’s Weighty Problem” 1976

As you all know, All in the Family – consistently ranked as one of the best comedy series ever – was pretty controversial. CBS even went so far as to issue this statement before the opening episode: All in the Family “seeks to throw a humorous spotlight on our frailties, prejudices, and concerns. By making them a source of laughter, we hope to show—in a mature fashion—just how absurd they are.”

Wikipedia states: The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for a U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, antisemitism, infidelity, homosexuality, women’s liberation, rape, religion, miscarriages, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause and impotence

That’s a pretty all-encompassing list of controversial topics!

I have a 1971 copy of Edith Bunker’s All in the Family Cookbook. While I don’t think you’d likely drool over the recipes in the sandwich chapter (highlights include a Sardine Salad Sandwich, a Liverwurst Swiss Cheese Sandwich, and a Leftover Fish Sandwich), I think most of us would admit to liking Archie’s favorite – a Sub (or a Hero, as Archie calls them) now and then.

Andy has a copy of Bee Wilson’s Sandwich, a Global History. Wilson’s description of a meatball hoagie would be right up Archie’s alley. The Argentinian choripán sandwich not so much. You can read much more about sandwich history in today’s Andy’s Corner.

Speaking of Hoagies and Heroes and Subs makes me think of the sandwich our Sonoma friend recently tried to replicate – the amazing Submarine sandwich she eats at Tagliaferri’s Delicatessen in Novato, CA. The sandwich she put together for us was delish! Archie would surely approve. We’ve got the recipe featured below. Plus, we’ve got two other perfect sandwiches – guaranteed to set Archie off on a rant but sure to please today’s sandwich eaters – a Vietnamese Banh Mi and a Mexican Cemita Milanesa.

OMGI gotta have a sandwich, Andy!

Italian Sub Sandwich aka a “Hero”

Italian Sub Sandwich

  • Servings: 4 sandwiches
  • Print
Adapted from the Food Network Magazine

  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 12-inch loaf soft Italian bread
  • 5 T red wine vinegar
  • 5 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • Diamond kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound deli-sliced provolone cheese
  • 1/4 pound deli-sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/4 pound deli-sliced boiled ham
  • 1/4 pound deli-sliced mortadella
  • 1/4 pound deli-sliced capicola
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c sliced pickled pepperoncini
  • 3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Soak the onion slices in a large bowl of cold water, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, split the bread lengthwise, then pull out some of the bread from the inside. Drizzle 2 tablespoons each vinegar and olive oil on the bottom half. Season with salt and pepper.

Layer the cheese and meat on the bottom half of the bread. Drain the onion and pat dry. Top the meat with the onion, lettuce, pepperoncini (if using) and tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons each vinegar and olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the cut side of the bread top with the remaining 1 tablespoon each vinegar and olive oil, then place on top of the sandwich. Cut into 4 pieces

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

Banh Mi

Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich

Here’s a great site from the authority on Banh Mi’s, Grace Nguyen, on how to choose bread for your banh mi sandwich.  Recipe adapted from Sara Deseran’s Picnics cookbook

Slaw

  • 8 oz carrots, peeled and grated or julienned
  • 8 oz daikon, peeled (optional) and grated or julienned
  • 1/2 c white vinegar
  • 1 c water (you can reduce the amount of water to 1/2 c if you want the pickled veggies to taste very pickled)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

To make the slaw, in a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Add the carrots and daikon, cover, and marinate for at least 1 hour (Note: daikon will get stinky, so be sure to keep it covered). Drain well before assembling sandwiches.

 Chicken

Take 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and poach them, covered, for 15-20 minutes (or until cooked through) in a large pot of salted, simmering water.  Remove from the water, let cool and then shred or cube.

OR – use cooked and deboned rotisserie chicken from the market – which you shred or cube.

Marinade

  • 1/3 c warm water
  • 1/4 c fish sauce (we suggest Red Boat)
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 3 thin slices jalapeño peppers

To make the marinade combine the water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and jalapeño.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the cooked chicken, mix well, then let marinate for at least an hour.

To compose the sandwich

  • 6 French rolls or 6 sliced pieces of baguette (soft crust is essential)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Sliced jalapeños (optional); we opt for the jars of “tamed” jalapeños.

On the bottom half of each piece of bread, spread the mayonnaise and sriracha.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the sandwich, then top that with the carrot/daikon slaw and some cilantro and jalapeño.  Spread a little more mayo on the remaining piece of bread and place it on top.  

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

Cemita Milanesa

Cemita Milanesa Sandwich

  • Servings: 4 sandwiches
  • Print

  •  4 boneless pork chops, each pounded to 1/4″
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1  1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 3 T oil  such as peanut or sunflower
  • 4 cemita rolls – or use sesame hamburger buns
  • 1 avocado, sliced (add a touch of lime juice if you’re not serving immediately)
  • 4 oz shredded Oaxacan cheese – or mozzarella
  • pickled jalapeño slices – or sliced chipotle chiles from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce (we use “tamed” jalapeño slices; if you use chipotles, proceed with extreme caution; they’re very very hot)
  • 1/2 large red onion, very thinly sliced (optional)
  • cilantro or arugula, or a combination of both

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Place the flour, the eggs, and the breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow, wide bowls. Dredge the pork cutlets first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add the breaded pork to the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove pork to a paper towel-lined baking sheet or plate.

Slice cemita roll in half and build the sandwich: first the sliced avocado, then the pork cutlet, shredded cheese, slices of pickled jalapeno or chipotle, onion, and cilantro/arugula.  Top with the other half of the cemita roll.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

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