Feb 18, 2010

Boring Sandwiches Suck!

There are few things that give me as much joy on a day-to-day basis as a really good sandwich. I'll travel miles to find the perfect sandwich shop. A place that takes sandwiches as seriously as I do. Because making and eating sandwiches are not responsibilities I take lightly. When I make my own sandwich, there is no such thing as half-ass. Go big or go home, I always say.

Even a plain-old BLT or tuna fish sandwich can be jazzed up to the point where they become something special. Something transcendent. But you have to be careful. You can't overdo it. You have to be subtle. And if you can't be subtle, then you have to do something unexpected. Yeah. I like that.

Earl's Chipotle-Cajun BLT Sandwich
  • Fresh kaiser roll
  • High-quality, double-smoked, thick-cut bacon
  • Pickled green tomatoes
  • Iceburg lettuce
  • Chipotle cheddar cheese
  • Cajun-style remoulade
OK, this isn't too subtle, but it works.  And all you BLT purists out there who say that cheese doesn't belong anywhere near a BLT...well, you might have a point.  But we had the chipotle cheddar in the fridge and I just thought it would go well on the sandwich.  Now normally I like my BLT on toasted white or rye bread, but I wasn't making a traditional BLT here.  So a bakery-fresh kaiser roll seemed like the way to go.

The one thing you really can't skimp on here is the bacon.  Sure, all bacon is good.  But when you get your hands on some really good thick-cut bacon, you'll never want to go back to Oscar Meyer.  The pickled green tomatoes may seem like an odd choice, but the sour bite of these bad boys compliments the smoky bacon and chipotle cheddar perfectly.  Then I topped it off with a store-bought cajun-style remoulade instead of regular mayonnaise.  Perfection.

Earl's Tangy Tuna Fish Sandwich
  • Two slices toasted sourdough sandwich bread
  • 1 large can of chunk-light tuna
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayo
  • 1 dill pickle, diced
  • 2 pickled red chilis, diced
  • A pinch of white pepper 
I hate a boring tuna salad sandwich.  Some people will just open a can (or packet) of tuna, mix it with some mayo and slap on a boring piece of bread.  Fuck that!  First off, the bread for this sandwich is of the utmost importance.  You simply have to have some good bread for a tuna sandwich.  I like rye and whole wheat, but for me nothing can beat some nice sourdough for a tuna sammy.  And you have to toast it.  That's a deal breaker right there.  Lightly toasted to a golden brown.

For the tuna itself, you can use fancy albacore.  I guess.  But I always thought the cheaper stuff just tasted better, so call me bourgeois. Regular Hellman's mayo works just fine, but ever since I was a little kid I've added a little bit of vinegar to my tuna salad.  I've got a bit of a sour tooth, if you haven't noticed.  Then I add a diced dill pickle and some diced up pickled red chilis that we have in the fridge.  You can use pickled jalepenos or really any other pickled peppers you can find.  Just something to give the tuna salad a little heat.  Speaking of heat, that's why I use white pepper instead of black pepper.  I find it to be a little spicier.

There you have it.  Two non-standard versions of two standard everyday sandwiches.  

There really is no excuse for going half-ass on a sandwich.  Unless, of course, you are making it for someone you hate.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Dagwood's got nothing on me!


Barlinnie said...

Very tasty, now try this one for size.

Unlevened potato bread farl, lightly buttered and dusted with cracked black pepper.

A good handful of marinated piri-piri chicken. For the love of Jaysus make sure it is free range!

Shredded iceberg lettuce,

Wafer thin sliced carrot grated & pickled in ginger.

A big black pint or two by its side to put out the flames.

white rabbit said...


Cook tuna with diced onions and clove of garlic in frying pan.

Add chilli flakes to liven things up

Add cream, continue cooking to reduce.

When ready chuck in spaghetti you have cooked with other hand.

Stir mixture.

Stuff face.

RW said...

yeah I can't put cheese on a BLT but I never thought of pickled green tomatoes and THAT, Mr. Earl, is going to get tried here for sure. Never thought of that. I likee.

I'll skip the tuna sandwich but will substitute a scrambled egg sandwich on whole wheat toast with lettuce and mayo (Miracle Whip for those who roll that way... I can do either - not trying to start the mayo/Whip argument that always follows).

I've said on another blog - this sammich is good when accompanied by pouring fresh lemonade into a great big plastic summer drink tumbler that has ice and 3 shots of vodka at the bottom.

It's a great breakfast treat.

sybil law said...

I would totally eat your tuna samich! I put sweet dill relish on mine, with mayo, garlic powder, hard boiled egg all diced up, provolone cheese, tomato, sometimes onion, pepper... mm...
And now I am hungry.
Oh and I've never had pickled red chilis in my life!

Water Logged Canine said...

Your sandwich passion inspires me.

Slyde said...

you'd better brush your teeth after eating that first one before you try to kiss me.

your breath is going to smell like ass....

hello haha narf said...

go big or go home, indeed!!!

(i'm officially fucking starving now. thanks for making me crave a good sammich when all i brought to the office is soup. dammit.)

hello haha narf said...

also, i'm a big fan of frank's red hot. (frank is my other redheaded boyfriend, mark is of course the first. but this isn't a post about bourbon.) i add A LOT of frank's to my tuna salad. or chicken salad. or egg salad. or blt.

oh...by the way...cheese is great on ANY sammich. seriously. why would you even have to justify yourself? sheesh.

hello haha narf said...

considering how much you love sandwiches, i'm curious as to your thoughts on primanti's...

Verdant Earl said...

Jimmy - I'll have to look up what piri-piri chicken is, but damn that sounds good! You get an A!

Wabbit - Sounds good...um, but this is about sandwiches. Okay? Sheesh! ;)

RW - I like the way you roll! That egg sammy sounds delish! So does the big boy lemonade.

Sybil - I can't do sweet relish...more of a sour/savory guy. But I like the addition of the egg. I have some pickled hard boiled eggs in the fridge that make a nice adjunct to the tuna salad. And pickled red chilis rule! I wonder where we got them from?

Doggie - You gonna make some magic today?

Slyde - There isn't anything very pungent in that sammy. And the boys down at the gym say you like the smell of ass.

Becky - Soup is ok...when accompanied by a sammy, that is!

Becky2 - G and I go through a big bottle of Frank's like it's nobody's fucking business! Put it on nearly everything, especially G. Well, we don't put it on G. She likes it on everything is what I was saying. But the other sounds pretty good too... ;)

Becky3 - I've never been, but I've seen it many times on The Travel Channel. To quote Liz Lemon "I want to go there".

i am the diva said...

i'm interested to know what you would do with the old standby - egg salad....

i think i'll post my recipe on my blog... Earl, you've INSPIRED me!!

hello haha narf said...

well when you and g get your awesome asses to pittsburgh it would truly be my pleasure to take you to primanti's. (i'm free most of this weekend. start driving. although next weekend is good, too.) just know that i'm taking you to the original, dirty hole in a wall location and not the newer, cleaner huge sports bar type locations. i swear the sammiches taste different.

(how about i just put clean sheets on the bed so you are good to go. well, so long as you like not small dogs. now get your butts over here.)

Mrs. Hall said...


sammiches!! the soft, the crunchy, the mixing of flavors, the yummy! sammiches are their own food group!!

Mr. Hall recently made a tuna spread with tuna and avocado. And other stuff.

I ate like four sammiches.

so good. I can still taste it.

will have to forward the recipe on:)

Verdant Earl said...

Diva - I love egg salad. I have to have it on whole wheat toast with thinly sliced tomatoes. Besides the mayo, I put in a wee bit of dijon mustard, some cracked black pepper and (you guessed it) a dill pickle diced up for some crunch and tart. Looking forward to your recipe!

Becky - We are definitely gonna take you up on that one weekend. But I think we are gonna wait for May or June. Baseball season. So we can go see the Pirates lovely home.

Holly - Avocado is one of things I have to be careful with. Sometimes it tastes sooo good on a sammy and sometimes it can ruin it. Tuna and avocado, eh? I'd be willing to give it a try. Sounds so...California to me. ;)

hello haha narf said...

yaaaaaaaaay for baseball in the burgh!! sofa king excited. just hope you won't mind when the buccos, also known as the succos, get beaten. at least our ballpark is gorgeous.
(and i was serious when i said if you two don't mind dogs you are welcome to crash at my tiny house. although i totally would understand if you would be more comfy at a hotel. just so long as yinz are here partying and enjoying my town, i'll be happy.)

my uncle owns a little deli type place in hawaii. he taught me the heaven that is avocado on a sandwich. the lovely holly hall is so right...totally a slice of heaven.

savannah said...

in my best rodney dangerfield voice: YES! (and close my menu) xoxoxo

the MITM chops a bit of anchovy in his egg salad. not my cuppa, but he seems to enjoy it!

Verdant Earl said...

Becky - Thanks for the invite. We will totally a) take you up on it (we love dogs) and b) let you know when we can make it. Our weekend schedules are a bit hectic for the next few months. :( And I don't mind the buccos losing, but you know that I have a special place in my heart for the Pirates, right? The 1979 team is one of my all-time favorites. I can name everyone who played in that World Series on both sides. Truly one of the best memories of my childhood even though the Yankees shit the bed that year. It was tough bouncing back from Munson's death. But that World Series? Magic! Did you hear that Jim Bibby passed away the other day? RIP.

Verdant Earl said...

Savannah - Hmmm...anchovies? I dig em in a Caesar Salad, but that's about it.

Dr Zibbs said...

No picture?

Verdant Earl said...

Zibbs - sorry...ate 'em too quickly. :)

kiki said...

best sandwich (and hamburger) compliment:


maybe it's the danger, maybe it's the taste

Bruce Johnson said...

Blogging about BLT and bacon infused Bourbon.....you don't eat much health food do you?

marty mankins said...

Ok, now those are some nice sandwiches. Especially the Earl BLT.

So can we call you the Earl Of Sandwich? he he

Poppy said...

Going to have to eat these. Yessss, yeeeeesssss...

I hate tuna. You may have cured me of that.

Verdant Earl said...

Kiki - Beetroot, eh? I'd give it a go...if I knew what it was. ;)

Bruce - Bacon isn't considered health food? Fuck!

Marty - You win the internets! :)

Poppy - Wait until you read about tomorrow's post! Brooklyn sammies in the house!

Lifeofkaylen said...

I grew up on generic, boring mid-west sandwiches that involved almost NO work at all.
When we added doritos to our pb&j sandwich at picnics, it was the most high-class sandwich ever. Toasting the bread was considered gourmet.

I was probably 30 yrs old before I heard of a panini and wow, that totally blew my mind. WAY better than just adding doritos...actually cooking a sandwich on the bread and making beautiful grill lines on it? I LOVE it.

I like the idea of making the tuna a little better---I want to add just a little mayo and throw some diced tomatoes on it.
Toasted bread is an absolute must--most especially for a tuna sandwich!!!

Verdant Earl said...

Kaylen - I've done tuna with diced tomatoes. Delish! Try it with a little lemon-pepper seasoning as well as the tomatoes. Really delish!