I love a good sandwich. Who doesn’t? Mine is a good turkey and swiss – any kind of bread, but my favorite is on a croissant with lettuce, tomatoes, and some good spicy mustard. Pickles on the side, of course. Stephanie Smith, a fellow lover of sandwiches, chronicles her relationship with her boyfriend (who became her fiancé) and the 300 sandwiches she made for him.
Sandwiches seem simple, but they can be pretty powerful. To get her boyfriend to propose, she makes 300 sandwiches (and 300 Sandwiches – which is what inspired the book). This is an expression of her love for him, something she had watched her mother do for her father.
“Sandwiches were everything to my second-grade self. They were lunch. They were cufrency. A token of mother’s love. A membership card to the cool kids’ table at the school cafeteria.”
On her blog she shares her recipes, her successes and failures, and the progress of their relationship. Eric had promised her an engagement ring after she had made him 300 sandwiches, and not just 300 total, but 300 unique sandwiches. No sandwich recipe or combination could be repeated and count towards the overall total. There was also a forbidden foods list, things he didn’t like, and a list of ingredients she couldn’t use. That’s quite a commitment on her behalf – and quite a kitchen project! Also included in the overall sandwich total are dessert sandwiches – ice cream sandwiches, homemade oreos, and even a gingerbread whoopee pie she made just for Christmas (a recipe which she shares, that I can’t wait to make!).
When she shared the project on her blog, at first friends and family followed along. But as it grew, and gained more notoriety, she received some negative attention, and there were negative comments about what a chauvinist he was. She defended the project, and the blog, she’s an educated woman who loves doing nice things for him. He does nice things for her, and she points out several times in the book, that he usually did most of the cooking. That didn’t seem to change anyone’s mind.
Most of the condiments were homemade, with the exception of the basics – mayo and mustard. She also includes a recipe for her go-to pesto, which she worked into her mozzarella and homemade pesto BLT recipe (yum!!). This pesto was also added to her Italian burger recipe, another recipe I can’t wait to try!
One of my favorite recipes (and also one of the quickest & easiest) was the Cuban sandwich. I make paninis all the time – and this is a good one. She calls her “hold the pickles”, but I couldn’t eat a Cuban without a pickle!!
Hold the Pickles – Cuban Sandwich
1 small baguette or roll
2 T olive oil
2 T yellow mustard
3 or 4 slices ham
3 or 4 slices turkey
2 or 3 slices Swiss cheese
1 large dill pickle, sliced
Slice the baguette or roll in half. Drizzle olive oil on the outside, and slather mustard on both halves on the inside. On the bottom, stack the ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, and pickle. Season to taste with black pepper, and finish with the other piece of bread. Toast in a Panini machine or in a nonstick pan with a sandwich press. It’s done when its toasted on the outside and the cheese is melting.