Tag: Sandwich (page 2 of 2)

The St. Paul Sandwich

We’re working our way through our St. Louis-specific food traditions list. This week, I took a poll to decide my next lunch. Imo’s St. Louis-style pizza in all of its Provel glory or a St. Paul Sandwich?

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The St. Paul Sandwich won.

This combination of white bread, an Egg Foo Young patty, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo supposedly originated with a man named Steven Yuen who named it after his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. Ironically, this isn’t popular in St. Paul, Minnesota like it is here in St. Louis, despite its name. Jennifer Lee’s Fortune Cookie Chronicles blog post goes on to explain how the St. Paul Sandwich is typically an inexpensive treat available at many local Chinese American restaurants.

Egg Foo Young isn’t one of my favorite dishes, but every once in a while I’ll get a craving. Jake has very few food aversions, but Egg Foo Young is at the top of his short list.

I headed to one of our favorite restaurants Mai Lee for my first one. There’s nothing we haven’t enjoyed here so I guessed it would be a safe bet. At Mai Lee, St. Paul Sandwiches cost around $5-7. Before choosing Mai Lee, I did a little bit of internet research and many people said theirs was a particularly delicious version. I chose the shrimp St. Paul Sandwich.

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While filming a short video, I took my first bite and enjoyed the variety of flavors and textures. The soft white bread contrasted with the crispy egg patty, and tangy mayo, pickles, and onion balanced the fried richness. I really liked the pieces of plump, springy shrimp. All of a sudden the sandwich was nearly gone and I realized I had forgotten to take more photos. Jake couldn’t get into the sandwich, which was just as well. I snatched it back from him and ate the rest.

One local reader suggested that I order extra pickles. I like this idea and so next time I will.

Do you have any thoughts on St. Paul Sandwiches? Who makes your favorite version?

A Sandwich Made With Apples Soaked In Maple Syrup

I just learned about the most lovely sandwich made with apples soaked in maple syrup.

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In her memoir The Mud Season, author Ellen Stimson shares her family’s experience selling their St. Louis, MO business and moving to a small town in Vermont because it was pretty. They buy an old country general store and have misadvanture after misadventure with livestock, weather, and quarrels with local residents. In one chapter, Stimson discusses how her banker had to inform her people had stopped shopping at her store because she moved the bread to a different shelf, and, in another, the challenges of adopting orphaned lambs.

Although I can’t relate to running a rural general store in Vermont, I can relate to Stimson trying to fit into a new community. I love this piece of advice a neighbor gave her:

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What captivated my attention the most was her description of a toasted sandwich layered with meat, Vermont cheddar, and maple syrup-soaked apple slices. The book is back at the library now and I can’t quite recall her exact recipe. I do remember Stimson recommending that one should try to soak the apple slices in maple syrup for at least two hours and describing how Vermonters prefer Grade B maple syrup because it has more flavor. I never find grade B maple syrup at the stores, but would love to try some.

This sandwich is so wonderful because of all of the contrasting flavors and textures; the mapley sweetness and crunch of the apples, melted cheddar, and salty ham. It’s like the best grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Here’s how I recreated it at home:

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Ingredients:
Bread
Sharp white cheddar
Apples soaked in maple syrup
Ham
Butter

Instructions:

  1. In a small container, soak thin slices of apple in maple syrup.
  2. To assemble the sandwich, layer sliced ham, apples, and sharp white cheddar.
  3. Toast sandwich in butter until the cheese melts and the bread turns golden brown.
  4. Slice and serve.

Quick Glazed, Baked Ham & Cheese Buns (a.k.a. Funeral Sandwiches)

funeral sandwiches

On our first trip down to St. Louis, I packed little, glazed ham and cheese sandwiches for the road.

I’d never heard of funeral sandwiches or this type of small, glazed sandwich until I saw them appear in my social media feeds this year. When I posted a photo of my second batch, friends and readers commented that they make them often and see them at social gatherings. Jake and I shook our head and wondered how we’d never encountered these sandwiches before. As far as I can gather, the name “funeral sandwiches,” refers to the fact that they are often served at funerals.

Most funeral sandwich recipes consist of Hawaiian buns that are filled with ham and swiss, drizzled with a marinade of butter, Worcestershire, mustard, brown sugar, and onion powder, and baked. Some recipes call for a sprinkle of poppy seeds and many suggest you marinade the sandwiches anywhere from overnight to a few hours before baking. My version is quick. Simply drizzle and bake.

The sandwiches taste best fresh out of the oven, but we don’t mind eating them cold, too. The glaze makes the outside of the sandwiches sticky, so pack some napkins if you take them on a road trip or picnic. 

Little, Glazed Road Trip Sandwiches
I found Hawaiian rolls on sale, but use whatever small bun you’d like. The same goes for your meat and cheese filling. Most recipes call for ham and swiss. I used whatever cheese was already in my fridge. We liked the “Hawaiian” ham I found at Target’s deli counter. Not sure what makes it Hawaiian, except it tastes a little bit sweeter. We also made these sandwiches with sliced chicken. Go nuts!

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Ingredients:
1 pack Hawaiian rolls
Sliced ham
Sliced cheese
1/4 cup butter (or a little less)
2 good squirts of Dijon mustard (ALDI sells a nice, punchy one).
2 good squirts of honey
Worcestershire sauce, several good dashes
1-2 tablespoons grated onion
Ground black pepper
Dash of salt

Instructions:

  1. Slice rolls and fill with sliced ham and cheese.
  2. Place rolls in a lightly greased pan or baking dish or line with foil or parchment.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, mustard, Dijon, honey, Worcestershire, grated onion, black pepper, and salt. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  4. Drizzle the sauce over the rolls.
  5. Bake at 350°F or until the sauce absorbs into the buns and the tops are golden brown. This should take about 20 minutes.

Grilled Korean Chicken Sandwiches For Two

White meat or dark meat?

Jake and I differ in our preferences. While Jake is far from a picky eater, he prefers boneless skinless chicken breast while I prefer the drumsticks and thighs. I often find boneless skinless chicken breasts inedibly dry unless they are heavily marinated or fried.

One evening, Jake asked me if I could make a Korean version of a blackened chicken sandwich with the gochojang I brought back from United Noodles in Minneapolis, MN. Gochujang is a fermented chili-soybean paste that’s frequently used in Korean cooking. It’s widely available in most Asian grocery stores.

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This spicy chili paste is intensely flavored and adds a Korean flavor to any dish. I’ve used spoonfuls of gochujang to season fried rice, ramen noodles, beans & rice, and short ribs. I am dreaming of more gochujang possibilities like chicken wings or a spicy gochujang-mayo. Maybe gochujang will become the next Sriracha.

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The marinated chicken in our sandwiches tasted more like a Korean twist on teriyaki than anything blackened, but dinner a success. I soaked the chicken in the marinade for four hours. This process helped it remain juicy and flavorful after we cooked it on our little Foreman grill.

Korean Chicken Sandwich

Garnish your grilled chicken sandwiches with lettuce, tomato and red onion and a little mayonnaise. This combination may sound a little strange, but will hit all of your favorite sweet, savory, and spicy notes.

Ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (our pack contained three)
Soy sauce, enough to coat the chicken breasts
Brown sugar or honey, a little less than the amount of soy sauce used
Sesame oil, a small drizzle
1 clove grated garlic
Grated ginger with the juice, about a teaspoon
Black pepper
Gouchujang paste, about one tablespoon
Garnishes: Lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise

Instructions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a ziplock bag.
  2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and gochujang.
  3. Squish the bag together so that the marinade combine and coats the chicken. You can also whisk the marinade in a bowl first and then marinate the chicken in a container. Allow the chicken to marinate for several hours or a day.
  4. Grill the chicken breasts and create a sandwich with your favorite garnishes.

Clara Cannucciari’s Asparagus Sandwiches

Last year, I became fascinated with Clara Cannucciari (August 28, 1915-November 29, 2013) after reading Clara’s Kitchen, a book she co-authored about growing up during the Great Depression. The cover of her book states she is, “Everybody’s favorite YouTube Grandmother,” as she also hosted online cooking segments through age 96. 

She’s certainly mine, as none of my grandmothers ever appeared on YouTube, not even our incredible adopted Grandma Burrell. 

Clara describes growing up during a time when food was scarce and jobs, scarcer. She shares the recipes that sustained her family and the necessary adjustments they made to reduce food wastage and save money. Her recipes are simple. Some, remarkably so, yet I often found myself wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Her family was rarely able to afford meat and relied on sustainable and local food systems such as raising their own chickens for eggs, planting a vibrant garden, canning excess produce, and foraging for wild edibles.  For example, Clara describes how to prepare dandelion greens and burdock stalks, plants that are still available in our own backyards or parkways.

Did you know that you can place anything between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich? My significant other and I have eaten many recipes from Clara’s book, including many of these sandwiches. One evening, we made “Salad Sandwiches” from leftover rainbow chard quickly blanched in hot water, shocked in ice water, and sautéed with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. We also feasted on eggplant burgers, replacing ground beef with a fried slice of eggplant, plus the usual burger accoutrements. 

Our favorite of all was this asparagus sandwich and we’ve made it many times, since.

Asparagus Sandwich EditedClara’s Asparagus Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Sliced bread
Butter
Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Lemon or lime wedges

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉.
  2. Wash the asparagus. Remove the woody ends (I like to snap off the ends).
  3. On a sheet pan, drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the stalks in a single layer and roast for a few minutes. Flip the asparagus, and roast for a few more minutes or until tender.
  4. Toast your slices of bread and butter them. Place the asparagus between the buttered bread, sprinkle with freshly grated cheese, and spritz with a squirt of lemon or lime.
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