Lesson Eight: Sandwiches Part Two

May 16, 2021

            Lunch is yummy whether you are at a campsite, in the park, at school or like I am today, home and just relaxing. Lunch can be a wide and varied menu so it changes with the seasons just like dinner. On a really hot summer day you will probably only want to make those previous easy sandwiches but on cooler days perhaps you want some thing warmer. On really cold days it calls for soup and a sandwich. We will cover soups when it cold out side here in New York don’t worry!    

            As we step up our game and things get more complicated they can be a little more tricky but don’t despair. You should be able to make all these tasty treats with just a little practice you will be making them perfect.

            Once in a blue moon or even on Fridays during lent I make Tuna fish salad. I try not to eat very much anymore. Especially after my wife was told that, she should not eat it too often while trying to conceive or when she was pregnant! YIKES! That was the first time I ever heard that! What the $#%&! What do you mean fish is not good for you?! What did we do to our oceans?!  I was being told this almost second hand too. If I was not in the doctor’s office for her appointment I may have never learned about this dreaded fact. Now I may be over reacting just a bit, but I don’t want to be as mad as a hatter from eating too much tuna or shell fish either. Sheesh, we have to stop polluting our oceans with garbage….Okay rant over for today.

            Back to lunch, but I may need a beer first.

            The first sandwich is tuna salad. Now you may ask why was that  not in the easy category? The answer is simple, my earliest memories of tuna fish was of my sister making it in the kitchen. She did cook much but when she did it was tuna fish, bacon and popcorn. YES! Before the microwave was invented you had to COOK popcorn! You had to clarify the butter yourself and even add the salt. This all had to happen before you could start watching the Wonderful World of Disney that appeared on ABC on a Sunday night.

            One can of tuna fish requires chopped onion, celery and mayonnaise. See how all this cooking stuff comes full circle. We learned about chopping when we wanted an omelet with more than just cheese in it! Begin your tuna dish by finely chopping a bit of onion about 1 tablespoon. One tablespoon of finely chopped celery is next. Add the onion and celery to a bowl with the tuna fish from a can after it is thoroughly drained. Canned tuna fish comes in several different types. Light tuna (according to the FDA) has less mercury in it then solid white tuna. Wouldn’t you know it, I  grew up on solid white tuna. Maybe that explains a lot! It also comes packed in oil or water. I can’t tell the difference so I buy it packed in water to make my wife happy. She hardly ever eats the stuff anyhow. Add the mayonnaise to taste. I use Hellman’s mayonnaise. My taste dictates that lot of mayonnaise should be used in my tuna salad. Three or 4 tablespoons, perhaps more if it looks too dry.

            Then the white bread MUST be fresh or toasted! Mayo on the bread, tuna (the whole can) and lettuce. Done. Do you remember getting two sandwiches out of one can of tuna fish? Just like everything else, things keep getting smaller and smaller. Everything but my waistline. Maybe I should skip the bread and just put the tuna salad on a bed of iceberg lettuce.

            During the summer, tuna is good as long as you’re not out in the hot sun! Then ewe. Another good thing in summer are the homegrown tomatoes from my back yard. I remember them being in my back yard even as a kid along with string beans growing on poles. If it’s summer and I have a tomato then I need to make at least one BLT. Please tell me you know what a B.L.T. is! Bacon Lettuce and Tomato!  You fried up bacon for breakfast, didn’t you? See this is why I stared this cookbook with breakfast. One technique will build on another and soon you’ll be a great chef, if you’re not already! Mr. Flay you don’t have to read my book. You can always stop buy for a lesson or a sandwich…just sayin. Bacon, is there any left from breakfast? If not, then fry some more up. I would make the whole pound. It can’t hurt as I have a sandwich or six that uses bacon in it.

            You have your crisp bacon. You made your white bread toast, lettuce, sliced beefsteak tomato from the garden and MAYO (thank you Mrs. Corolla)! Ba-bam! BLT. Its okay. Tasty and it really complements the tomato, but what if you don’t have home grown tomatoes. The tomato is the star of the show here. In that case we need to change it up a bit. Let trade out that white toast for some pumpernickel or rye. Place on Turkey, Bacon, Lettuce, tomatoes, and (wait for it) Guacamole! YUM! Serve with a pickle and cold slaw!          

            Okay, now your cooking. Speaking of cooking. We have not grilled yet! But it summer…even better it almost Memorial Day weekend and the semi official beginning of summer! Thank you to all our veterans for their service. This is one of the biggest BBQ weekends of the year. So let see, how about grilled chicken for doing some cooking.

            Let’s fire up the grill! You will need one boneless skinless chicken breast sliced thinly in half so you now have two chicken breasts. Cut those in half. Coat them all with Italian salad dressing or a bit of olive oil. This helps it stick less to the grill. Quarter a zucchini, a half a red paper, onion or maybe a little eggplant. Coat all the vegetables with olive oil or the same Italian dressing you used on the chicken. Grill them all alongside the chicken! When the chicken is no longer pink and not over cooked so its dry as saw dust. Slice into strips along with the vegetables. Place that’s on four flour Tortillas where you can add a slice of provolone cheese to each one and perhaps and some ranch dressing. Wrap it all up like a burrito and enjoy! A different  take on this idea should you want a meatless meal is the Vegetarian wrap – grilled Zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

            Too much chicken in the fridge? Either rotisserie or grilled? Let’s make some chicken salad. It is just like tuna salad only different. You need to make or buy a rotisserie chicken or have grill or pouched chicken breasts. Cut the chicken off the bone and dice it up. Your knife skills will soon improve and you will be cruising right through this by the end of the summer! Place it in a bowl and add grated carrot. Have we peeled and grated carrots before? Watch your knuckles!  Dice fine some celery. Add the carrots and the celery and some mayo to the bowl with the chicken. Now add spices: a pinch of garlic powder and a pinch of onion powder, a pinch of paprika, a pinch each of salt and pepper. Now you can add some mayonnaise one-table spoon at a time and mix until it looks good. Taste and reason with any of the spices if needed. This can go on any bread or toast, matzah, or just on plain lettuce.   

Lastly, I need to discuss my all-time favorite mid-winter football day sandwiches. The Buffalo Chicken sandwich!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

COOKING UTENSILS NEEDED:

Fork, Frying Pan, Sauce Pot, Tongs, Air fryer for the Waffles Fries.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg beaten

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ Cyan pepper

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

4 Boneless Chicken breasts

½ cup Vegetable oil

½ cup Franks Red Hot Sauce

Half stick butter

2 tablespoons Hunts original barbeque sauce

Hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato

2 teaspoons of Cholula

Blue Cheese salad dressing

DIRECTIONS:

Add flour, paprika, garlic, onion, parsley, salt and pepper into a large zip top bag. Dip one piece of chicken in egg then at a time and add the chicken to the bag of flour to coat.  Close bag securely and gently turn over until all sides for the chicken are evenly coated. For a thicker crust, repeat the last two steps. I sprinkle a little of the remaining flour mixture on top of each piece of chicken and let stand while the vegetable oil gets really hot.

In a small saucepot, melt half a stick of butter on low. Add hot sauce, barbeque sauce and Cholula©. Heat to a simmer on med-low, do not let it boil.

Heat oil in a large deep frying pan over medium high heat or high heat.

Using tongs carefully add chicken to very hot oil. Place the chicken in the oil slowly using the tongs with the end going in the oil on the side of the pan that is away from you. So that if that accidently drop the chicken in the oil it splashes toward the  BACK of the stove not toward your chest!  Cook chicken until deep brown and chicken has no pink in the middle. You can use and instant read thermometer to test and read 160ºF. Remove chicken from pan to and plate to drain off any grease on a paper towels. Place chicken on a Martinson extra-large sesame seed hamburger bun.  Pour ¼ of the sauce over the chicken. Top with blue cheese salad dressing, lettuce and tomato.  Serve with Waffle fries or French fries, pickles and/or cold slaw.           

Whew! That’s lunch! I guess we should start dinner soon or grilling…

Until tomorrow Stay Safe, remain healthy, be happy and eat well!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

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