Tempting sandwich combos

September 12, 2001|By Christina Minor | Christina Minor,COX NEWS SERVICE

What makes a sandwich good? Is it the mayonnaise and mustard spread evenly on two slices of bread? Or is it the meat and cheese piled high? For me, it's two parts cheese and one part meat that really gets my stomach growling.

With a new school year starting, sandwiches are a popular choice for lunchtime. But whichever way you entice your tummy, and wherever you eat, there are plenty of ways to make your sandwich zing.

RecipeSource.com suggests the following can be combined for tasty meals:

Peanut butter combines well with honey, sliced bananas, grated carrots, raisins, applesauce, bacon bits, cream cheese, jam, toasted wheat germ, chopped dates or any combination of the above.

Tuna fish and mayonnaise combine with pickle relish, sliced cucumbers, sunflower seeds, chopped celery, sprouts, sliced avocado, grated carrots and sliced egg.

Cream cheese combines well with crushed pineapple, chopped nuts, lunch meats, peanut butter, sliced egg, sliced cucumber, marmalade or jam, and raisins, whole or ground. For extra nourishment, you can mix a tablespoon of powdered milk into an 8-ounce bar of cream cheese.

Mayonnaise in a sandwich does not hold up well without refrigeration and could cause poisoning. It turns rancid upon prolonged exposure to heat. Avoid using it for lunches that will be stored in a locker all morning. Mayonnaise usually does not freeze well. This also is true for egg salad that is well mashed.

RecipeSource.com also lists unusual sandwich combinations. And, as readers suggest, there seems to be no limit to what constitutes a sandwich. Some suggestions from the Web site:

Banana and butter

Banana and mayonnaise

Mustard and horseradish

Peanut butter and mustard

Peanut butter and sliced apples

We asked readers to send us their strangest sandwich combinations. And we got some real zingers. But as one lady put it, "Don't knock it until you've tried it."

One reader likes bread, peanut butter, banana, onion and pickle, all spread or sliced thin. Another suggests two slices of toasted wheat bread, fat-free Carolina smoked turkey breast, Swiss cheese melted atop the turkey, a dash of salt and pepper, all topped with a drizzle of honey. If you don't like honey, try ranch dressing.

Hugh Henson Jr. of Waco, Texas, has a twist to the traditional peanut butter sandwich. His Non-Peanut Butter Lover's Great Peanut Butter Sandwich consists of two slices of rye bread (or bread of your choice), crunchy peanut butter, salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip), red Spanish onions (to taste) and salt and pepper.

Generously spread one slice of bread with peanut butter. Spread the other slice with salad dressing. Thinly slice the onions and taste. If sweet, pile them on. If hot, you might want to go easy on the quantity. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Then enjoy.

Note: Do not use mayonnaise. Because mayonnaise is oily, it and the peanut butter do not combine well and make a "greasy-tasting" sandwich.

Paige Mathews of Waco has several favorite sandwich combinations. The first is bread or tortillas with cheese, Taco Bell sauce and Pringles. She prefers Velveeta if her mom has it. The second sandwich is bread, tuna, peanut butter and Taco Bell sauce.

Patrick Contreras, Paige's basketball coach, eats toasted wheat bread, tuna, relish and Taco Bell hot sauce. Another combination that he and Paige have taken a liking to is bread, tuna, barbecue sauce and barbecue chips. Paige substitutes Doritos for the chips.

There are endless variations on sandwiches and spreads.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Dried-Plum Sandwiches

Makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 medium banana, sliced

1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) quartered, pitted dried plums

2 tablespoons honey

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

On each of two bread slices, spread 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Top with banana slices and dried plums. Mix honey with cinnamon, if desired. Drizzle honey over dried plums.

Top each with remaining bread slices.- California Dried Plum Board

Sandwich Spread

Serves 4

1 pint ground green tomatoes

2 sweet ground red peppers

2 ground green peppers

1/2 cup fresh water

1/2 dozen ground sweet pickles

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons mustard

1/2 cup vinegar

1 cup sour cream

3 beaten eggs

Mix together green tomatoes, red and green peppers and let stand 1 hour. Drain off all juice and add 1/2 cup fresh water. Cook tomatoes and peppers about 20 minutes; liquid should be evaporated. Add the pickles, sugar, flour, mustard, vinegar, cream and beaten eggs. Bring just to a boil; cook enough to thicken. Seal tightly. Refrigerate. - www.recipesource.com

Red Pepper and Feta Spread

Makes 2 cups

4 sweet red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 to 1 fresh hot red pepper, seeded and chopped (or to taste)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound feta cheese, crumbled

squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Place peppers, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and blend to a paste. Add feta cheese and pulse to combine just until smooth. Do not over-process or the cheese will become too runny. Taste and adjust seasoning.

You may wish to add a squeeze of lemon juice or a few grindings of black pepper.

The spread will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. - More Summer Weekends Cookbook (Cottage Life, $24.95)

Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Fig Sandwiches

Makes 6 sandwiches

6 ounces soft, mild goat cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

six 4-inch to 5-inch soft, round seeded rolls, split

6 fresh figs, trimmed and sliced lengthwise, 1/4 -inch thick

1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto

12 arugula leaves, tough stems discarded

Stir together goat cheese and pepper with fork. Spread butter on cut sides of rolls.

Make sandwiches with rolls, peppered goat cheese, figs, prosciutto and arugula.- Gourmet magazine, August 2001

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