Sandwich Week 5: A restaurant’s quality can be judged by how good their club sandwich is. For this one, I went the extra mile to make something extraordinary.
I cooked with bacon for the first time. I went out and got 2 special cheeses, which were expensive. In doing so, I opened myself up to a whole new world of cheesy deliciousness. I stuffed a chicken breast to make a Kiev. I didn’t bread it, but I highly recommend doing it, and I will do that the next time I make this. I bought sriracha.
Finally, I made a spiced flatbread that goes really well with the barrage of different flavours. This is an excellent sandwich and I’m very proud of it, so much so, that I bothered making PROPER, double-fried french fries.
Here’s the recipe (serves 1, because no sharing).
|Strong flour||1 cups||200g||Has more gluten than regular flour.|
|Olive oil||2-3 tbsp||~40ml||For softening.|
|Spices||1/2 tsp each||Cinnamon, chilly powder, cumin|
|Water||1/2cup||~125ml||Heated to body temperature.|
A whole lot of Other Things
|Smoked cheese||One of the special cheeses.|
|A sweet cheese||1 big tbsp||~20-25g||I got Chèvere, with caramelized onions|
|Butter||2 knobs||~10-20g||For the Kiev.|
|Eggs||2||For omelette, and mayonnaise.|
|Hot Sauce||I got Sriracha|
Because so many things go into this sandwich, it’s difficult to keep everything hot for the final product. The good news is that a club sandwich is a mix of hot and cold elements – it is traditionally a “cold” sandwich. We only want the bread to be warm and the bacon to be crisp. Check the assembly section for details.
- Soak chickpeas in cold water overnight before cooking.
- Make tahini paste – Cook the sesame seeds for a few seconds to get them toasty but not brown them. Blend to a powder. Then add oil and blend again till smooth. You want roughly 1:4 oil to sesame seeds ratio (1 spoon oil for 4 spoons sesame).
- Sift the flour twice. This creates a soft dough and fluffy bread.
- Add a couple of teaspoons of oil, and a teaspoon of salt to the flour.
- Add the spices – cinnamon, chilly powder and cumin. You can add a bit of turmeric for colour if you like, though it’s not necessary.
- Knead the dough until it comes together into a firm dough. Use extra flour if necessary.
- Divide into palm sized parts. Roll out the dough parts into circles, using dry flour to make sure it doesn’t stick.
- Roast in a pan until brown on both sides. Use oil for a crispier bread with a stronger colour.
Chicken and Bacon
- Pre-heat oven for 10 minutes at 200°C.
- Use a knife to pierce into the chicken center, but don’t push through to the sides or bottom. Create a cavity and use a finger to open the cavity and create space.
- Into the cavity, insert a small knob of butter, then the sweet cheese, then another small knob of butter. Panne the chicken – coat in flour (mix salt and pepper into the flour), egg, and breadcrumbs, then egg and breadcrumbs again, and pan-fry carefully for a couple of minutes on either side.
I skipped the egg and breadcrumbs, but I recommend going through the process.
- Lay out the bacon and the chicken onto a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Let it bake for an additional 2 minutes if the bacon isn’t crispy enough.
- Separate 1 egg yolk. Add to it a drizzle of white vinegar, a splash of mustard, salt and pepper.
- Whisk continuously while slowly adding vegetable oil. Take care to be very slow with the oil drip. Patience is key.
- Continue until the egg emulsifies and you’re happy with the consistency of the mayonnaise. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and oil.
- Mix 2 spoons of hot sauce into the mayo.
Traditionally, chefs will hardboil eggs and chop them up for a club sandwich. For the life of me, I don’t know why – the rubbery texture doesn’t do it for me. An omelette in a sandwich lifts it 5 levels in terms of depth of flavour.
- Crack open 2 eggs. You can also use 1 egg and the egg white left over from the mayonnaise.
- Add salt and pepper.
- For additional flavour, add any of – half a small onion diced fine, a quarter of a capsicum chopped fine, hot sauce, a dash of red wine vinegar.
- Add a shot of oil to a pan and let it heat up. Swill the oil around to coat the pan (non-stick preferred). Turn up the flame to high.
- Pour in your egg mixture and agitate the pan by shaking it vigorously while the egg begins to cook. This traps air in and gives you a fluffy omelette.
- Let the omelette set completely and begin to roast – should take only a minute. If you feel adventurous, flip the omelette and let it cook on both sides.
- Slice the tomato and smoked cheese into rounds. Keep the lettuce in cold water for a couple of minutes to liven it up.
- Warm the crispy bacon and the bread in a pan.
- Take a piece of bread, and rub the hot mayo into it. Layer on top tomato, then a strip of bacon broken into two, then lettuce, then the smoked cheese.
- Add a lid.
- Layer again on top lettuce, then cuts of your chicken kiev, then the egg, then more mayo, and your final lid.
- Stick skewers / toothpicks into the sandwich. Cut the sandwich into manageable portions – you’ll want to use your other hand to hold the sides of the sandwich from over the knife and press down gently so that the elements of the sandwich don’t spill everywhere.
- Serve with french fries, or chips/crisps.
Customisations: A basic club sandwich is only a BLTCM – Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Chicken, and Mayonnaise. Beyond this, you can literally add anything. Go for toast instead of a flatbread. Guacamole or creamy avocado would make a fantastic spread for the top lid. Vinegared onions, pickled cucumbers, pickled vegetables can all go in. A club sandwich can truly be made your own.
Vegetarians, do not despair. The Bombay Sandwich is a vegetarian cousin of the club sandwich, using boiled potatoes and cucumbers as a replacement for the meat. Go for the same recipe, but replace the chicken, bacon, and egg, with boiled potatoes, fresh cucumbers, guacamole and mint chutney.
Thank you for checking out Recipe Lab and Sandwich Week 5! If you like this recipe, leave me a comment below telling me about the recipe and your preferences. This is the end of the February Recipe Lab. 🙂