Let’s talk sandwiches.
I gave up on sandwiches for a while – I had lived on Vegemite and Kraft cheese sandwiches at school for so long. It was the ultimate school lunchbox go to sandwich in Australia in the late 70’s. I am sure I thought that I was cool having the cheese in there. I was even more cool when I switched to Vitabix crackers and could squeeze the Vegemite and butter through the holes and create Vegemite worms.
London Sandwich Bars
Thankfully though, I eventually made it to London in the 80s and discovered the sandwich bar. I was astounded, not only at the queues of folk lining up for what I considered a commonplace lunch option, but also at the choice of fillings. Close to my workplace there was a bar which opened mid morning and closed around 3pm. It was perpetually full with a snaking of punters down the road too. The counter staff were like robots. They pinched at tomato, spooned the mayo and piled in the tuna. The options were innumerable and I would watch in awe.
Around the same time I discovered the ploughman’s lunch. It was my absolute favourite British pub meal. I loved visiting country pubs on the weekends and ordering a plate with a hunk of cheese, bread and chutney. Whilst others tackled mountains of fish and chips, I would savour the salty sharpness of the cheese and fresh white crusty bread. I have to admit that there is no such thing as a good Ploughman’s outside of the UK. Well – not that I have found anyway.
When is a sandwich a good option
So, the sandwich became bigger than just Vegemite and cheese. Yet, iI have only just recently revisited it. Our customers have been requesting sandwiches as a part of our platter options. It started with an afternoon tea event at an historic house. They sold out of the finger sandwiches within an hour and noted to order double for next year.
Then Niki Bezzant and I held a charity afternoon tea for Garden to Table and our guests were happily munching on the club sandwiches. We had comments such as, “it’s hard to get a good sandwich nowadays.”
This week I have made sandwiches every day for morning tea platters. Infact, I have come to know the bakers at our local bakery extremely well. I have been rocking up at 6am to collect the fresh baked sandwich loaves each day. (Aside: Did you know that the bakers tend to work shifts from 11.30pm through to 7.30am? )
Anyway, back to the sandwich. I thought it would be good to give you an idea for a classic chicken sandwich. Always popular, this is a sandwich that will appeal to most (unless your friends are vegan) and can be created and presented in a myriad of variations.
Ideally, make your own mayonnaise for your sandwiches because it tastes so much better. If not, then at least buy a really decent ‘real’ mayonnaise product from the store.
Classic Chicken Sandwich
A chicken sandwich ideal for a platter or afternoon offering. Accompany with a glass of bubbles or a cup of tea
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 shallot diced
- 1/4 cup oregano chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken.
- 1 fistful watercress
- 3-4 cornichons sliced
Mix together the shallot, oregano, mustard and chicken. Bind together with the mayonnaise
Sandwich the chicken filling into two slices of freshly baked bread adding the watercress and sliced cornichons as per personal taste.