As part of National Sandwich Week and to celebrate one of the most versatile food types in the world, we wanted to share a couple of recipes from the fantastic book, 101 Sandwiches, by the self-named sandwich addict and our filling-between-bread expert, Helen Graves! As a real treat, we have two seafood-filled sandwich recipes, one from the luxe end of the sandwich spectrum and one street eat favourite, as well as a competition to give you the chance to win the book! So load up your rolls, baps, cobs, slices, buns, baguettes, wraps and flats, and sink your teeth into a sandwich in celebration!
The history of the lobster roll presents us with two options for making it, involving either warm cooked lobster soaked in melted butter (Connecticut-style) or cold cooked lobster mixed with mayonnaise (Maine-style). While I very much like the former option, I give a recipe here for the latter; when the mayo is kept to a minimum, it can be one of the most delicious sandwiches of all time. As lobster is expensive, it's also a serious treat.
The meat from 1 cooked lobster
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 soft hot dog-style bun or 1 brioche roll (for uber-decadence), split open
A few finely snipped fresh chives, to garnish
Chop the lobster meat into similarly sized chunks and mix with just enough mayonnaise to bind, plus a very tentative squeeze of lemon juice (it's always possible to add more but impossible to take it away).
Season with salt and pepper, then load into the bun or roll and sprinkle with a few snipped chives.
Eat, feeling like the queen or king of the world, preferably with a glass of champagne.
The po boy (or poor boy) sandwich is a Louisiana classic, consisting of fried seafood, most commonly oysters or shrimp (prawns). One of the defining characteristics is the bread, traditionally New Orleans-style French bread. It is claimed that no such loaf can be obtained outside the area, as the specific climate is what makes it so light and airy. The history of the name po boy is debated, but a popular story is that it comes from the generosity of two former streetcar workers who served sandwiches to striking employees of their former company, whom they referred to as “poor boys.”
This recipe is for a “dressed” shrimp po boy, meaning the seafood comes with a cocktail sauce-esque dressing, plus shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.
FOR THE MAYONNAISE:
2 egg yolks
About 3/4 cup (180ml) oil—vegetable or peanut
(groundnut) oil are both good, but don't use olive oil, certainly not extra virgin)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 dill pickles, finely chopped, plus 1 tsp juice from the pickle jar
1 tsp yellow (American-style) mustard
Juice of 1/2–1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
FOR THE SHRIMP (PRAWNS):
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
3 tbsp polenta or cornmeal
2 scant tbsp Cajun seasoning mix
12 raw jumbo shrimp (king prawns), peeled and de-veined
2 white sub rolls or 2 x 6 in (15cm) lengths of baguette
Shredded lettuce—Boston lettuce or butter lettuce (Little Gem) or iceberg are good choices
Hot chili sauce
To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks in a clean bowl and whisk them together. Whisk in the oil, adding a few drops at a time and making sure each bit of oil is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you whisk in more oil and the mayo starts to thicken, you can start adding it in very slightly larger quantities until you are steadily adding it in a thin stream. Stop when the mayonnaise has reached the desired consistency.
Add all the other ingredients, adjusting them to taste (for example, you may want a little more lemon juice or a little more salt). Set aside.
To prepare the shrimp (prawns), pour some vegetable oil for deep-frying into a deep frying pan or an electric deep-fat fryer and heat to 350°F (180°C). Cover a plate with a mixture of the polenta and Cajun seasoning.
Dip each shrimp in the beaten egg, then in the seasoning mix. Deep-fry the shrimp for 2–4 minutes, depending on size, turning occasionally. (You can also shallow-fry them, but make sure you have 1in/2.5cm or so of oil in the pan and turn them over halfway through.) Drain on paper towels.
To assemble the sandwiches, split and toast the sub rolls, then load with shredded lettuce, the deep-fried shrimp, some mayo, and a dribble of hot chili sauce. DEVOUR!
101 Sandwiches by Helen Graves is available here and you can win 1 of 3 copies of this super sandwich book by following us on Twitter @DognBoneBooks and re-tweeting any #sandwichweek tweet! Winners announced on Friday 17th May!
Have a wonderful week folks, good luck in the competition and enjoy your sandwich creations!