In Praise of a Great Sandwich


In Praise of a Great Sandwich

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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But first, a little history...


Long considered a culinary staple, the sandwich appears in some form or another in nearly every culture. The sandwich we know today was first recorded by Pierre-Jean Grosley in his book A Tour to London in the 18th century after its creation was attributed to John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Montagu may have been inspired by his travels to the Mediterranean, where mezze platters of dips, meats and cheeses were also served between layers of bread. The use of the word sandwich was first recorded in 1762 when English writer Edward Gibbon noted seeing men of high society, “...supping at little tables covered with a napkin, in the middle of a coffee-room, upon a bit of cold meat, or a sandwich”.


The makings of a great sandwich

Let's admit it, there are two kinds of sandwiches: the ones you slap together because you are too tired to cook, and then there are those you make when you yearn for exquisitely simple food that offers bolts of wonder with every bite.

For the latter, start with good bread; that is, bread that's good enough to eat on its own. You can toast your slices before assembling the sandwich, or you can butter each slice and lay them on a heated griddle just until toasted for a crisp texture. The bread should offer textural contrast to the other elements of the sandwich, so for these recipes featuring cold cuts from Hamilton's Smokehouse, crusty breads are recommended.

The condiments used to dress sandwiches prevent dryness and add a layer of flavour. Good mayonnaise is critical, to which you can add Scotch bonnet for a robust kick to smoked chicken as we have done here. Mayonnaise also does double duty in protecting your bread from the moisture found in other sandwich elements like the tomatoes.

Vegetables for sandwiches should be washed even if they appear to be clean, and you can season vegetables with a dash of sea salt and pepper for flavour intensity.

The final element of a great sandwich is quality protein. Hamilton's Smokehouse has an extensive range of cured meats that are perfect for sandwich discovery. Once you've selected your meat and other ingredients, it's time to create your masterpiece. But, wait! There is a method to layering: too much and the sandwich falls apart; too little renders the sandwich a miss. Still, the good thing about making sandwiches is the ease of experimentation. So you didn't like that last one? Go ahead, make another!


Hamilton's Smokehouse Black Forest Ham, Goat Cheese, Apple & Honey Sandwich With Arugula


¼ lb Hamilton's Smokehouse Black Forest Ham

1 small baguette

½ tablespoon olive oil

½ apple (sliced)

½tablespoon honey

1 handful arugula

2 tablespoon goat cheese (crumbled)

1 wedge lemon

1 dash salt

1 dash black pepper



Using a serrated knife, cut the baguette in half.

Place the sandwich on parchment paper or butcher paper and drizzle the inside of the bread with olive oil.

Add Hamilton's Smokehouse Black Forest Ham, the apple, and a drizzle of honey to one side.

Add the arugula, the goat cheese and the juice from one lemon wedge to the other half and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Wrap the sandwich in butcher paper and either refrigerate until ready to eat or cut the sandwich down the middle and serve immediately.


Jerk Chicken Club Sandwich


6 slices Hamilton's Smokehouse Jerk Chicken Breast

3 slices white bread

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Romaine, green leaf, or iceberg lettuce

2 slices fresh tomato

4 strips crispy bacon

Optional: 2 tablespoons sorrel chutney



Toast the bread and spread one side of each slice with mayo.

Place one piece of lettuce, sliced tomato, optional sorrel chutney, and the bacon on one slice. Place a second slice over these ingredients, mayo-side down.

Spread this top bread slice with mayo, and place the Hamilton's Smokehouse Jerked Chicken Breast and another lettuce leaf on it, then top with the remaining slice of bread.

Cut the sandwich into triangles diagonally.


Hamilton's Smokehouse Chicken Pastrami Sandwich


1 pound Hamilton's Smokehouse Chicken Pastrami

½ cup sugar, divided

½ cup cider vinegar, divided

4 cups shredded cabbage

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon celery seed

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 slices Provolone cheese

8 slices whole-grain bread thick), toasted

2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced



In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup of the sugar and vinegar; add cabbage and toss to coat. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Drain cabbage. In a small bowl, combine the salt, celery seed, pepper and remaining sugar and vinegar; pour over cabbage and toss to coat.

On an ungreased baking sheet, divide pastrami into four stacks; top each with cheese.

Bake at 450° for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Place Hamilton's Smokehouse Chicken Pastrami on four toast slices.

Layer with coleslaw, tomato slices and remaining toast.

Serve immediately.


Hamilton's Smokehouse Smoked Chicken Sandwich With Scotch Bonnet Mayo



For the Scotch bonnet mayo

1 cup good quality mayonnaise

1 tablespoon finely chopped Scotch bonnet

A dash of lemon juice to taste

Salt and pepper to taste


For the Sandwich

3 Hamilton's Smokehouse Smoked Chicken slices

2 slices sourdough bread

Sliced tomato


Salt & pepper to taste



Mix together all the Scotch bonnet mayo ingredients and season to taste.

To make the sandwiches, spread the Scotch bonnet mayo onto bread generously before topping with smoked chicken, lettuce and tomato. Season the tomato with salt and pepper before sandwiching with another slice of Scotch bonnet mayo-slathered bread.


Photos: Charles Allen

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