Archive for the ‘Sandwiches’ Category

I am flying to California later today and hate to travel on an empty stomach. Airport food is overpriced and airplane food is, well, unpalatable. I packed some snacks for the flight, but want to board this evening with a full belly.

I had some errands to run this afternoon that took me past one of my favorite sandwich shops, Tubs Gourmet Subs. For anyone that grew up in the Seattle area in the late 80s, it helps to say the complete name Tubsgourmetsubs, because if you just say “Tubs,” it conjures up images of that hot-tub-by-the-hour place called Tubs, that used to be located in the U. District. Yeah, not a very appetizing thought.

Despite the name, Tubs Gourmet Subs has one of my favorite sandwiches in Seattle: The Firecracker. A toasted baguette, with a shattering crust, is slathered with garlic mayo and sprinkled with “firecracker” seasoning. Then, they pile on slices of chicken, jack cheese, strips of bacon, jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, and a healthy (or unhealthy) few squirts of ranch dressing. It is served with warm BBQ sauce on the side for dipping. The Firecracker more than lives up to its name. After about four bites, my mouth is on fire, but it’s worth every bite.

The mister used to work near Tubs Gourmet Subs about 15 years ago. It is located in a strip mall right on Lake City Way, near Nathan Hale High School (and a gun store and a strip club, but what on Lake City Way isn’t near a gun store or a strip club?).

Gavin’s favorite sandwich was, and still is, the Joker’s Dip – an orgy of meat (ham, turkey, roast beef, and bacon) plus the requisite cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato served on a toasted baquette and with warm BBQ dipping sauce.

I believe Tubs Gourmet Subs (no apostrophe, by the way, that is their typo not mine) was a pioneer in the toasted baguette style of sandwich. Long before that naughty talking oven over at Quiznos started getting all the attention, Tubs Gourmet Subs has been toasting their bread.

And what’s with the BBQ dipping sauce? Who cares? It’s fucking delicious and who doesn’t like to dip their already flavorful food in something MORE flavorful? No one, that’s who.
Tubs Gourmet Subs on Urbanspoon

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I am so glad you are still reading because that has got to be the worst title ever. If nothing else, I am pretty honest. Since leftover steak is what this post is about, that is the title. I probably could have gotten away with the title MAGIC! because that is what happens when you take leftover steak and transform it into something different.

There really isn’t any dish that tastes as good the next day. Pizza tastes different, chili and spaghetti sauce may taste better, but trying to recreate the exact meal you had a night or two ago from the leftovers in your fridge rarely happens. Thanksgiving dinner may be the only exception.

Leftovers are a reality for us all however and I think if you are creative, you can find some way to make use of them. Think about how many uses you find for that leftover turkey after Thanksgiving: Turkey soup, turkey pot pie, turkey sandwiches, and on and on.

We had a great meal out the other night at The Met – a Seattle steakhouse that is one of my favorite (and most expensive) guilty pleasures. Truth be told, I can’t finish a whole steak anymore. Especially since our favorite steak at The Met is the long-bone rib-eye. We first tried this steak last winter and decided to go for it again. While we managed some self-control and decided to share the steak, 36 ounces is a whole lotta meat. That meant leftovers.

In the back of our minds, I think the Mister and I were both looking forward to leftovers, since we knew that would mean steak sandwiches. Gavin made up the sandwich below from leftovers from our last steak, and it’s a keeper. This is a very ad-hoc recipe. Feel free to adapt it to your own preferences. You may prefer a different type of bread or cheese. I have made it with caramelized onions and blue cheese and it is insanely delicious. I think the only key elements are the steak (obviously), the mayo and the butter. There is no sense trying to make this sandwich low calorie, low-fat or at all healthy. So don’t try.

Steak Sandwiches

Leftover steak, sliced thin
Onion, thinly sliced
Dijon or spicy mustard (I like Edmund Fallot, the hubs likes Gulden)
Cheddar cheese
Sliced sourdough bread

Butter what will be the outsides of each slice of bread liberally. On the inside of each slice of bread, spread a generous amount of mayo. Add a little mustard to one side as well. Place the slices in a skillet over low heat, butter side down. Sprinkle some or all of the onions on one side and slices of the cheese on the other.

In the meantime…heat another skillet over medium heat. Melt a little butter in the pan and then add some of the onions (unless you want them all raw). Add the sliced leftover steak. Sauté until the meat is warm through and all the pink (if there was any), is gone.

Transfer the hot onion and meat mix to one side of the bread. Top is with the other slice of bread – butter side up. Raise the heat to medium and cook and flip until each slice of bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Slice in half and enjoy.

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I’ll be honest – this week’s Feasting Friday was in fact, on Thursday. The meal far surpassed anything I had on Friday though, so it is really the only meal worth sharing with you.

Salumi is an institution in Seattle. Started by a retired Boeing engineer over a decade ago, it has been making divine cured meats and gut-busting sandwiches ever since. Armandino Batali (Mario’s dad), ‘retired’ a few years ago and the operation is now run by his daughter and son-in-law. Their cured meats can be found on menus from coast-to-coast and the line outside their Seattle storefront often winds its way around the block.

You have to plan a trip to Salumi carefully. They are only open from 11-4 Tuesday-Friday. It doesn’t usually work as a lunch spot for me, but since I have been working on lower Queen Anne I sure have been trying. This most recent visit didn’t start off well. I had planned to meet my friend Anbrit there on Wednesday, but realized I had a conflict so moved it to Thursday. I left the office at noon and was weaving my way through downtown before I realized there was a 1:40 pm Mariners game that day. There was loads of traffic and parking was sure to be abysmal. I finally made it to the Pioneer Square though and surprisingly, found a primo parking spot straight away. I sent Anbrit a text and went to join the line.

The line. It was LONG. And packed with tourists. Don’t get me wrong, I like tourists. I actually find it kind of surprising and charming that people spend their vacation in Seattle. It just means that places that are usually crowded are really crowded during the tourist season.

The line ended up being OK. Once Anbrit joined me, we were able to pass the time very easily while catching up. I haven’t seen her for months and she always has fun stories about her family, travels and school.

The menu is – as you can imagine – heavy on meat. There are some pastas, a vegetarian sandwich, Muffaletta, various cold sandwiches and some hot sandwiches. I still order the same thing I have ordered since my first visit a few years ago though – the porchetta sandwich.

Porchetta is a roast pork dish from Tuscany. It is the source of all things delicious. An entire pig (or at least a shoulder) is stuffed with onions, herbs, fennel and loads of salt and pepper, then roasted for hours until it is melt in your mouth tender. In Italy, small mobile food carts set up at markets and town squares and serve sandwiches of the juicy meat piled high on crusty bread and topped with more salt.

At Salumi, they amp up the flavor by spreading some herb/onion/mayonnaise spread on the bread first and then topping the porchetta with roasted onions and peppers. It is well worth the wait.

Salumi on Urbanspoon

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There’s really nothing more conforting than a grilled cheese sandwich. For a light supper however, a grilled ham & cheese is both comforting and satisfying. The French call this a Croque-monsier. I am not sure of the exact translation, but if you add a fried egg to the top it becomes a Croque-madame.

The traditional recipe uses brioche and if you can find that, it makes a superior sandwich. Challah will work, or just a good crusty french bread. Many recipes also call for a Mornay sauce (a creamy cheese sauce), but I think the runny yoke is all the sauce you’ll need.

Croque-madame (for two)
Four thick slices of bread (brioche, challah or french)
1 cup grated cheese (gruyere is tradtional, I mix gruyere with cheddar or Beecher’s)
6-8 slices Black Forest Ham
2-3 Tablespoons butter
2 eggs
salt & pepper

Pile the grated cheese and ham between two slices of bread. Gernerously butter both sides of the bread. Place sandwiches into a nonstick skillet on medium-low. Slowly cook the sandwiches until golden brown and flip to cook the other side. It is important to cook the sandwiches slowly so the cheese melts before the bread gets too browned.

Once the sanwiches are golden and the cheese is melted, remove from the pan onto plates to “rest” while you fry the eggs. Incread the heat to medium and place 1 tablesppon of butter into the pan. Fry the eggs until the whites are opaque, sprinkling with salt & pepper while they cook. Gently flip the eggs and cook on the other side for 10-20 seconds (until the whites around the yolk feel firm, but the yolks are still soft to the touch). Flip each egg – yolk side up – onto each sandwich. Serve immediately.

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