Category Archives: Sandwich

Show Me the Gerber Sandwich – Missouri

St. Louis loves their regional specialties including toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake, but now comes the Gerber Sandwich. This sandwich, first created by Ruma’s Deli and supposedly named after a

Gerber Sandwich

customer, is nothing more than an open faced ham and cheese on garlic bread with a sprinkling of paprika to jazz it up. The entire thing is broiled so the bread gets brown and toasted and the cheese gets warm and melted. Fancy? No. Delicious? Yes.

What kind of ham? Doesn’t matter, use whatever is on sale at the deli. What kind of cheese? In St. Louis, provel is used (a processed cheese food that is a combination of Swiss, provolone and cheddar), but because it is hard to find outside the region, we used provolone. The StateEats Kitchen churned these out for a few days last week and we were met with nothing but raves and kudos.

Check out the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Garden Glow, a magnificent holiday light display, featuring a million lights and unique installations, now through January 1.

Gerber Sandwich

  • Servings: 1 sandwich
  • Time: 10 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 or 6 inch section of French or Italian bread
  • 2-3 teaspoons butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2-4 slices of ham
  • 2 slices Provolone cheese
  • Paprika

Instructions

Slice French bread long ways. In a small dish, mash garlic with butter. Spread on bread. Add ham, then cheese. Top with a sprinkle of paprika. Broil open faced on top rack of oven until cheese is melted and just begins to brown.

Smoked Salmon and Potato Salad Wraps – Alaska

As mentioned last week, we recently spent a fabulous two weeks in Scandinavia. We ate our way through Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Boy, did we eat.

The Danish enjoy their smørrebrød, which are open faced sandwiches,  usually on buttered rye bread or a hearty brown bread.

Smørrebrød from Denmark
Smørrebrød from Denmark

As you can see, the Danish have elevated the presentation so that this becomes so much more than just a boring old sandwich.

The Swedish love their lingonberries. We of course had to have meatballs with lingonberries, a very traditional dish. We loved the

Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries
Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries

contrast between the creamy sauce on the meatballs and the tart zing of the lingonberries, which taste similar to cranberries. We’ve also talked before about Norwegian lefse, a soft potato crepe, and we saw that on many menus.

But one item that all of these countries had in common was their love for smoked salmon. We saw it on breakfast buffets, on smørrebrød at lunch, and even on dinner menus, like in this wrap.

Smoked salmon and potato salad wrap

We first encountered this simple yet delicious combination on a train of all places, and knew we had to recreate it with Alaskan smoked salmon. Salmon is a good-for-you protein, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which may aid in heart health, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of stroke. Look for wild caught salmon rather than farm raised salmon which may contain contaminants.

Mendenhall Glacier is less than 30 minutes away from Juneau, Alaska. This very accessible glacier is 12 miles long, boasts six hiking trails and is part of Tongass National Forest.

Smoked Salmon and Potato Salad Wraps

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 ounces smoked salmon
  • 1/3 cup potato salad
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper (optional)
  • 1 spinach wrap or flour tortilla

Instructions

In the middle of a wrap or tortilla, spread salmon lengthwise, then add potato salad, arugula, cherry tomatoes and diced pepper (if using). Fold in ends, then roll up the wrap. Slice on the diagonal.

A Win Hands Down: Hot Browns – Kentucky

It’s Kentucky Derby week! Some of the good eats associated with the Derby include mint juleps (see our recipe for the hands down best way to pump up the mint flavor) and decadent Bourbon Pecan Pie. Add to that Hot Browns, an open faced turkey sandwich fancied

Hot Browns - Kentucky

 

up with mouthwatering Mornay sauce and then topped with tomatoes, bacon and Pecorino Romano cheese. Invented at the Brown Hotel in the 1920s to satiate dinner-dance guests, this knife and fork sandwich has been wowing Louisville residents and visitors for close to a century.

Of course the best Hot Browns are made when you can roast your own turkey. If that is too involved for you, freshly sliced deli turkey will work too. Mornay sauce is a white cheese sauce that is actually very simple to make. Classically made with Gruyere, the Brown Hotel uses Pecorino Romano but we used a sharp cheddar to mix it up a bit.

Don your fanciest hat or fascinator and make your way to Louisville on May 7 for the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

 

Hot Browns

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Mornay Sauce:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste

For Sandwiches:

  • 4 slices thick sliced white bread with crusts removed, toasted
  • 2 pounds sliced turkey, divided
  • 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced parsley
  • Paprika

Instructions

To make Mornay sauce: In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and make a roux. Cook roux, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add milk in a thin stream and whisk until sauce is thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted. Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.

To assemble sandwiches: Arrange toasted bread on a baking sheet. Divide the turkey into four equal parts. Top each sandwich with Mornay sauce, then tomato slices, then two slices of bacon arranged in a cross. Sprinkle each sandwich with Pecorino Romano cheese and paprika. Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until tops of sandwiches are bubbling. Sprinkle diced parsley on top before serving.

Life is Gouda: Trio of Grilled Cheese Sammies – Wisconsin

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day – a bona fide holiday if you ask us. Who doesn’t love an ooey, gooey, straight-from-the-griddle-to-plate melted cheese sandwich? Of course, Wisconsin is the natural pairing here as we’ve talked before about how Wisconsin has led the United States in cheese making for over a century. The Badger State produced a staggering 11.5 billion pounds of cheese in 2014.  Americans sure do love their cheese; we consume about 34 pounds of it annually.

Because we are celebrating the day in excess style we bring to you not, one, not two but three fancy-schmancy grilled cheese recipes. You’re welcome. First up is muenster, with tomato, avocado and bacon on whole wheat. If you like BLTs, you’ll love this combo.

Grilled Cheese with muenster, tomato, avocado and bacon on whole wheat

Next we have cheddar with fig preserves and caramelized onions on sourdough. This is for those of you who like a sweet/salty flavor profile.

Grilled cheese with cheddar, fig preserves and caramelized onions

Mmmmmm, look at all that melty cheese goodness (and if you look very closely you can see the back of the StateEats dog who licked up the fig preserves that dripped on the floor).

Last but certainly not least, we bring you mozzarella, pesto, and tomato on rustic Italian bread.

Grilled cheese with mozzarella, pesto, and tomato

One StateEats kid who is a carnivore extraordinaire took a bite of this sandwich and declared it “almost like a burger.” High praise, there.

Get yourself to Madison to attend the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival, April 14-21, 2016.

Trio of Grilled Cheese Sammies

Ingredients

For Muenster with Tomato, Avocado and Bacon:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 4 slices Muenster cheese
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • Butter

For Cheddar with Fig Preserves and Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons fig preserves
  • 1-2 tablespoons caramelized onions*
  • Butter

For Mozzarella with Pesto and Tomato:

  • 2 slices rustic Italian bread
  • 2-3 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • Butter

Instructions

Place half of cheese on top of one slice of bread. Add fixings. Add remaining cheese, then bread. Generously butter both sides of sandwich. Cook on medium heat until cheese is melted and both sides of the sandwich are golden brown.

*To caramelize onions – slice one onion very thin, cook on medium heat with olive oil until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt after 10 minutes. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown. Can add a pinch of sugar if desired to finish.

Pastrami Burgers with Fry Sauce – Utah

We’ve talked about regional burgers before when we explored the Minnesota Juicy Lucy and the Okie Onion Burger. Now comes the

Pastrami Burger - Utah

Utah Pastrami Burger. Made famous by Utah’s Crown Burgers, the Pastrami Burger has been around since the 1950s in California. Manuel Katsanevas, founder of the Crown Burger on North Temple Street, admits that he learned to make pastrami burgers from a guy in Los Angeles. This ode to beef is topped with sliced lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and of course, hot pastrami.

And you cannot forget the fry sauce. Fry sauce is a little like a smooth Thousand Island dressing, seasoned with pickle juice rather than relish. Great on the burger, the fry sauce also is a tasty dip for French fries.

Prepared to be dazzled by speed, snow and aerial tricks at various events at Utah Olympic Park in the next few weeks including the Luge World Cup, the Nordic Combined Continental Cup, the US Freestyle Aerials Selection, and the Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup.

Pastrami Burger

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For the burgers:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ pound thinly slice beef pastrami
  • Sliced American or Cheddar cheese
  • 4 burger buns
  • Sliced tomato, lettuce, onions (optional)

For the fry sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2-3 teaspoons pickle juice (to taste)
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce

Instructions

For the fry sauce: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.

For the burgers: Mix ground beef with salt, pepper garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Divide into 4 patties. Grill 3 to 4 minutes each side for a medium burger. Place on buns. Top with cheese, then pastrami warmed for a few minutes in a frying pan. Add fry sauce and other desired fixings.

Olive U: Pimento Cheese Spread – South Carolina

Pimento cheese, that iconic Southern food, evokes images of sitting on the front porch on a lazy afternoon, munching on a sandwich while sipping lemonade and reading a good book. Made with just six or so ingredients, this creamy/zesty cheese dip elevates boring

Pimento cheese spread - South Carolina

white bread and celery sticks to something bordering brilliance. At the turn of the century, most pimento cheese was commercially prepared, but after WWII, home cooks began making this treasured cheese spread and crackers haven’t been the same since.

While the Varsity in Atlanta puts pimento cheese on their hot dogs and hamburgers, and golf enthusiasts can indulge in a cheap lunch during the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Food & Wine picked Burbage’s Grocery in Charleston, South Carolina, as having one of the best pimento cheese sandwich in the South. We’ll go with that.

Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor is the site of the first shots fired in the Civil War. Accessible only by boat, this former military post is now a national park worth exploring.

Pimento Cheese Spread

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 15 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces pimentos, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worchester sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

In the bowl of a food processor, add first six ingredients. Pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, if desired. Spread on bread to make sandwiches or use as a dip with crudité or crackers.

Pimento cheese sandwiches - South Carolina

Lovey Dovey Loosey Goosey: Loose Meat Sandwich – Iowa

A loose meat sandwich is a declaration in simplicity. Not gussied up with tons of toppings, not loaded with cheese, the loose meat sandwich is not a sloppy joe or a burger, but something in between.

Loose Meat Sandwich - Iowa

Sometimes called a tavern sandwich, the beef is lightly seasoned and usually adorned with ketchup, mustard, raw onion, and pickle rounds. Made famous by the Midwest chain Maid-Rite, this ode to beef has been sustaining Iowans, where most of the stores are located, since the 1920s.

If don’t live in the Midwest, you can easily make this sandwich at home. You’ll find tons of variations on this recipe, with lots of different ingredients — some even include cola as a sweetener — but we liked this one for its straightforwardness with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

If you’ve never checked out the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, you’ve been missing out. From its iconic gold dome, to the glass floor in the rotunda, the building is simply stunning and well worth a tour.

Loose Meat Sandwiches

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, chopped finely (reserve approx. 2 tablespoons raw)
• 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
• 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 14.5 oz. can of beef broth
• 2 teaspoons brown sugar
• 4 sesame seed hamburger buns
• Salt
• Pepper
• Dill pickles, sliced

Instructions
Heat the vegetable oil on medium heat in a large saute pan. Add onions, sauting until translucent. Add beef and cook until meat is no longer pink. Use a potato masher to break up the larger chunks of beef. Add the mustard, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, then add the beef broth and sugar. Continue cooking until broth is reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on buns, topped with ketchup and/or mustard, raw onions and pickle slices.

All Hail the Power of the Pig: Pulled Pork Barbeque – North and South Carolina

If you live in the Southeast or have traveled there, you have some understanding of the popularity of pork on the lunch or dinner menu. And the way to prepare this little piggy? Why, barbequed, of course.

Pulled BBQ - North & South Carolina

We’re talking slow-cooked – often over a fire – ‘til the meat is tender and falls off the bone. The Carolinas sit right on the Barbeque Belt of the Southeast U.S. by virtue of history and tradition, bringing to the table distinctive variations that foster nothing short of regional fealty. The eastern region favors a vinegary pepper sauce, while barbeque lovers farther west incorporate more ketchup or tomato bases to their sauces. South Carolina meanwhile, adds an additional twist in the form of a mustard-based sauce reflective of the German immigrants who settled there. We offer a recipe for oven-roasted pork – a little easier for many of us than finding an outside pit – with your choice of Carolina finishing sauces.

You can find barbeque fests and competitions all over the Carolinas virtually every month. A couple of upcoming ones include the 6th Annual Bands, Brews and Barbeque competition in Port Royal, SC, February 27-28, 2015 and the 37th Annual Pig Cookin’ in Newport, NC, March 27-28, 2015.

North or South Carolina Pulled Pork Barbeque

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Time: 3-4 hours
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For rub:

  • 2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  • 3/4 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 5- to 7-pound pork shoulder
  • Hamburger buns

For North Carolina sauce:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

For South Carolina sauce (recipe courtesy of the South Carolina Barbeque Association, used with permission):

  • 1 cup mustard
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (white, apple or wine)
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tablespoon sorghum or molasses

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all spices for rub in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the pork, covering meat completely.  Roast meat until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees and meat is falling off the bone, 3 to 4 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. With clean hands, pull pork from bone and shred meat with two forks. Add North or South Carolina Barbeque sauce. Serve on hamburger buns with coleslaw.

 

 

 

Hunka Hunka Pan-Fried Love: Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches – Tennessee

Tennessee is known for many Southern specialty foods, but being rabid Elvis fans, we turned our attention to Memphis – the River City – and its most famous house, Graceland, for inspiration. The King lived life large and is said to have enjoyed a special treat that

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana - TN

has become his signature dish – the Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich. Similar to a grilled cheese in construction and cooking, the sandwich has a number of variations. We used an artisan Italian bread as the basis for our recipe, as it held up a little better in the skillet, and we mixed the PB with honey for a sweeter, smoother spread. As for the banana, you can mash it and spread it – although we prefer slices. Add crispy bacon if you want that little extra salty crunch.

Celebrate Elvis’ birthday (January 8th!) with weekend-long festivities at Graceland and other Memphis venues including a dance party, movie screenings, concerts and Elvis bingo.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 slices Italian bread, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter (or to taste)
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 2 slices cooked bacon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Instructions

Smooth peanut butter (mixed with honey, if you prefer) onto two slices of bread. Place sliced banana on top of peanut butter. Place remaining two slices of bread on top of bananas and spread outsides of sandwich with butter or margarine. Place in pre-heated fry pan or griddle. Cook until toasty brown and heated through.

 

Okie Onion Burger – Oklahoma

The onion burger may be one of the best regional burgers you’ve never heard of. Until now. Legend has it that the onion burger was created in the 1920s by a man named Ross Davis at the Hamburger

Okie Onion Burger - Oklahoma

Inn in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Presumably, the onions were a way to stretch the meat in a tough economy. The onions get mashed into the beef and get nice and caramelized so that each bite is beef-n-onion heaven.

Okie Onion Burger - Oklahoma

The trick with this recipe is to slice the onions super thin, preferably on a mandolin if you have one. And the quantity of onions is not a typo, use about half an onion for each burger and feel the allium love.

Check out Downtown in December in Oklahoma City for ice skating, snow tubing, holiday lights, pop up shops and other winter fun.

Okie Onion Burgers

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, sliced very thin
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4-6 burger buns
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Sliced tomato and lettuce (optional)

Instructions

Divide beef into 4 or 6 balls. Heat a cast iron skillet until a bead of water sizzles on the surface. Add a small amount of oil. Add beef and press down until thin. Add about half an onion to each burger, pressing down until the onion is incorporated into the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Flip burger. Add cheese. Cook until onions are caramelized and beef is done, adding a bit oil if necessary. Place on a bun and add burger accompaniments of your choice.