Food Meal plans and recipes

Sassy Sammies

Ankita Vaidya
Written by Ankita Vaidya
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​Sammy as ‘Mericans calls it. Or Panini as Italians do! Sandwich, essentially, is a piece of meat plus some veggies ‘sandwiched’ between two or more pieces of breads. So, theoretically, vada pav is sort of a sandwich, McChicken is a sandwich, even Dabeli is one.

Typically, we know probably one or two sandwiches and of course its derivatives. Masala toast sandwich, Masala Grill Sandwich are the two types we are familiar with. Then you may add cheese, chutney or some sort of sauce and you get the offsprings. Establishment of Subway franchise gave a totally new dimension to our perception of a ‘Sandwich’. KFCs chicken zinger, McDonald’s McChicken or Burger King’s Chicken whopper are all sandwiches too!!!
But why are sandwiches bought – be it chain restaurants or street side bhaiyya. Can we not make our own at home? And, can they be healthy..? Or healthy-ish? Oh YES! Here is a list of 5 sandwiches from different parts of the world.

Classic American Grilled cheese:

​Easy peasy, melted cheese held within two slices of bread. As simple as that, but you can make it fancier by using Brie cheese, goat cheese, or even Blue cheese. Serve it with a tomato dip (classic) or have peach and fig compote for a ‘wow’ factor.

Ingredients:
2 slices of bread of your choice
2 slices Swiss Gruyere/ Jalapeno Monterey jack/ Extra old cheddar/ Smoked mozzarella
Butter, softened

Method:
Apply butter on both slices and sear them on low heat with butter side down (preferably in a cast iron pan). Put cheese on the other side and let it melt, while the butter side gets golden brown and crispy. Add some toppings of your choice like bacon or ham or pickled hot peppers. Put the slices together and enjoy the gooey cheese inside crusty buttery bread.

Club sandwich

Two tier sandwich featuring two meats usually bacon and either chicken or poultry. Best served with french fries, onion rings or sweet potato fries on side with ketchup.

Ingredients:
1 Chicken breast
1 tbsp mix dry herbs
2 slices Bacon, cooked
3 slices of tomato
1 leaf of Lettuce (iceberg or romaine)
Your choice of cheese slices (not more than 2)
Mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Sliced bread of your choice (I recommend a sour dough bread)
Butter, softened

Method:

  1. Put some dry herbs, salt and pepper on the chicken breast. Cook it in a pan or in the oven till done. Usually takes 20 min at 400 degrees farenheit. Let it cool down. Then slice into 7 or 8 pieces.
  2. Take 3 slices of bread. Apply butter on two. Place sliced chicken and cheese on one. Then a slice of bread with mayo and mustard on it. Put the mayo side down on the cheese. Apply more mayo and mustard on the other side.
  3. Then put your lettuce, tomatoes and bacon. And finally close with the third slice that we buttered earlier.
  4. Cut in half or quarters. Serve with chips and ketchup on side.

P.s.: Toast the bread before buttering if you like the crunch.

Caprese panini

Classic Italian salad turned into a panini
Ingredients:
2 tbsp Basil pesto
3 Buffalo mozzarella slices
1 Sliced tomato
Panini bread
ButterMethod:

  1. Apply butter on the bread. Spread some basil pesto. Add sliced buffalo mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Close the sammy with the other slice of bread.
  2. Grill it in a panini press until the mozzarella melts. Brush some olive oil on the outside of the sandwich so it doesn’t stick to the panini press and gets a nice golden brown crust.
  3. Serve hot!

P.s: Making basil pesto at home? You need 1 bunch of basil, ¼ cup pine nuts, ½  tbsp minced garlic, ½ cup Parmigiano cheese, Olive oil as needed, Salt. Blend ‘em up!

Veggie Banh Mi

Vietnamese sandwich gets a vegetarian makeover. Southeast Asian flavors inside a French baguette- what a combo! This is typically done using a meat pate and a piece of pork belly or duck that is marinated in sweet spicy flavours.
Ingredients:
1 cup cooked beans (either black beans or kidney beans)
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 lime juiced and zested
2 tbsp oil1 carrot, julienned
2” piece diakon raddish, julienned
½ red onion, thin sliced
1 cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
¾ cup sugar

3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp sriracha hot sauce

½ cup bean sprouts
Fresh picked cilantro
Red chilies, chopped fine
1 French baguette

Method:

  1. Make the vegan pate: Take some oil in a pan, add garlic and mashed beans. Add red curry paste, lime juice and a pinch of salt and sugar. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Add water if necessary. Don’t make it runny, have a nice thick pate consistency.
  2. Once the curry paste is cooked, turn the heat off. Add lime zest and cilantro. Again, mix well. Set aside.
  3. Make pickled veg: Take vinegar, water and sugar in a pot. Warm up the mixture, do not boil. Pour over julienned carrots, red onion and diakon. Add 2 tsp salt to it and let it sit in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes minimum.
  4. Sriracha Mayo: Easiest of all. Simply mix the two ingredients.
  5. Assembly: Once pickled veg is ready, take a baguette. Cut it open and spread our vegan pate inside. Spread sriracha mayo over it. Add some pickled veg(strain off all the excess pickling juices before adding to the sandwich). Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro and red chili.

P.s: You can drain the pickled veg and save the liquid to pickle more veggies.

‘Surmai’melt:

This is my take on the classic Tuna Melt. Just replacing canned tuna with fresh Indian ocean fish- surmai or King mackerel. We don’t need canned fish when we got the marine treasure in our backyard.

Ingredients:
1 piece of fish cooked and shredded
½ cup mayonnaise
1 stalk celery, fine dice
2 tbsp red onion, fine dice
1 tbsp capers, rough chopped
1 tbsp dill, fine chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp tabasco hot sauce
2 slices of bread
Butter, softened
1 slices of cheese of your choice (preferably non smoked, plain)

Method:

  1. Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl to make your Surmaii melt spread.
  2. Butter a slice of bread
  3.  Put this mixture on the bread like an open faced sandwich.
  4.  Top it with a slice of cheese and put in your OTG or any toaster oven on broiler setting so the cheese melts over the fish spread.
  5. Enjoy while cheese is gooey.

Ps. Replace fish with hard boiled, chopped eggs to make an egg salad sandwich. No cheese needed as eggs are quite rich.

​So… is your mouth watering? Is your brain planning a fantastic sandwich night with your girlfriends? Well, why not share the pictures with us? Use the hashtag #metime and spread the love.
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About the author

Ankita Vaidya

Ankita Vaidya

A computer engineer on paper, chef by profession! Being born in a gastronomically enthu household was sheer luck and definitely some good karma. I left India at the age of 22 with 3 suitcases full of parents’ love, passion and determination to chase my dreams.

A connoisseur of Indian cuisine, I enjoy sharing my love for traditional Indian cooking wherever I go. Nurtured with extreme affection, this ‘lil princess’ is all set to touch millions of hearts with her holistic zeal for food and cooking.

I believe life is like a box of spices- though some moments may seem overwhelming, a thoughtful use and correct application will definitely give you extraordinary results. Feel free to share food related anything with me ‘cause I am a student for life!

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