The story of the sandwich dates all the way back to the 1700s. If legend proves true, the fourth Earl of Sandwich was quite the gambling man. In the interest of time, efficiency and perhaps to avoid getting hangry, the noble Englishman sought to take his meals at the card table. This act ultimately led to his eponymous invention (read: a humble kitchen attendant likely came up with the idea, and the Earl got all the credit), and rather suddenly, sandwiches were all the rage. But the famed Earl of Sandwich likely never dreamed his savory tableside snack would turn into such a beloved mealtime staple.
These days, making sandwiches can be an art form — and a popular one at that. According to the Arizona Farm Bureau, Americans eat an average of 300 million sandwiches per day. From simple, traditional crowd favorites such as PB&J or ham and cheese, to more culturally distinct options such as the Vietnamese Bánh Mì or the French Croque Monsieur, nearly anything can turn into a delicious, portable feast. And with so many interpretations, it’s no wonder sandwiches are one of the most celebrated foods around. In honor of National Sandwich Day on November 3, we asked a couple of our favorite Southern food bloggers to offer up their favorite creative sandwich recipes. They may not be setting Guinness World Records on behalf of the sandwich industry (such as the most expensive: a grilled toast sandwich that sold for $28,000 in 2004 because it appeared to display an image of the Virgin Mary), but boy, did they ever come through!
The Konbi-Inspired Egg Salad Sandwich from The Grilled Cheese Social
With a name that distinctly suggests sandwich knowledge, The Grilled Cheese Social was one of our first blog stops for elevated sandwich expertise. We weren’t disappointed! If traditional, run-of-the-mill egg salad got dressed up in its Sunday best and nestled itself between slices of white bread, you’d have the Konbi-Inspired Egg Salad Sandwich. The tang of the grainy mustard, the slight kick of the sriracha — who knew egg salad could be so decadent? With a nod to the version made famous at Konbi in Los Angeles, MacKenzie Smith of New Smyrna Beach, FL, created her own, exquisite adaptation. The two-time Food Network champ and cookbook author tells us, “You’ve probably seen Konbi’s iconic Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich all over Instagram lately. This Japanese sandwich has a medium-boiled egg exposed in the middle, which not only makes it look super cool but ultra-delicious, too! My version of Konbi’s Egg Salad Sandwich has fresh herbs and sriracha — making it the perfect egg-centric appetizer recipe … ”
We couldn’t agree more! If egg salad isn’t your bag, we suggest checking out her Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich or Shawarma Turkey Burgers, the latter which she tucks in a toasted pita and slathers with herbed feta yogurt sauce. Yum!
- 8 eggs
- 2 Tbsp kewpie mayo
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1.5 tsp grainy mustard plus more for the bread
- 1 Tbsp dill, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp chives, finely diced
- 8 slices white bread crusts cut off
- 1 Tbsp sriracha
- salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully add in eggs, one by one. When the water returns to a slight boil, set your timer for eight minutes. In the meantime, fill a small bowl full of ice water.
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, add kewpie mayo, rice wine vinegar, grainy mustard, dill, chives and salt together. Mix until incorporated and set aside.
- When the timer goes off, remove only two eggs and place them in the ice bath. These will be your medium-boiled eggs. Set another timer for four minutes and let the remaining eggs cook until the timer goes off.
- Crack and peel the skin off of the six hard-boiled eggs, but keep the medium-boiled ones that you pulled out earlier to the side. Roughly chop the hardboiled eggs and place them in a bowl. Add the sauce mixture and season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Line up four pieces of white bread, with the crust removed, and smear some grainy mustard onto each one. Crack and peel the two medium-boiled eggs and slice them down the middle lengthwise. Place each half of the egg on the mustard-smeared toast so that the narrow tips of the eggs are parallel to the longest side of the bread. (see picture above). Pile the egg salad all around the medium-boiled egg so it is covered.
- Smear sriracha on the other slices of crustless bread and place them on top, sriracha-side down. Use a super sharp serrated knife and cut the sandwiches in half to show off the medium-boiled egg in the center.
LL’s Hampton Chutney Sandwich
Nashville-based, certified holistic chef Laura Lea Bryant, of Laura Lea Balanced, offers up her perfect creative sandwich — a variation of a personal favorite that wowed her from the get-go. “One of my absolute favorite memories from my five years living in New York City is going to Hampton Chutney Co. with my best friend Frances after a hard evening workout,” Laura tells us. “I never strayed from my original order, which was the veggie sandwich: bright romaine, avocado, goat cheese and a gratuitous layer of aioli between two slices of thick, grainy bread. I’ve always wanted to recreate this heavenly sandwich with my own personal tweaks, and that day has finally come! My version adds crisp bacon, a little bite from red onion and arugula, and sweet, rich sundried tomatoes in my aioli. Make sure to use a good, quality bread — something sturdy and sliceable!”
We can’t deny that bacon makes everything better, so this is on our must-try list.
- 8 slices crisp-cooked bacon (approximately 6 ounces)
- ½ cup good quality mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil, shaken of excess oil and finely chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, very finely minced
- Pinches of salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup goat cheese
- 1-2 ripe avocados, sliced or mashed (don’t do this until assembly)
- 2 loose cups baby arugula
- ¼ of a small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 8 slices bread of choice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and wrap a baking sheet with aluminum foil, pressing it tightly to the edges. I like to do one piece lengthwise and two pieces crosswise.
- Add bacon slices to the baking sheet. They might slightly overlap, but they’ll shrink as they cook.
- Bake bacon for 20 minutes, then carefully drain excess grease into a heatproof (glass or metal) container to cool. Bake another 10-20 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness (will depend in part on the cut/brand of bacon). Cool for at least 10 minutes before using it for assembly. You can pat them dry for excess grease if you like. Save eight pieces for sandwiches and freeze the rest as soon as completely cooled — I wrap it in plastic wrap and add to glass Tupperware.
- Make aioli by combining mayo, sundried tomatoes, garlic clove, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisking until incorporated.
- Toast bread if you like. Spread aioli on one piece of bread and a layer of goat cheese on the other piece. Layer either side with two slices bacon, a generous handful of arugula, avocado slices/mashed avocado to taste, and a layer of red onion. Close sandwich, slice and enjoy! I don’t recommend making sandwiches more than a few hours in advance.
Depending on your preference, you may want more or less of these ingredients, so adjust or leave out to taste
If your taste buds are begging for even more creative sandwiches, check out our SB recipes for some adventurous options. Two of our favorites are The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Sandwich You’ve Never Had and the Ultimate Southern Sandwich, which boasts an array of ingredients with Southern roots. Happy National Sandwich Day!
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