Regardless of taste, a great sandwich should do one thing: stick together. "Is it easy to eat?" asks Ian Rough, regional executive chef for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. "It should be built in a way that allows that to happen."
Regardless of taste, a great sandwich should do one thing: stick together. "Is it easy to eat?" asks Ian Rough, regional executive chef for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. "It should be built in a way that allows that to happen." The architecture of something as seemingly simple as a sandwich is a topic the CMR test kitchen doesn't take lightly. Rough shares a few things he and his fellow chefs always keep in mind. cameronmitchell.com
BreadPick the right kind of bread. If you have a lot of wet ingredients, as in a Reuben, you want a sturdy slice of bread. "It also has to have a decent thickness so that it holds up to the sandwich," Rough says.
Mayo/Mustard/Aioli Add a layer of fat to shield the bread. "A little layer of mayo or mustard will repel some of that water. It's a barrier almost," he says.
Lettuce With your creamy layer down, it's now safe to add a watery ingredient like lettuce.
Tomatoes Tomatoes (and ingredients like pickles and onion) are notorious for slipping and sliding. So they need an anchor, like melted cheese.
CheeseUse it to hold items in, especially in hot sandwiches. "When cheese melts, it holds everything together like a sort of glue," he says. "It keeps the meat from wanting to fall out."
MeatThis star typically falls toward the middle. Think about how you cut it. In The Pearl's Cuban, pulled confit pork is chopped to keep one long piece from pulling out in the first bite.
Mayo/CheeseDon't forget to protect the bread on both sides.
Bread Toasted bread (what you need on any wet-ingredient sandwich) gets a light butter coat before it's toasted or thrown on the flattop.
Tip: Keep layers even and level. That ensures two things: A clean cut and flavor in every bite.
Tip: Diced onions and tomatoes will fall off. Slice these and use whole leaves or shredded lettuce for best stay-put performance. This applies to pickles, as well.