A sandwich by any other name

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By Robert Harland

What’s Cooking?

Monday, June 9, 2014


WE ALL enjoy a tasty sandwich, but few people I speak to here seem to know the origin of the ubiquitous sandwich.

The sandwich is considered to have been created by an English aristocrat, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718 – 1792).

He was an avid card player, but hated to interrupt his game when he needed to eat. So he ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread. This allowed him to continue playing cards without using a fork and without getting his cards greasy from eating meat with his bare hands.

Soon his fellow-players were asking for "the same as Sandwich." The name stuck and the rest, as they say, is history. The Wall Street Journal once described the sandwich as Britain's "biggest contribution to gastronomy."

We all have our favorite sandwiches.

I'm very fond of the Monte Cristo. This is a fried sandwich which is thought to have been created in Los Angles in the 1950s. It’s certainly the best ham and cheese sandwich I've ever tasted.

There are numerous variations, including some with jelly and powdered sugar, but I like mine savory. This is the recipe I like. It's easy to make and always a hit with kids.

MONTE CRISTO

Ingredients

(makes four sandwiches)

3 Tbsp butter
1/3 of a cup of milk
4 eggs
4 slices of Swiss or Cheddar cheese
8 slices of white bread
8 thin slices of cooked ham

Method

Put two slices of ham and one slice of cheese between two pieces of bread. Whisk the eggs and the milk in a small bowl. Dip the sandwiches in the egg and milk mixture. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and fry the sandwiches when the butter is bubbling. Slowly cook for eight to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melting and the bread turns golden brown.

Delicious, but if you are on a diet or watching calories, this is probably not the sandwich for you.

Another favorite of mine is a shrimp salad sandwich, which is great on a hot day.

SHRIMP SALAD SANDWICH

Ingredients

(makes four sandwiches)

450 gr cooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined
3 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
8 slices white bread

Method

Place the shrimps in a blender and pulse until finely minced. Transfer shrimp to a bowl and add eggs, celery, and mayonnaise and mix well. Add seasoning to taste. Stir to combine. Spread additional mayonnaise on both sides of the bread. Heap shrimp salad onto the bread and then cut the sandwiches in half.

Can be served with lettuce and tomato, if desired.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 09, 2014.

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