#1: Pay attention to proportions
Of course, the perfect ratio of sandwich components is up to you, but a general rule to follow is have the fillings comprise one-third of your sandwich and let the bread comprise the rest. Though you may want to pack your sandwich full, you don't want the fillings to fall out or break the bread because they are too heavy (though some people may disagree!).
#2: Pick the best slice
Bread is an important component of your sandwich. You don't want it to be so thick that you are eating only bread with a little filling, but you don't want it to be so thin that the sandwich falls apart. Typically, bread that is 1/4- to 1-inch thick, unless you are using a pita, which may be thinner, or a roll or baguette, which are thicker.
#3: Choose your bread type
Look for bread that has a nice texture with a firm crust – it will hold your fillings better. Opt for softer baguettes or rolls because ones with a hard crust tend to spill ingredients when you bite into them. And be sure to try a variety of breads to keep your sandwiches interesting.
#4: Moisten with a spread
Any type of spread will help keep your sandwich from tasting dry. Mustard and mayonnaise are two obvious choices, but experiment with pesto, your favorite salad dressing, good extra-virgin olive oil, homemade aioli or homemade tapenade. Just don't use too much or you'll end up with soggy bread. Soft butter also makes a great spread. (There is nothing like a fresh French baguette with a thin layer of soft salty butter, cream Brie or Camembert cheese and thin slices of fresh ham!)
#5: Vary your fillings
The usual sandwich is lunchmeat and thinly sliced cheese with a few vegetable garnishes like lettuce and tomato. To liven up your lunch, try different types of meats (prosciutto or even salami), cheeses (such as smoked or herbed cheeses), vegetables (like cucumber or jicama slices) or fruit (sliced apples are delish on a turkey sandwich).
#6: Be creative
You can try different combinations of ingredients, opt for fillings you've never tried, and use a particular cuisine to inspire your sandwich making. Here are a few creative sandwich ideas:
- Layer grilled vegetables with pesto and melted mozzarella in a pannini.
- Use leftover chicken, ham, turkey, or even fish instead of deli lunchmeat.
- Add spice to any sandwich with pepper jack or wasabi cheese.
- Use cranberry sauce for turkey sandwiches, cherry preserves for salmon or chicken sandwiches, or mint jelly for lamb.
- Fill a bagel or whole grain pita with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, onions and tomatoes.
Just get inventive and you'll discover the hundreds of variations on your lunchtime meal.
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