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5 Super sandwich suppers

Sandy Smith is a food writer, editor, recipe developer, and pastry chef. She lives in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley with her awesome family of painfully honest, unfailingly supportive taste-testers.

Simple sandwiches

Sandwich suppers don't have to be substandard! Fun for kids and adults alike, sandwich night is a great opportunity to explore some new flavors and different takes on old favorites. Try these five super-simple, super-tasty twists on traditional sandwich suppers.

Peanut Butter Bacon Sandwich

Banh Mi for You

Exotic in name and flavor, this popular Vietnamese sandwich can be customized to suit your family's tastes. For an easy-to-assemble Americanized version of the banh mi (pronounced BUN-mee), start with liverwurst on a French-style baguette. Add pickled carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers and some jarred or fresh jalapeno slices. Top with mayonnaise and a generous sprinkling of chopped fresh cilantro, and sprinkle with fish sauce or Maggi. To complete this supper, serve with coleslaw dressed with a vinaigrette-style dressing.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese isn't just for kids! Choose bread that's hearty enough to satisfy even grownup appetites, such as a peasant-style boule, multigrain or rye. To make a sandwich, spread interior surfaces of two pieces of bread with course grainy or Dijon mustard. On the bottom surface, place a slice of Havarti cheese. On top of the cheese, lay a few thick slices of Black Forest ham. Top those with thin slices of Granny Smith apple. Layer another slice of Havarti on top of that, and finish with the remaining slice of bread, mustard side down. Toast in a skillet with butter until the cheese melts and the bread is golden-brown.

Peanut Butter Buffet

When all else fails, there's always a trusty ol' PB, right? Try serving it up with buffet-style fixins and see how many requests start rolling in.

  • Think outside the breadbox: Provide a selection of sliced breads, but don't stop there. Consider offering flour tortillas, English muffins, pita breads and even whole-grain waffles as sandwich starters.
  • Sweet... and savory: Peanut butter isn't just a vehicle to carry your jelly. It actually pairs quite well with savory toppings. Try offering crisp bacon slices, thinly sliced cucumbers and cream cheese to pair with it.
  • Stealth for health: Trying to get more fruits and vegetables into your family's diet? Here's a perfect opportunity to sneak some in! Use a vegetable peeler to make thin slices of carrot, apple and pear for sandwich stacking; slice up bananas and offer them with toasted coconut for sprinkling; offer dried cranberries and diced dried apricots as toppers.

Have a Pizza Patty!

Try this for a quick dinner that will make you a kitchen hero: Preheat your oven to 400F. Arrange breaded chicken patties on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the patties over using long-handled tongs or a spatula. Carefully spread each patty with a generous tablespoon or two of pizza sauce and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Add your favorite pizza toppings like pepperoni rounds, black olives and sliced mushrooms, then return the patties to the oven for 10 more minutes. Let stand on baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then serve on focaccia or crusty Italian rolls.

About Face for the Open Face!

Open-faced sandwiches are making a comeback at the family dinner table, and they're a far cry from the forlorn gravy-soaked sandwiches of yesteryear. Start with a piece of hearty bread for your foundation and go from there. Try mixing a bit of cranberry sauce into some mayo and spread that on a slice of seeded rye. Then pile with coleslaw and sliced turkey. Melt a slice of Swiss cheese over the top (use your broiler to melt the cheese quickly without overheating the coleslaw) and call everyone for dinner!

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