The Art of the Super Bowl Sandwich



With the Super Bowl coming this weekend I am trying to figure out if I need to make something special. Last year everyone went all-out around here because our beloved New Orleans Saints came through in a big way. The buzz is not too loud this year ... a bit of a hum. I am thinking the most I will offer up during the game is a sandwich for my guys.

I love good crusty French bread with just about anything on it, from brisket with gravy to fried oysters.

I just had to go online to find out who is even playing this year. Pittsburgh Steelers and the Packers—so what comes to mind since I have never visited Pittsburgh or Green Bay? The "almost famous" Primanti Brother's sandwich, from a Pittsburgh institution, comes with fries and slaw inside the sandwich. My husband has experienced this. I have not. And I have never heard of a famous sandwich from Green Bay ... but I am sure they have some amazing cheese sandwiches.

When I think of sandwiches I think of Blondie, the popular comic strip created by cartoonist Chic Young in the early 1930s and which still runs in many newspapers today, featuring Blondie and her sandwich-loving husband, Dagwood. If I remember correctly his sandwich is just about anything he can find in the fridge stacked between several slices of bread. I guess that would be the vertical version of the submarine sandwich ... same ingredients, different bread.

I have definite thoughts on sandwiches. I for one am not a fan of a cold sandwich, with the exception of two: a peanut butter and jelly and a tomato sandwich during the summer. I love good crusty French bread with just about anything on it, from brisket with gravy to fried oysters. Here are my personal criteria for what I consider a good sandwich (I am sure you have your own):

• Toasted bread, but still soft, and if it is buttered even better

• If the sandwich has something so good on it that it does not need much more

• If there is cheese on it, the cheese has to be melted

• If there is meat on I, the meat needs to be heated

• If there is bacon on it, it makes it better

• Most any mustard goes with salami, ham, and turkey but honey mustard goes only with ham and turkey

• If pickles, lettuce, or tomato are added they have to be cold and added at the last moment

• There needs to be something a bit tangy— if not mustard, a touch of vinegar, whether it is olives, pickles, or pepper rings

• The best sandwich needs at least two napkins or it is too dry for me

I have two recipes I have given in the past that I would recommend for a Super Bowl sandwich: my meatloaf sandwich and the Muffaletta. The traditional New Orleans Muffaletta is a favorite even if you are not rooting for the Saints. We may not have the team in the Super Bowl this year, but we have the sandwiches.