Friday, 20 February 2015

Sandwich wars!

Tonight is the battle of the sandwiches! We are both making each other a surprise sandwich, trying to impress and win the coveted prize of nothing at all.

Who will win? Will it be E with the red Joseph chopping board and an assortment of interesting, exotic ingredients or will it be T with a purple Ikea chopping board and blood dripping from a gigantic gash on her finger from cleaning the knife?

This is the second silly mishap this week. On Wednesday I was running away from the dog, playing hide and seek, and ran out into the garden ("haha, he'll never find me there!") and sliced the sole of my foot off on the concrete step. Obviously I couldn't squeal as I was playing hide and seek and didn't want to give away my location, so I hugged my ragged remaining stump of a foot to my body, sobbing internally. The dog walked up slowly, stared at me (pityingly one might say), and wandered off.

Me 0 : Dog 1.

Music: Spotify playlist. I really thought there would be no music to do with sandwiches but I couldn't have been more wrong. Sandwiches are worshipped by musicians the world over, in all sorts of genres. Our favourite is a song/rant by a comedian Michael Showalter who seems to have some serious issues with sandwiches and life.

Cocktail: NULL

Yes, this week there isn't a themed cocktail. There are no cocktails based around the sandwich theme. Ange at work (who is super awesome) found one with rum (okay so far), lettuce juice (ummm) and beef stock (and I'm out). This is the first time we haven't forced a cocktail into FridayDateNight however tenuously. But don't worry about us, we had an off menu martini secretly.

Sandwich wars!

I have spent days thinking about what to make. There are a lot of sandwiches in the world. I spent time browsing the /r/eatsandwiches subreddit, searching for inspiration. I found a Buzzfeed (urghh) article on sandwiches from around the world. I gave up on it as they were all a bit mad and I wanted something a bit more real and forwarded it to E who was floundering on ideas.

Before we dive in we have come up with some arbitrary criteria so we can give scores.

Rating criteria:

  1. Tastiness
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Creativity
  4. Ease of eating
  5. Appearance
T's sandwich: Meatball sub

The reason I have chosen this is manifold. I wanted to make a manly sandwich for him, I was keen on making something American (boy, do they love their sandwiches) and, as exhausting hour three clocked round on the motorway this evening I wanted something that wasn't too hard to assemble but still was worthy of competing. 

Sainsbury's post-apocalyptic wasteland that is their Friday evening produce section meant that I ended up getting pre made meatballs (Taste the diff though, so don't judge too harshly) as there wasn't really much nice mince left. And even pre apocalypse they don't sell veal mince or pork mince so I was already in a quandary to follow the recipes online. 

To add insult to this already mediocre effort, there wasn't much bread left there, so the only brave option I could have gone for was a brioche sub, but even for me that's just a bit too poncy for this style of sandwich. 

Then I started making the marinara sauce when I got back and remembered the leftover tomato and basil jus he made for Valentine's day for the lamb... it is butter soaked, reduced down deliciousness. I stole it instead and added some tomatoes.

The recipe wanted grated ("shredded" in American) provolone or an Italian mix of cheeses. We don't do that here in the UK so I have gone with a nice looking bag of grated Emmental. The French can do no wrong. Though I hear now it's Swiss. What-freakin-ever.

Ian has called this a Manwich and thought it was rich, complex and salty. I like that. I thought the cheese worked better than I had hoped and I really thought his stolen sauce made it all really work.  I have a nice Medoc to accompany, but he shakes his head as it's a bit too poncy for what we are doing here.

E's sandwich: Vada Pav

His words: "She sent me a Buzzfeed article and I chose the first one on the list". So cheeky! He thought it was quite me, being Indian food, and he's right. As usual, he picked something that ended up taking way longer than he anticipated! He does choose things with much foofery. The potato balls were cooked down potatoes and other ingredients, then covered in batter and deep fried. Some premium effort!

He notes that we both made ball shaped food. I don't know what he means by this or is weirdly insinuating so I will just leave that there.

Serving it up; the bread roll, for me, doesn't work, but the chutneys are really incredible, and I can imagine one of these deep fried potato things on a stick and dipping them, rather than a sandwich. The tamarind sauce is like a incredible version of HP sauce (he aspires to make it more strongly tasting in the future with more tamarind) and the green chilli chutney was stealthily green and innocent but packed a lovely kick. Nom!

The results

  1. Tastiness: 16
  2. Satisfaction: 20
  3. Creativity: 10
  4. Ease of eating: 10
  5. Appearance: 15
Total is: 71%

  1. Tastiness: 15
  2. Satisfaction: 14
  3. Creativity: 19
  4. Ease of eating: 14
  5. Appearance: 15
Total is: 77%

So E wins!

Cooper's vote (which is critical) is that he would eat both (and he did, as pictured), but he prefers the meatball sub, but just hold the sub and the sauce and everything that wasn't just the meat.

Useful insight as always.

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