Monday, February 17, 2014

Herb-Glazed Triple-Decker Ham-Clam Sandwiches

The Midnight Cookbook (1971) and Joys of Jell-O (1962)
Happy Valentine's Day!  To demonstrate my everlasting love for you, I've crafted a composite recipe from two different sources, because that's how much I care. 

Source number one: The Midnight Cookbook: A Guide to Intimate Dining (1971) by Thomas Mario. From the frontspiece:
The Midnight Cookbook offers an escape into the debonair world of late-night feasting...whether you're a swinging single on a late date, a housewife or husband eager to seduce your partner with gustatory delights, or a party-giver planning mouth-watering specialties of the house, Thomas Mario offers step-by-step instructions on food preparation and gives suggestions for drinks to precede and complement the meal.

From the cover art, I think it's safe to assume that "swinging" is the operative word in the above description.
Also, "gustatory" is apparently a word.

The basic recipe, for "Triple Deck (sic) Clam and Ham Sandwiches" is found on page 43. My own alterations are noted:

24 thin slices white sandwich bread (I used a mini pumpernickel loaf)
Soft butter or margarine
2 cans (10 ounces) baby clams, drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pound boiled or baked ham, thinly sliced
1 pound firm ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced

Chop clams fine. Combine clams with mayonnaise, celery, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bread with soft butter. Spread clam mixture on one slice bread. Place second slice on top. Place ham and tomatoes on second slice of bread, keeping both within bread margin. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Continue in this manner until 8 sandwiches are assembled. Crust may be left on or sliced off with very sharp knife. Wrap each sandwich individually with clear or plastic wrap. Chill. (The recipe goes on to suggest broiling the sandwiches and serving them with a dill cream sauce. I ignored this bit. Instead...) 

Source number two:  The bountiful 1962 Joys of Jell-O has a whole section devoted to extended Jell-O techniques. Among them, on page 75, is "Herb-glazed sandwiches".   

"Your luncheon or tea sandwiches stay fresh and flavorful under a glaze," the booklet joyously proclaims!

1 2/3 cups water
1/8 teaspoon peppercorn (I used a bit more)
1/2 bay leaf (I used a whole one)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 package (3 oz.) lemon Jell-O Gelatin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne
3 tablespoons vinegar (I used tarragon vinegar)
6 to 8 open-faced sandwiches, 0r 12 to 14 appetizer-size sandwiches

Combine water, peppercorns, bay leaf, and dried dill in a saucepan. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes; strain. Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin, salt, and cayenne in the hot liquid. Add vinegar. Chill until syrupy. Place sandwiches on a rack and pour syrupy gelatin over them, allowing about 1/4 cup for each large sandwich or 2 tablespoons for each small sandwich. Chill until glaze is firm. Makes about 1 3/4 cups glaze.

By now, you must be thinking, "This is going to make a plate of sandwiches that look like they're covered in yellow mucous."  

Yep, you got it!
 Our Rating: One Screaming Husband!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)


  1. I have always wanted to make the glazed sandwiches from The Joys of Jell-O. I am glad that you did it so I don't have to.

    OK, I might still have to.

  2. The look on Dr. Husband's face when you announce there's clams in the sandwiches after he's already eaten several is amazing and beautiful.

  3. Wow... mucus sandwiches. Tasting that is really true love! :)