Monday, February 24, 2014

Party Sandwich!

Cookindex (1958) via
I'm on the road this week, but that won't stop me from cooking up potentially-disgusting recipes to foist on unsuspecting husbands all across America.  This week, we take a trip to lovely-ish Florence, SC, where Dr. and Mrs. Substitute were kind enough to put me up and help me in my culinary endeavors.

Florence, as you probably already know, is the site of an almost-calamity in 1958, when an atomic bomb accidentally fell out of a plane and landed in someone's back yard. Whoops!  Luckily the plutonium core didn't detonate, but there's a crater nonetheless, which you can visit to this day!

On a lighter note, Florence is also the soon-to-be-home of Seminar Brewing, Florence's first commercial craft brewery! (I can personally, and highly, recommend the Carver Peanut Butter Porter).

So, off we go. Party Sandwich is one of the gems presented by our friends at Vintage Recipe Cards, an invaluable source of kitschy recipes when I'm away from my cookbooks and in a jam. If you're too lazy to click the link, here's the recipe:

1 small round loaf Italian bread
Softened butter or margarine
Ham and Celery Filling, see below
Curried Egg Filling, see below
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
Avocado Filling, see below
Cream cheese, about 1/2 lb.
Light cream
Sliced stuffed olives
Springs of parsley

Cut loaf, crosswise, into four thick slices. Spread each slice with butter. Spread bottom sliced with Ham and Celery Filling. Top with second bread sliced; spread with Curried Egg Filling. Top with slices of tomato and third bread slice. Spread with Avocado Filling; top with remaining bread slice. Mash cream cheese; stir in enough cream so cheese will spread easily; beat until smooth. Spread on top and sides of loaf. Garnish with olive slices and parsley. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes about 12 servings.

HAM AND CELERY FILLING: Combine 1 cup ground cooked ham, 1/2 cup chopped celery and enough mayonnaise to moisten.
CURRIED EGG FILLING: Combine 4 finely chopped hard-cooked eggs, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and enough mayonnaise to moisten.
AVOCADO FILLING: Mash 2 fully-ripe avocados; add 2 tablespoons highly-seasoned French dressing. String until well blended.

You'll notice that the first step is to spread the bread with butter. This seems to have been a thing back in the day, at least according to my grandmother Mrs. White, who started every dish that could even be tangentially considered a sandwich (including hot dogs) with a liberal spread.

Once your bread is sufficiently buttered, you can start assembling your fillings. Mrs. Dr. Substitute was a great help in the kitchen this week, as was Chester, a great huge lumbering creature with two different colored eyes.
Mrs. Dr. Substitute was concerned that the ham "salad" didn't contain pickle relish; I argued that the sweetness might clash with the curried egg mixture, but in hindsight, the dish as a whole is such a mishmash of mayonnaise-y flavors that it probably wouldn't have mattered a whit.

I must also praise Mrs. Dr. Substitute for her insistence on homemade French dressing, she made about a gallon just to provide the measly two tablespoons needed for the avocado layer.

Once you start adding mayonnaise into your mixtures, the gentlemen in the house will sit up and take notice!
So, once you assemble and combine all your layers, you will be faced with icing your creation. I recommend securing the "sandwich" with a skewer before icing (and leave it in place for the slicing). Also, be prepared to have some slopover avocado and egg mix in to your icing.

When you're finished, add your olive and parsley garnish. You'll arrive at something roughly looking like this:
Based on our scientific slicing technique, I'd estimate that this sandwich will provide about 8 servings.

But enough about science, how does it taste?
And, seriously, if you want to be a guest kitchen, drop me a line!

Our Rating: Two Screaming Husbands!
(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.)

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