“Sandwiches for dinner” sounds, somehow, as if someone’s coming up short, not doing their job, possibly just bringing out a loaf of cheap white bread and a jar of generic peanut butter instead of cooking. Well . . . why? Why are sandwiches perfectly fine for lunch or a picnic, but not good enough for dinner?
Maybe it’s because sandwiches tend to be cold. Okay, but if you serve hot soup with them . . . sorry, it’s still just lunch. Hot meat and potatoes with a cold salad is dinner, but a cold sandwich with hot soup is lunch. A burger is dinner, but a sandwich is lunch. Go figure.
Then there’s the quality of bread used in the typical sandwich. Commercial bread is fine, and it comes handily sliced thinner than we could probably manage on our own. But it’s nothing like home baked, or even bakery bread — especially warmed up. Again, garlic bread is something for the dinner table; sandwich bread belongs in a plastic bag you pull out at lunchtime.
Well, here’s a dinner sandwich that sweeps all that aside. It’s baked just long enough to warm it up, melt the cheese, and bring back a little of the fresh-baked taste and smell to the bread. And speaking of the bread, it’s “artisanal” enough to be special — though you can always use an even fancier bread.
This leaves you with no pots or pans to clean up — you may want to wash the foil and reuse it, but you can just toss it.
You can use a different filling for each person: ham and cheddar, turkey and swiss, pepperoni and mozzarella, even plain cheese. If you do that, twist one end of the foil wrapping on each sandwich into a first initial to keep track of whose is whose.
Does the dish sound too carb-heavy in this form? Try this instead: Leave the sandwiches open faced, pile on some extra meat, end with the cheese and broil, unwrapped, on a baking sheet. This only takes a few minutes.
- 1 square sandwich bun
- 2 thin slices cooked meat
- 2 slices cheese, or 2 Tb. grated cheese
- Mayonnaise or salad dressing for spreading
- Carefully split the buns through the middle.
- Spread with mayonnaise.
- Layer meat and cheese between the two halves.
- Wrap each bun tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil. Seal completely.
- Bake at 375℉ for about 15 minutes.
- Unwrap carefully and serve with a green salad.