Sandwich Making Secrets From Professional ChefsAriann Hamilton
Sandwiches have been gracing our lunch tables for centuries, and it’s hard to imagine life without them. Whether you’re making a simple deli BLT or a gourmet salmon stack, there are a few basic rules that all professional chefs follow to get the perfect sandwich. Investing in sandwich or pizza prep tables can make the job easier in commercial kitchens, and choosing the best local ingredients adds freshness and flavour.
4 Essential Sandwich Ingredients and How To Use Them
To make the perfect sandwich, choose high-quality, freshly-baked bread that tastes as delicious on its own as it does with added toppings. Choose bread for its flavour and density – a thicker, sturdier bread like ciabatta or rye will support heavy toppings better than a fluffy white loaf. Bread can also add sweetness or saltiness to a sandwich to balance rich flavours, and toasting or grilling it adds taste dimension and texture.
There’s nothing worse than a dry sandwich – make sure you use enough sauce or spread to keep meat and cheese from drying out. Coat both slices of bread to their edges to ensure even distribution of sauce and flavour throughout the sandwich. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your condiments – a thin layer of jam or honey adds welcome sweetness to a salty sandwich, and mixing spices into mayo or butter changes and elevates their flavour.
Always use fresh, carefully washed raw vegetables for a sandwich for maximum crunch and colour. Seasoning lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and onion goes a long way in bringing out their natural flavour. Raw vegetables can be soggy, so consider blotting them with a paper towel or turning them into a sautéed, caramelized, or pickled dip before adding them to your sandwich stack.
Meats and cheeses
Buy high-quality meat from a delicatessen rather than choosing prepackaged cuts to ensure you’re getting the best and freshest protein for your sandwich. Thinly sliced deli meat creates a lighter and more pleasant texture, and heating it slightly before adding it to the sandwich helps bring out its flavour. Creative cheese choices, such as camembert and brie, can turn any simple sub into a gourmet brunch dish.
Sandwich Layering Tips for Chefs
Making the perfect chef’s sandwich is all about careful layering – add toppings in the order you want people to taste them. Pairing toppings that taste good together and adding seasoning and sauces strategically can also elevate your stack. While there is no right or wrong way to build a sandwich, here are some approaches you could try:
- Build from the bottom up – place heavy toppings under lighter ones for a sturdy base.
- Alternate slippery vegetables with ingredients that create friction.
- Place warm toppings at the base, so they don’t burn the roof of your mouth.
- Mirror your layering pattern from the centre for flat sandwiches
Whether you’re an aspiring gourmet sandwich-maker or a humble home chef hoping to upgrade your everyday menu, using fresh, high-quality ingredients in the right order can make your sandwich flavours more harmonious.