There’s nothing to beat a good sandwich.
Unlike our British plastic, commercial, or basic choices of sandwich or rolls, the rest of the world has a great choice of bread and fillings that they use for their everyday sandwiches in their Delis and Cafes.
Britain produces some excellent bread, so why do so many people prefer to buy the cheap sliced loaves, or the pre-packaged sandwiches?
As far as I can make out, most of them have a Jewish origin, and there is a huge Jewish community there.
I’ve altered some of their recipes for various reasons. But I think it’s a pretty good collection. There’s something here to please everyone.
Instead of Marie Rose sauce or Thousand Island, you can mix a tsp of tomato ketchup and mayonnaise together. Stir well, taste it and adjust until you like it.
They’re not just sandwiches; they can be main meals. Just add a salad or some chips, or a bag of crisps New York style.
And there are some from other countries, like the Maltese Ftira and the Tunisian Mtabga.
Do try a few, experiment and add your own variations.
These are prepared, then toasted.
They can also be baked in the oven.
If preferred, they can just be eaten as untoasted sandwiches.
AVOCADO & BEEF with lettuce, tomato, horseradish & mayonnaise.
AVOCADO & PRAWNS with tomato, cucumber & Marie Rose sauce.
BROADWAY Turkey, mozzarella, beansprouts, sun-dried tomato & mayo.
CALIFORNIA Chicken, roasted pepper, avocado, lettuce, tomato & French Dressing.
COPENHAGEN Turkey, Edam cheese, coleslaw & Thousand Island dressing.
CORDON BLEU Chicken, ham, Cheddar cheese and pickled vegetables.
CROQUE MONSIEUR Toasted ham & Cheddar cheese.
DELIGHTFUL Turkey, Cheddar cheese, coleslaw & mustard.
GEORGE WASHINGTON Ham, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato & mustard.
HAMAMAH Beef, avocado, fried onions, pickles, mayo & mustard.
KENTUCKY DERBY Ham, turkey, Cheddar cheese & 1000 Island dressing.
MILANO Ham, salami, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, oil & vinegar.
MONTE CRISTO Turkey, ham, cheese & 1000 Island dressing.
NEW YORKER Beef, Cheddar cheese, sauerkraut & honey mustard.
OLD GLORY Ham, mozzarella, tomato & Thousand Island dressing.
PARMA Ham, mozzarella, tomato, lettuce, sun-dried tomato, oil & vinegar.
ROBIN HOOD Ham, Cheddar cheese & roast peppers.
ROME EXPRESS Ham, pepperoni, Cheddar cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, oil & vinegar.
ROOSEVELT Mozzarella, sun-dried tomato & pesto.
SANTA FE Chicken, Cheddar cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato & roast peppers.
SPEEDY GONZALES Turkey, Cheddar cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato & mustard or Thousand Island dressing.
TRUMAN Chicken, mozzarella & pesto.
TUNA MELT Tuna, Cheddar cheese & tomato.
TUSCAN Mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, lettuce, tomato & mayo.
Baguettes (also known as Heros)
AMERICAN HERO Ham, turkey, beef, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayonnaise.
CORNISH Beef, cooked potato & onion.
CUBAN Pork, ham, Cheddar cheese, pickles & mustard.
GODFATHER Ham, pepperoni, beef, mozzarella, roasted peppers, lettuce, tomato & oregano.
GIUILIANI Chicken, bacon, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise & pesto.
INDIAN Beef, potato, baked beans, onion, peas, curry, mango chutney.
ITALIAN COMBO Ham, pepperoni, salami, Cheddar cheese, roasted peppers, lettuce, tomato, oil & vinegar.
MEXICAN Chicken, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, chilli & salsa.
MUSSOLINI’S REVENGE Ham, salami, pepperoni, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayonnaise.
PAN BAGNA A French favourite. Tuna, anchovies, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, garlic & French dressing. (Cold).
TEXAS Beef, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, garlic & BBQ sauce.
Mtabga, or Kesra bech’ham, which literally means “bread with fat”, is an intensely flavoured dish native to the Tunisian south. It is a sort of Berber pizza. Mtabga consists of baked dough stuffed with a mixture of lamb fat (Leeya in Tunisian dialect) and hot chili sauce.
In Southern Tunisian festivals, the dish becomes a popular greasy-spoon snack. The dish is said to be native to Kibili, yet it is popular in all southern areas, such as Tozeur, Gafsa, and Gabès. Today, the mode of cooking the dish differs depending on each person’s taste. Some prefer it with tuna instead of lamb, for health reasons, while adding olive oil. To make “Mtabga,” you need lamb fat, semolina and flour, hot pepper, olive oil, spices, and a bunch of parsley.
I had one made on a wood-heated griddle by some Berba women.
The ingredients that you will need for six people are as follows:
-A large chopped onion
-500g of fine semolina
-50g of lamb fat, or lard
-a bunch of parsley
-seasoned tomato paste
-4 cloves of garlic
-hot pepper (southern people prefer the chilli taste and tend to make it spicy)
-spices: a spoon of caraway and spoon of curcuma
To make the dough, mix the semolina with half a spoon of salt and add a cup of hot water until you form a paste. Drizzle with the water, and let it stand until the dough absorbs all the liquid. After kneading the dough, cover it and let it rest and stand for a minimum of half an hour. Afterwards, divide the dough and shape it into discs of 20 cm diameter.
For the filling, start by heating the fat in a pan until it becomes liquid. Add the chopped onion with the diced garlic, reduce the heat, and gently fry. When the onion turns golden, add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Next, add the spices and the chopped parsley. Let it cool down before stuffing. Otherwise, it will perforate the dough due to its heat.
Spread the filling thinly in the middle of one piece of dough, but not quite to the edge. Place a second disc of dough over the top and press gently around the edge. Once stuffed, put the filled dough on a cast iron pan without oil on both sides until it bubbles.
It’s recommended to be eaten when it is hot otherwise the lamb fat will congeal.
Whatever filling you prefer in your sandwiches or rolls, do be adventurous, and make sure you have plenty of filling, not just a thin layer.