One of the perks of having a blog is getting to review all things food.
One of my favorite food bloggers, Susan Russo of foodblogga.com, just released her first book, The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches.
May I just say, this book is AMAZING! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I already love sandwiches. They are truly the most versatile food ever. Susan’s book is everything a cookbook should be. It has a great layout, is alphabetized by sandwich, (As you would expect from anything called an encyclopedia), and the pictures, oh, the pictures. Matt Armendariz of mattbites.com, another one of my favorite food bloggers, did all the foodtography in the book. He is a true genius at his craft. A beautiful, virtually edible picture of each and every sandwich is included. Page after page of glorious sandwich, deliciousness.
Susan did an amazing job of choosing all of the 110+ sandwiches in the book. It starts off in the breakfast arena with the “All-in-One Breakfast Sandwich”. Not because it’s the first meal of the day, but because it simply starts with an “A”. It incorporates two square, fresh buttered waffles filled with eggs of your liking, bacon strips, and crisp hash browns, drizzled lightly with maple syrup. It also includes many variations of the sandwich from using pancakes or French toast instead if waffles and incorporating such fillings as chicken-fried steak and eggs with gravy to baked apples with syrup and nuts, or bananas and honey.
As a trivia nut, what I like best are the stories, history and bit of humor humor injected into each and every recipe. I want to know who invented the “Spiedie” and it’s historical roots. Which I may add is easy to find since I only need turn to the “S” section to find it.
Some of my favorites I can’t wait to try are the “Classic Club” (pictured right), and the “Croque-Monsieur”. A grilled ham and cheese, French style. It’s basic, rich ingredients are what make it so simple and yet so delectable. 2 tbsp of clarified butter with white bread, Dijon mustard, 2 think slices of baked ham, Gruyère cheese and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. One of my favorite sandwiches of all time.
Another sandwich I look forward to trying is the “Fried Green Tomato BLT”. I fell in love with Fried Green Tomatos after first trying them at Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ in Brea, CA. One of my favorite restaurants of all time. Anyone who knows me knows I love me some real Southern BBQ. I would choose a great Pulled Pork sandwich or a sticky, smoked, Rack of Baby Back Ribs over a juicy Porterhouse or fresh, Maine lobster any day of the week, month or year! So to incorporate something I love so much into something I love so much, well, it’s just pure love! Can’t wait for the FGT (Fried Green Tomato) harvest in the fall!
Next on my list is the ‘Grilled Portabella Sandwich”. As you may haveguessed, I am not a vegetarian, in fact, what I love the most about a big Portabella mushroom, is the meaty flavor and texture that can be gained by marinating and grilling one of these big, beautiful, beauties. (Sometimes I feel like a Portabella, big, beautiful and marinated just perfectly, HA!.) Susan’s recipe does not disappoint. A simple and easy to read recipe, the mushroom cap is marinated in Balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes and is then grilled and placed onto a fresh Ciabatta roll with a freshly made Basil Aeoli, topped with fresh mozzarella and a roasted, jarred, red pepper. A great summer sandwich, just in time!
Of of the more interesting sandwiches I can’t wait to try, and I am sure my pregnant daughter, Hollie would agree with me, is the ‘Potato Chip Sandwich”. Sliced bread spread with creamy peanut butter, topped with sliced dill pickles and topped off with your favorite plain potato chips. I know it sounds weird, but the “Elvis” does too, and yet it works and is so delicious. It’s like Pepperoni Pizza dipped in Mayonnaise. Sounds gross, but don’t knock it til’ you try it. It may surprise you.
Stop by Susan’s website foodblogga.com and read more about “The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches” and Susan’s blog. Also, hop on over to Matt’s blog, mattbites.com before Friday and enter his contest to win a beautiful box of fresh, California Avocados.
To get your copy of this incredible book just go to Amazon.com. It’s a bargain and makes an incredible gift for even the most novice cook, not to mention, looks very intriguing on any coffee table. Also, check out the Quirk Books site for more great books from your favorite food bloggers, foodtographers and more.
To all my readers who are subscribing to my blog, I will be raffling off a copy of this incredible book to one of you. Just post a comment below, and I will choose, at random, one of you to receive your very own copy I will purchase directly from Amazon.com , just for you. You have until midnight on Easter Sunday, April 24th to enter. I will announce the winner shortly after.
In the meantime… Enjoy your food, cherish your family and savor every last crumb life throws at you.