Updated Aug 09, 2017 02:30pm

These 3 sandwich recipes are perfect for a quick lunch

There is nothing better than a hot sandwich — except for hot cake of course — but how did the sandwich come to be, and that’s our quest for today. Besides, of course, making a few of these delicious hot delights.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a sandwich as “an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them, eaten as a light meal.” A rather simple idea, but how did it come about?

In the 18th century, John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, apparently came up with the modern day sandwich as described by Pierre-Jean Grosley in his book called Londres.

He writes: “A minister of state passed four and twenty hours at a public gaming-table, so absorbed in play, that, during the whole time, he had no subsistence but a piece of beef, between two slices of toasted bread, which he eats without ever quitting the game. This new dish grew highly in vogue, during my residence in London; it was called by the name of the minister who invented it.”

Sometimes all you need is a hearty sandwich, toasted or grilled to melty perfection, for a quick meal

Your guess is as good as mine as to how accurate this anecdote is but the book became popular and the name ‘sandwich’ has stuck since then to describe this ‘meal’.

The Earl of Sandwich, and his innovative chef, may have given the sandwich its official name but it’s been around for much longer, French farm workers have been eating meat between two pieces of bread much before it was given an official name, and the earliest recognisable form of a sandwich may be the Korech/Hillel sandwich.

Rabbi Hillel the Elder who resided in Jerusalem more than two millenniums ago, during the time of King Herod, first suggested eating bitter herbs inside unleavened matzo bread. The herbs symbolised the bitterness of slavery, and the bread resembled the flatbreads made in haste by the ancient Israelites as they fled Egypt.

Hillel’s simple recommendation of sandwiching the two foods together may indicate that this was already a popular way of serving food in the Middle East.

Today, thousands of years later, still enjoying the sandwich as a breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner favourite.

Fun Fact: The Earl of Sandwich’s legacy lives on today since his great grandson, Orlando Montagu, founded a chain of sandwich restaurants called the Earl of Sandwich. The menu features the sandwich, Original 1762, which is believed to be the sandwich that started it all.

Here are three recipes of sandwiches from my kitchen to yours.


Quesadilla (Mexican 'sandwich')

Ingredients

9 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded

3 tbs minced pickled green chillies

3 tbs minced fresh cilantro leaves

12 ounces shredded cheese

6 flour tortillas or chappatis

6 tbs vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Method

Combine chicken, green chillies, cilantro and cheese in a medium bowl, and mix to combine. Spread one-sixth of the mixture evenly over half of one tortilla/chappati, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold the tortilla over and seal the edges by pressing down firmly, sealing with cheese if necessary. Repeat with the remaining filling on the other half of the tortilla/chapatti.

Heat oil in a heavy-lidded frying pan or tawa over medium heat, until it begins to shimmer. Carefully add two folded tortillas/chappatis until golden brown and a little crispy on both sides. Serve with sour cream/yoghurt and salsa/kachumber. Transfer quesadillas to a paper towel to drain.

Cut into triangles and serve immediately.


Vegetable sandwich

Ingredients

4 cups black beans, cooked

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg

1/2 cup, plus 2 tbs divided, mayonnaise

3/4 cups bread crumbs

2 tbs Canola oil

4 slices cheese

3 tbs ketchup

4 (or 8 slices of bread) hamburger buns

1 tomato, sliced

4 Romaine lettuce leaves

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Grind beans, onions and garlic, and transfer into bowl; add egg, two tablespoons mayo and breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper, make four patties.

Rest in the fridge for 15 minutes, and fry for five minutes on each side. Mix mayo and ketchup on bread/buns, set the patty, cheese and top with vegetables.

Serve hot with French fries.


Steak sandwich

Ingredients

Rib-eye steak, thinly sliced, chilled in freezer for 45 minutes

2 tbsp oil

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

Salt and black pepper to taste

Mushroom, thinly sliced (optional)

Cheese

Bread/hotdog buns/French bread

Method

Heat oil in pan, add bell pepper, onions, salt and pepper, and fry until softened. Add mushrooms, fry until softened and stir. Set vegetables aside, and cook the thinly sliced steak, sprinkle salt and pepper on it until the meat is brown and cooked, for three to six minutes.

Reduce heat to low and pile each steak slice with vegetables and cheese, cover and cook for a minute. Spread butter on bread, scoop steak/vegetables and cheese with spatula and place on bread/buns/French bread.

Serve with a side of French fries and friends, and enjoy.


Originally published in Dawn, EOS, August 6th, 2017.

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