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Building a Better Home-Made Deli Sandwich

January 31, 2012 by Joan Nova in Lunch, Sandwiches, Vegetables | 17 Comments

I rarely eat ‘cold cuts’ (aka deli meat), but every once in a while…

Sliced bread is also not something I keep at home because I’m more a fan of artisanal crusty breads, but this day I was thinking Rye. Then I spotted Onion Pumpernickel in the bakery and the deal was closed.

As I lurked around the deli counter with my number clutched in hand waiting for service, I surveyed the offerings in the refrigerator case. Right off the bat, I was intrigued with a “new” (they said) cheese from Boars Head…Chipotle Gouda. Hell, yeah! I also got some Roasted Pork, alternatively known as Fresh Ham.

At Home

My penchant for healthy, balanced meals would never let me have a meat and cheese sandwich without adding some vegetables to it…plus that cheese was pretty hot so I decided to pickle something from my vegetable drawer to cool it down.

Into a bath of white vinegar and sugar went sliced kirby cucumbers, red onion, and red cabbage. I also threw in a star anise and a couple of cloves.

Building the Sandwich

A good sandwich is more about the supporting characters than the presumed star (the filling), don’t you agree? You need:

    • good bread, toasted if soft and sliced.
    • a dressing/condiment to complement the bread and filling.
    • a topping to provide balance, freshness and interest.

I used Dijon Mustard but it’s fun to experiment with doctoring up mustards and mayo.

Mustard: add a little fruit jam/preserves for a ham sandwich.

Mayo: Nice additions are herbs, curry powder, wasabi, roasted peppers.

Sizes Matters (yours and the sandwich’s)…when it’s this tasty, it doesn’t have to be humongous.

Note: FOODalogue suggests this recipe as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with…in your own kitchen…to your own spice and taste levels…and to your preferred portion sizes.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. A good bread is what makes or breaks a sandwich for me. I also like to have something crunchy in there for texture. I’m wishing I had your sandwich right about now – it looks delicious!

  2. I love the idea of tempering mustards with jam – yum. I love savoury, fruity condiments. Your sarnie is gorgeous – something I don’t indulge in often enough.

  3. Now that’s a sandwich! Chipotle gouda? Yes please! Love your home made pickles too!
    Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul recently posted..Making the “classics”-Veal SchnitzelMy Profile

  4. Katie says:

    Chipotle gouda and onion pumpernickel? *swoon* I can just imagine how delicious that sandwich must be. I love a dill pickle spear with my deli sandwiches, but you’ve already taken care of that part with your toppings!
    Katie recently posted..Gaucho Garb Drives the Chinas WildMy Profile

  5. I love that you’ve provided a template guidelines to make an excellent sandwich and yours with the colored cukes and cabbage and star anise is stellar!

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  6. Arlene says:

    I’ve always suspected if I traced my lineage I’d find I’m related to the Earl of Sandwich. I must agree that there is a certain harmony or balance to the best sandwiches. Bread is my “star,” but, of course, the supporting roles must be equally impressive. Great post.

  7. Yummmmmmmmmmm…this is really making me crave a sandwich with pickles! It’s also making me itch to make some pickles again…maybe daikon with chili peppers…

  8. What an absolutely grand sandwich, Joan. Inspiring! I love the way you doctored your condiments. Inspiring again!
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..The Chili and Charros Cook-Off: A Bi-Cultural EventMy Profile

  9. Ivy says:

    I know I would love this sandwich especially with those pickles and Dijon in it!
    Ivy recently posted..Kotopoulo Trahanas Soup and How to self publish an e-cookbook on AmazonMy Profile

  10. Love the idea of adding fruit preserves to mustard for ham sandwich. Fig jam would be great.
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  11. Ben says:

    Chipotle Gouda? Hell yeah! :D

  12. Robin Sue says:

    I will eat anything that is hot pink! I love the color of the pickles, what a neat idea to add to a sandwich. Now I am on hunt for that cheese.
    Robin Sue recently posted..Mason Jar Self Buttering BiscuitsMy Profile

  13. sippitysup says:

    If I were Homer Simpson I’d say D’oh! GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Sippity Suppers- Planning a Super Bowl or TV Viewing Party with @TheTableSetMy Profile

  14. Nuria says:

    I love the colored sandwich Joan! These beautiful contrasting colors make my drooling increase :D
    Nuria recently posted..Piglet CupcakesMy Profile

  15. Chipotle Gouda love it!! That is one stunning looking sandwich Joan
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  16. The chipotle Gouda and veggies alone are making me happy :) Gorgeous sandwich!

  17. Bren says:

    Girl! I’have great gouda, but chipotle! please pass this way! I think Imma be on the look out for it our my local cheese monger’s place. In fact I have tryst with him this week. Also, love that red cabbage. So pretty!

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