Karen’s Big-Ass Sandwich

1 Sep

Ok so I know this sort of doesn’t really count as a “recipe” per se, but dammit, it’s one of my specialties and it tastes really good, so hear me out. You ever have one of those occasions where you’ve got a crowd coming over and it’s lunch time and it’s too hot to cook and even if it weren’t you don’t feel like making a huge meal? Yeah. This sandwich is for those times. The awesome thing is, anybody who sees this gigantic sandwich is gonna be impressed. Even more so when they eat it. And I guess you could get all fancy and make potato salad or something to go with it (if you’ve got the extra time and motivation), but I’ve found my guests are more than happy with some tater chips or Doritos on the side. Maybe some grapes if they’re lucky. At any rate, this is how I make my world-famous sandwich. (Each sandwich serves 4-5 adults).

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • mayo
  • mustard (I like Dijon)
  • 1/2 pound turkey*
  • 1/2 pound roast beef*
  • 5-6 slices cheese (I like cheddar or Colby jack)
  • 1 jar Sandwich sliced Dill pickles
  • 1 jar sliced banana peppers
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 head Green or Red Leaf Lettuce**

Place the bread on a large cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise. Place each half cut-side up on the board. Using a spatula (it’s easier than a knife), spread a thin layer of mayo on both halves of the bread. Spread a thin layer of mustard on just one half of the bread. On the bottom half of the bread, layer the turkey and roast beef. Don’t just lay it flat. Pretend like you have a Sandwich Artist degree and sort of bunch it up like they do on the commercials. It’ll look prettier and give each bite more meat. Make sure you go all the way to the end of the sandwich with all ingredients. You don’t want the person who gets the end piece to get hosed. Continue layering ingredients on top of the meat starting with the cheese and working down the rest of the ingredients. Use your judgement on how much to put on. Obviously you’re not going to want to put an entire onion on one sandwich (unless you’re insane). Make sure the sandwich is evenly covered with all ingredients. When you get to the lettuce, just use the usual amount.***

When you’re done layering on all the toppings, put the top half of the sandwich on and cut the sandwich into about 5 equal parts using a bread knife and a gentle sawing motion. Don’t squish the thing or all that hard work is going to go down the tubes along with the appetites of your guests. If you’re making this to take to a picnic or something, you may want to hold off on cutting it until you get to your destination. Oh and don’t make it too far ahead of time, otherwise it’ll get all soggy from the pickles and such and the lettuce will be limp and no gooder. If I’m going to take it somewhere, I generally just plastic wrap it to the cutting board for easy transportation.

So there you have it! Obviously this combination of ingredients is my go-to, but if you’ve got a more adventurous crowd or feel like something different, you could totally mix it up. How about turkey, swiss, and avocado? Or a big ‘ol muffaletta sandwich? Maybe an Italianish one with salami, pepperoni, and provolone. The possibilities are endless!

*Don’t buy the crappy meat that’s pre-packaged. Go to the deli counter and get it freshly sliced. I know, it’s really scary and a little more time-consuming, but the quality is so much better and it’s actually cheaper!

**The common theme for this sandwich is quality. Please don’t ruin your sandwich with regular iceberg lettuce. It doesn’t have as much flavor as the green or red leaf lettuce and it isn’t near as pretty. Think Presentation. These little details are what make your sandwich taste awesome and look like the ones on the tv.

***I can’t help but love this movie. I always have to ask Seth how much lettuce he wants on his sandwich.  If you have time, watch the whole montage. Gotta love Billy Bob Thornton.


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