We love sandwiches. Thankfully, there are no gluten allergies or carbophobics in our family. We usually have a few different types of bread around, and lately at least one of them is usually homemade. If you've got the bread part covered, a good sandwich can't be far away.
I have no qualms about publicly admitting my love for peanut butter and jelly (except I'd rather have jam or preserves). I like chunky, we usually have smooth, but that isn't enough to keep me away. I will even lay claim to having invented (at least in my sphere of influence) the renown Peanut Butter and Jelly on Waffles. Yes, substitute toasted waffles for bread for a transcendental experience.
Yeah, maybe transcendental is taking it a tad past reality, and for health reasons, let's just agree not to eat those too often.
Here are two of our favorites. The first, pictured above, is made from one of our most common leftovers, and the second from two "pantry" ingredients we almost always have on hand.
My Dad's chicken salad. It's the best. Everyone agrees and you will too. It has two special ingredients that take it well beyond your typical minced-up-chicken-with-too-much-mayo mess: toasted pecans and lavender. Our family is blessed with pecans falling from trees in my grandmother's backyard in sunny Texas. Each year, after the collecting, shelling, picking through and bagging, we end up with a few bags in our freezer and they never last as long as we'd like. The lavender was an accident. My dad thought he was adding tarragon from the garden, which has similarly shaped leaves, and to be fair, there wasn't a big lavender colored flower on the top of it yet. What a mistake it was. It plays so well with the rest of the ingredients, and it seems like you can't add enough. If it's fresh, great, if not, we have enough dried to last the rest of the year, and it tastes just as good.
The second recipe is from the first meal I had in Amsterdam. Goat cheese and honey. Overwhelmed with jet lag and the awe of a first trip to Europe, we travelled via tiny boat from my cousin's apartment to a cafe somewhere in the city for lunch. It was this sandwich and a cold beer. The goat cheese was served warm in a crock, and you got to assemble your own sandwich on a crusty roll. This is pictured on a ciabatta roll (not homemade), toasted well, and assembled quickly so the cheese can melt and the honey can run. The acidity of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the honey are a match made in oh-man-i'm-dribbling-honey-all-over-my-sweater heaven.
Dad's Chicken Salad Sandwich
Mix in a big bowl:
Leftover chicken (grilled, roasted, poached or cooked by divine intervention)
Finely chopped onions/scallions
Diced sweet red pepper
Diced jalapeno/poblano or pinch of dried chili flakes/powder (optional, if you want some heat)
Several pinches of chopped fresh, or dried lavender
Nice handful of toasted (toaster oven is great for this), chopped pecans
Small pinches of salt/pepper
Mix everything together and start adding mayonnaise slowly, mixing it in well. You really only need enough to bind everything together.
Goat Cheese and Honey Sandwich, as if you needed a recipe
Put a bunch of both on crusty, warm bread:
Honey (we like acacia honey, which seems both mild and richly flavored at once)
Soft goat cheese
Eat quickly, without sharing.