Thursday, March 24, 2011

March Giveaway: The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

You know those nights when you got home late from work, you are tired and you aren't up to making a huge dinner but you won't want to settle for boring?   Then flipping through Susan Russo's The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches will be spark ideas and take you from "blah" to "kick butt food between bread" in just a few minutes.

Tonight was one of those nights for us.  I spent just a minute browsing and found the "Chow Mein Sandwich".  It sounded crazy, looked delicious and I had all of the ingredients on hand.  According to the book this is a South Massachusetts favorite.  I can see why!  

Matt's picture makes mine above look like crap, but it still tasted great!

Chow Mein Sandwich
slightly adapted from

2 yellow onions, cut into small wedges
1 stalks celery, thinly sliced using the whole stalk and leaves
2 leaves napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup bean sprouts
4 cups chicken broth (divided)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp Kitchen Bouquet
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp red pepper flake
1 cup beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
4 hoagie rolls
16 oz Chow Mein crispy egg noodles

Place veggies in a 3 quart pan preheated to medium high heat and dry stir fry (no oil) for 1 minute.  

Whisk together the cornstarch and 1 cup of the chicken broth.  Pour over the veggies and toss for another minute.

Add the remaining chicken broth, beef broth, Kitchen Bouquet, sriracha, and red pepper flake.  Bring to a boil and them simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.  

Split rolls, top with crispy noodles and ladle the sauce over them.

When I first sat down to go through the book, my expectations ranged from "been there done that" to "who the hell has shaved Himalayan yak ham in their fridge?".  But I was very pleasantly surprised.  The book is a winner.   
Yes, we still actually own an encyclopedia set.
True to it's name, it is an A-Z encyclopedia of classic, regional, and unusual sandwiches.  Each "entry" includes history & trivia about the sandwich, the recipe itself, and suggested variations.   The author, Susan Russo, writes for NPR's Kitchen Window and runs the food blog, Food Blogga.  Matt Armendariz of MattBites rocked out the photos in the book.  
The recipes themselves are not intimidating but at they same time, they are creative and fun.  That's because Susan uses a lot of ingredients that you will probably have on hand.  I could see this being one of those books that you always turn to when you need a quick idea for something tantalizing, different, but easy too. 

Because of the history and trivia presented with each sandwich, I often found myself thinking "Wow, I didn't know that".  Susan keeps even the standard sandwiches interesting by offering possible additions that make one say, "Huh, that's a neat twist". 

I almost wanted to take issue with pulled pork done in an oven, but at least she didn't kill it in a crock pot with a gallon of bbq sauce poured on top and I know not everyone has two Big Green Eggs and another smoker like me ;)  So I'll let that slide ha ha.

And this is a small thing, but it is a paperback with one of those hinged spines that let's it stay open when you put it down open.  Don't you HATE using a cookbook that every time you turn back to reference it, has either closed or changed pages on you????

Hold on.  I think I am talking myself out of this giveaway.  Never mind people, this book is awful.  You don't want it.  I'm keeping it for myself!  Nah, just kidding.  I am still giving it away but I'll buy myself a copy.

How To Enter
Each person can receive up to a total of 3 entries as follows:
  1. leave a comment below telling me your all time favorite sandwich. (NOTE: If you use the "anonymous comment" option, be sure to leave an email or your screen name in the comment so I can contact you if you are the winner. Something like "EggerinFL from the Egg Forum" or "swibirun from the BBQ Brethren forum" is enough.)
  2. Do a Twitter or Facebook post linking to this giveaway post and then leave a separate comment below with the URL of your Facebook post or for Twitter use the slash tag #foodblogga so I can find it. 
  3. Mention this giveaway and link to it in a post on your blog. Then leave a separate comment below with the URL of your post.
The Rules
  1. Giveaway entry period begins Friday, 12:01am March 24, 2011 and ends Thursday, 11:59am, March 31, 2011. Drawing will be held Friday, April 1st (no april fools), 2011 at 7pm (All times are Eastern Time zone).
  2. Comments will be numbered by order received and will generate a random number for the winner.
  3. Limited to residents of the continental US unless you wish to pay the extra shipping charges.
  4. I am the final judge regarding any discrepancies, interpretations, grievances, etc about this drawing.
  5. Quirk Publishing is sponsoring the prize. They are not responsible for the drawing or the giveaway.
  6. Winner must respond and claim the prize within one week of the winning announcement. If a winner does not claim the prize during the specified time, a reserve winner will be drawn from the original entries.
  7. Employees, Board Members, pets, indentured servants, and family of Nibble Me This are not eligible to enter. 
If you don't win, don't worry.  The book goes on sale April 5, 2011.   I know I will buy one.


    1. This is really sad, but my favorite sandwich is a Big Mac.

      I'll share yout giveaway on my blog.

    2. favorite sandwich is a really good French dip, yum!

    3. The Chow Mein sandwich looks like it has way too many textures goin' on there.

    4. You are a better man than I am... I got my freebie copy, but I am keeping mine. So, take me out of the contest. But I agree with everything in your review. i also had low expectations, but was swayed by the info. Just love the photos. A terrific "idea" book. Love your photo of the book with all the tabs sticking out. That's a good sign.

    5. I want this. Is there a way to cheat? Just send it to me. Nobody needs to know the contest was rigged. You can notify me of my winning entry at

      My favorite sandwich? Various forms of the banh mi.

    6. I love this sandwich, this post, and that book! I'm also pretty stoked to find out about Russo's blog . . . I did not know she had one (duh) but love to listen to her on NPR. Great post, Chris!

    7. The sandwich looks great! Would have never thought to put chow mien between to pieces of bread. What a great giveaway!! I would love this book. Chris was just telling me how I don't make enough sandwiches for us :) My favorite sandwich topped with coleslaw. Great.. now I want one of those!

    8. Did I mention I want this book?? :) I posted your link on my facebook page:!/pages/Jenns-Food-Journey/260877981354

    9. I think my all time favorite sandwich is a Hamburger. I must admit this chow mein sandwich is about the craziest thing I've ever seen, and also have to admit it sounds good. Latest issue of Saveur magazine arrived yesterday and it's a sandwich issue. Can't wait to give some of those a try.

    10. I just got this cookbook to review (so don't enter me in the giveaway) and I am thoroughly at a loss as to what to make! Everything looks good. Especially the twists on the classics. Decisions decisions. And I mean...this sandwich. Essentially pasta on bread. Hello carb load!

    11. What a great review and what a unique sandwich. It looks yummy! My favorite sandwich, a BELT. Bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato.

    12. My favorite sandwich is a French Dip sandwich with the beef au jus and sauteed onions and green peppers.

    13. Favorite sandwich would have to be the New Yorker from McCalisters Deli. It's corned beef, pastrami and swiss on toasted rye bread with thousand island or mayo...Excellent!

    14. My favorite sandwich is the Monte Cristo. ::Drool:: Would love to win this book. :)

    15. I can never go wrong with a French Dip...

    16. My favorite is the Mortadella Sandwich we make which is a riff on the one Anthony Bourdain had in Brazil on No Reservations. So Good.
      I would have said a good grilled cheese sandwich but that, around my house, isn't just a sandwich, it's manna from heaven so I didn't think I should include it :)

    17. My fav is a Pastrami Traveller from Sam Lagrassa's in Boston

      crghc98 from eggheadforum

    18. This may sound weird but I have a soft spot in my heart for fried egg sandwiches! Not as cool as you Chow Mein version, but maybe I could adapt it into an Egg Foo Young Sammy!

    19. I love hot roast beef with swiss cheese and onions!

    20. Oh how I love sandwiches :) My favorite one EVER is from a little cafe in Chile that ANthony Bourdain visited on No Reservations. It had something to do with ham, cheese, mustard, mayo, etc.. SO GOOD!! And the BH got me a cookbook holder for my bday so I no longer have to worry about those pesky cookbooks shutting themselves on me!!

    21. My favorite sandwich is the sierra turkey from Panera- I really need start making them at home to save money!

    22. 'Black Russian' was my favorite forever hands down sandwich I used to make at Straw Hat Pizza Parlor when I was a youngster. It was made with pastrami that was dunked in a vat of scary au jus sauce that was never changed. Swiss cheese,dripping meat and Dark Rye was assembled and put it the pizza oven. When the cheese was melted it was slathered with cole slaw. Oh man I can taste it now.

    23. My favorite sarnie is a Croque Mosuier, cheesy, melty warmy love in one bite!!

    24. I commented on my blog -

    25. My all time favorite sandwich is a South Jersey sub

    26. My favorite sandwich has to be a turkey sammie with cranberry whole if you please, provolone cheese and a smidgen of a french mustard, wrapped in foil, on a skillet, wheighed down with a brick for a few minutes then put into a smoking oven for a few minutes more, pure heaven on this earth..yummy for the tummy!!!! From Mary Sampson address is 1208 S.E. 147th Avenue, VANCOUVER, WA 98683

    27. Looks awesome, and I'll tweet away! We made steak sandwiches yesterday on croissants of all things, with spring mix greens, Gorgonzola, tomatoes, fresh basil, and a ginger vinaigrette. Very tasty!

    28. OK - Posted to Twitter under Also shot it out to Facebook via Hootsuite (at the same time) here:

    29. My favorite sandwich is a croque monsieur or a croque madame - not sure which. All I know is it's a fancied up grilled cheese, and I love it.

    30. OH, PICK ME! PICK ME! (Like donkey said in Shrek). I need to win because my brand new kitchen flooded and looks like the new flooring will have to be ripped up and possibly the whole kitchen re-renovated. So I think I'll just sit down and cry if I can't have the book!

      One of my favorite sandwiches is a Monte Cristo - but maybe that's just because I very rarely get to have one.

    31. Hey Chris... I posted your link on my site today :)

    32. Thanks for the chance to win this great book, Chris! My favorite sandwich is a turkey club. Classic, but delicious!

      Kim in MD

    33. My favorite sandwich is the Black Angus burger from McDonald's. But your sandwich's are more interesting.

    34. Here is another entry,a shameless plug on

    35. Interesting sandwich. I never wooda thunk it!
      Got your site from Bo's Bowl blog.
      I would like to reccommend blogs also. How do you put the blog addressin as part of your blog?

    36. My all time favorite sandwich would be a Patty Melt on Rye! MMMMM!

    37. Try this: Ham, Provolone, Tomato and Mayo with diced hot peppers on French Bread, wrapped in foil and then baked in a very hot oven to crisp up the bread and melt the cheese - it was a favorite in New City!

      That Sandwich Book looks Outstanding !

      Wrecktoryqueen from New City, NY

    38. Thanks for the fabulous review! And I'm so glad you made the chow mein sandwich. Some people are intimidated to try it, but it's so deliciously gloppy!

    39. My fav sandwich is a BAT = Bacon, Avocado & Tomato!! Much better than the lettuce one :)
      Posted by

    40. My favorite is the club sandwich. I have many other favorites so I hope I win.

    41. My favorite is the Muffaletta followed closely by the Cuban. cellenly at yahoo com

    42. A noodle sandwich? Count me in!!