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.