Prepare a filling and delicious meal in a flash by thinking outside the box
December 21, 2009
| Updated September 19, 2018
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People flock to Santa Fe's Pollo Asado for its mesquite-grilled chicken. The secret is the citrus and achiote seasoning, which co-owner Olivia Arizmendi learned from her sister in Mexico. They tuck the meat into telera rolls and add pickled onions, hot sauce, and shredded iceberg lettuce. Mashed avocado makes it even better.
At Napa Valley's Contimo Provisions food truck, chef-owners Ryan Harris and Kevin Folan bring fine-dining creds and from-scratch components to their craft. For this take on one of their best-loved sandwiches, pile grilled skirt steak (seasoned with garlic, salt, and pepper), homemade pico de gallo, and cilantro sprigs onto sandwich rolls. Their bean spread takes it to the next level—although they use freshly simmered dry beans, this simpler recipe using canned pintos or pinquitos also delivers lots of flavor.
The vegan bánh mì by San Diego's TigerTiger, a pub specializing in sandwiches, is every bit as hearty as its meaty cousins. The original recipe is complicated, but you can create a delicious version fairly quickly with a few shortcuts: Toss shredded daikon and carrots with seasoned rice vinegar; season mayowith minced chipotle chile; and season hoisin with minced ginger and lemongrass. Layer into a baguette with sprigs of cilantro and this super-flavorful tofu.
For a sandwich rendition of the classic Italian salad, Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop (located in San Francisco and the Seattle area) loads up French or whole-grain sandwich rolls with cherry tomatoes (such as Sun Gold) and mini mozzarella balls. A thick layer of pesto makes it extra-memorable. Then the sandwiches bake just until the bread gets crusty and the fillings soften.
You might be perfectly fine with your usual egg-and-cheese sandwich—until you try the version at L.A.'s Eggslut. On slices of warm brioche spread with Sriracha mayo, the cooks layer soft-cooked eggs, caramelized onions, and a thick slice of sharp cheddar cheese such as Tillamook (the cooks briefly heat a cheese slab in a nonstick pan on the stove to melt it slightly before adding it to the sandwich).
In the streets of Palermo, Sicily, you'll find panelle, fried chickpea-flour patties served on a roll. Try our simplified version with carrot slaw and spicy lemon mayonnaise for an exceptionally tasty vegetarian sandwich.
Wimpy lunch? Not this knockout sandwich. Crunchy bread gets a creamy kick from blue cheese and mayo; top it with chicken and avocado. It's an extra-special midday pick-me-up, or an all-in-one weeknight dinner.
Here's a fun twist on the classic BLT: Instead of lettuce, sub in 4 to 6 basil leaves. We recommend Sunset's Red Horizon tomato for this recipe, its meaty, heart-shaped fruit is perfect for sandwiches.