Whether you love cooking meat or just eating it, it’s time you formally meet our in-house meat connoisseur, Morgan Bolling. She’s worked at a few different kitchens across the United States, gracing those who will listen with her meat knowledge. When she’s not at work developing a new meaty recipe, there’s a chance that she’s hosting a homemade sausage dinner, running a half marathon (to cancel out those sausage dinners), or planning her next pig roast.
Sandwiches are one of the most popular foods in the United States. If you're a lover of sandwiches, you know very well that they come in different sizes, can be eaten any time of the day, are often covered in multiple condiments, are sometimes named after cities, and are constantly evolving. With all the possibilities that come with sandwiches, it was only fair that we reached out to Deputy Food Editor Morgan Bolling to see what basic tips she has for building sandwiches (no matter what fillings they contain).
Easy Homemade MayonnaiseA touch of tangy Dijon mustard and a whisper of sugar help balance things out.
1. What's your favorite spread to put on a sandwich?
It depends on the sandwich, but it’s hard to find another spread that beats mayo. It’s one of the easiest condiments to make, and you can easily jazz it up with powerful ingredients. Here are some of my favorite add-ins: basil and lemon juice, tarragon and mustard, chipotle chile in adobo and scallions, and horseradish and chives.
2. How much meat (in weight) per sandwich?
It varies based on the sandwich, but with deli meat, 3 to 4 ounces per sandwich is a good bet.
3. What's a Rachel?
It’s similar to a Reuben. Whereas a Reuben sandwich is corned beef and sauerkraut packed with Swiss cheese on rye bread, a Rachel swaps in pastrami for the corned beef and coleslaw for the 'kraut.
4. What is a loose meat sandwich?
This is an Iowa specialty (also called a Maid-Rite) in which steamed ground beef is topped with mustard, pickles, and onions and served on a soft hamburger bun. The beef is not in patty form, but rather loose and pebbly.
5. What exactly is corned beef?
Corned beef is simply salt-cured brisket; curing was the original method of preserving meat. “Corning” is an Old English term that refers to the “corns,” or kernels of rock salt, used to cure meat for preservation.
6. What's your favorite cheese to put on a meat sandwich?
7. How do you like to cook bacon for BLTs?
I like to bake it in a hot 400-degree oven. Leave it in slightly longer than you normally would when eating bacon plain so it can get extra-crispy (25 to 30 minutes). Once it’s out of the oven, drain it on a paper towel–lined plate to slick off some of the grease.
8. Do you prefer deli meat from the counter or the refrigerated section?
Deli counter. You can get exactly what you want regarding thickness and it’s conveniently sliced to order.
9. How do you cook chicken for chicken salad?
Pound the chicken breasts until they're of even thickness and bake them covered (so they gently poach in their own juices) in a 350-degree oven until they register 160 degrees. Doing this prevents the meat from drying out. Cook's Country just released a Chicken Salad with Fresh Herbs recipe you'll want to try.
10. Any favorite regional sandwiches?
A ton. The Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwich from Detroit has a special place in my heart. It has ground beef simmered in a special sauce and topped with American cheese on a toasted sub roll. Our Philadelphia Pork Sandwiches are another favorite. They feature thinly sliced pork butt cooked with fennel and a ton of garlic and layered with Provolone cheese and spicy broccoli rabe on a toasted sub roll. They're served with extra juices from braising the meat, which soaks into the bun. Really, both sandwiches are a joy to eat.