Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Playdate Special: Our Open (Minded) Oven Sandwich

Serve on the table some very fresh slices of bread and cute cookie cutters. Wait a little bit and then bring on the milk. Aprons are also recommended. Add kids to the equation and give them lots of ingredients to choose from. The result: A sandwich tower? A minimalist sculpture? A scrumptious work of art? A disaster? A gourmet creation? All of the options above are possible!
When I invited all our kids to make an open sandwich during the playdate, I thought about lots of things. The best part -- in my mind -- would be to witness their choices for ingredients. And the wait for all those good-looking creations to come out of the oven would be rewarding.
The whole process was so fun. Some ingredients were devoured in the prep -- but then, who does not eat occasionally while cooking?
I elaborated on an adaptation of my mom's recipe for a very simple oven sandwich that she used to prepare for me when I was a kid. I added some nice touches of French croque monsieur, buying real Swiss cheese (Gruyere is a real good option), wild Coho smoked salmon, very fine cuts of Black Forest ham, and most definitely bread with no sugar.
Using large, kid-friendly cookie cutters, they got rid of the crust using their favorite shapes. Kids had fun. Diogo went for green onions and tons of dill on top of his. Our little chef Arwen was really creative: She assembled her sandwich with salmon and ham in each of the layers. That was the inspiration for the sandwich I prepared for us moms. We also had a bowl of split pea soup each, and used sourdough bread for our sandwiches. That was hmmm... almost a bistro lunch.

Open Oven Sandwich

The secret to moistening the bread is to quickly bathe it in milk. That will provide the right amount of moisture to the bread. Beware of soaking the bread for too long: That will make the sandwich soggy.
The recipe that follows is the suggested amount for one portion, inspired by one of the kids' own compositions. For kids I suggest setting out all ingredients so they can choose from a wide variety of veggies and cuts. Of course, keep them away from the oven!

2 or 3 slices sandwich bread (crust off is optional)
1/4 cup milk (enough to moisten the bread)
1 slice smoked wild salmon
2 teaspoons cream cheese
dill, dried or fresh, to taste
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
2 slices Black Forest ham
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 slice of tomato
green onions to taste
shallots to taste
basil, dried or fresh, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Moisten bread in milk. On top of moistened bread, assemble the first layer with salmon, cream cheese, and dill. Moisten the second slice of bread in milk, layer it on top, and cover it with tomato sauce, black forest ham, cheese, and a little slice of tomato, green onions, shallots, and basil on top. Put in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...