Monday, September 26, 2016

BACHELOR MEAL #2 - SAUSAGE SANDWICH

Having discussed breakfast (See Meal #1), it's now time for lunch. A sandwich. A sausage sandwich. Across the Pond in the Colonies, particularly in the Northeast, there's a thing about sausage sandwiches. They are ubiquitous, hefty and chewy and overstuffed and sloppy and seldom very remarkable. The bread isn't as good as the bread here in France. The sausages are basic pork sausages, not very interesting. And the other ingredients...well, you get the picture. I'm a fan of French food...locally sourced, in season, grown for the taste and not the ability to be shipped across a continent. But I do miss a good sausage sandwich. So let's put together a suitably French version.

Ingredients: I start with a loaf Aveyronnais from our local baker. It's crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, a bit bigger in circumference than the average baguette but a bit smaller than the petrissane that I had for breakfast, and nice and grainy. Made, logically enough, exclusively from flour from the French region of Aveyron. For the sausage, I chose chipolatas from the butcher, a thin and lightly spiced sausage a griller (for grilling). The onions and potatoes come from local producer Fanny, the lady in the market. Now we cheat a bit. So what? I'm on my own. Nobody's watching. I don't char and peel fresh red peppers. I buy them already skinned in a jar from the super. But they're French, so it's OK. Same for the jalapeno peppers...from a jar. The mayonnaise is also store bought. In a squeeze bottle! (The Southern Woman That I Married makes fine homemade mayo. But she ain't here.) For cheese, already grated emmental in a bag, technically a Swiss cheese but milder. Sort of the French equivalent of Monterey Jack. Yes, I didn't buy a more interesting cheese and grate it myself. Mea culpa.


I start by cutting a potato into thin, thin slices. Almost crisp thin. (For the Americans in the audience, almost chip thin.) I brown them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil, then arrange them on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven to finish.




While the potatoes are roasting, I grill the chipolatas on the gas grill with the peppers and onions on the upper rack. Yes, I put the onions on top of the peppers. For this sandwich, I like the onions warm but still crisp. And yes, I use a gas grill. I also have a wood-fired grill/smoker but the gas grill works fine for this sort of thing.


I slice the Aveyronnaise lengthwise to match the length of the chipolatas, spread the mayo, lay down the peppers and onions, arrange the chipolatas, and cover with emmental. (Now I know that with hot dogs, and even the traditional American sausage sandwich, the mantra is: Dress the meat and not the bun. Well, I prefer it this way. Less mess. And I know that mayo may not sit well with everyone. Well, it's my sandwich, not yours.) I pull the baking sheet out of the oven, push aside enough of the crisps to accommodate the open-faced sandwiches, and put the sheet back into the oven until the cheese has melted.


Arrange on the plate. Salt and pepper the potatoes if you'd like. Eat. (It's not a sandwich to be eaten by hand. You can, I suppose. But married life has diluted the Neanderthal in me. Knife and fork, please.)


Bachelor Meal #2...






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