An intricate, elaborate meal is great, but with summer just around the corner, light, fresh meals are the order of the day for the season. The understated (and many times underrated) sandwich is the perfect dish for spring and summer, and it doesn’t have to be boring or plain. We’re here to prove that between (and beyond) two slices of bread can lay a magnificent gourmet dish! The secret lies, as it always does in gourmet cooking, in selecting the best ingredients and using a bit of culinary creativity.
GRILLED CHEESE vs. CROQUE MONSIEUR
Grilled cheese, French-style! This is perhaps the easiest, albeit oversimplified definition of the Croque Monsieur (a play on the words “crunch” and “mister”). Eaten in France in bars, bistros, and famously originating at the Boulevard des Capuchins in Paris, this cheesy sandwich typically uses Emmental or Gruyere cheese, both earthy, nutty cheeses with great melting properties, alongside a good amount of ham. The bread, contrary to expectations, is not the famous baguette, but rather a broad, country loaf-style hefty slice, with the crust cut off. It can’t be too thin, or the melted cheese will overwhelm it. A key ingredient? The sauce. A Croque Monsieur sometimes comes with a béchamel or Mornay sauce, basically a cream-based concoction that is drizzled on top and then broiled. Yum! Anne Mayfield of The Accidental Locavore has been on a personal quest of finding the perfect Croque Monsieur, so we reached out to her for a delicious, easy-to-make at home recipe for an authentic Croque Monsieur.
Photo by: Anne Mayfield
View Full Recipe: Croque Monsieur
Ready to grill? Get some fabulous meltable gourmet cheeses.
HAM vs. PROSCIUTTO
You can have a ham and cheese sandwich…or you can have a Prosciutto di Parma and poached egg with arugula sandwich! That’s what Stefanie of Sarcastic Cooking recommends, and just looking at the picture of her trademark Open-Faced Poached Egg Arugula & Prosciutto Sandwich made our mouths start watering. This recipe is perfect for a gourmet brunch or breakfast, combining buttery, gorgeous prosciutto ham with tart arugula leaves, a perfectly cooked poached egg, all with a drizzle of creamy citrusy lemon vinaigrette. Delicious, filling, and sophisticated!
Photo by: Stefanie - Sarcastic Cooking
View Full Recipe: Open-Faced Poached Egg Arugula & Prosciutto Sandwich
Ham it up with our premium Prosciutto di Parma ham.
BACON & EGG vs. THE LYONNAIS SANDWICH
Crunchy, salty and fatty bacon, trust us, we got hungry just writing this sentence! We had heard of the famed Lyonnais salad, a dish typical of the city of Lyon, in France, that combined frisse lettuce with bits of fried bacon and a poached egg, and we thought it was genius of Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen to bring the classic salad to a sandwich form. She cooked up bacon with shallots and red wine, mixed with fine Dijon mustard, and tossed it with the frisse. She added the soft poached egg and some tomato slices, and used warm buttery brioche buns to contain the whole shebang. With bacon, red wine, brioche, oeuf (that’s egg in French), and a French name to boot, the Lyonnais sandwich is definitely one to add to the repertoire.
Photo by: Adrianna Adarme
View Full Recipe: Salade Lyonnaise Sandwich
STEAK SANDWICH vs. FLANK STEAK & CHIMICHURRI
For a lot of people, a great meal is based on one thing, and one thing only: meat. Steak, specifically. So we thought our list could never be complete without a gourmet steak sandwich. There were many delicious choices out there, but we think our winner deserved it. Meet: The Flank Steak On Texas Toast With Chimichurri Sandwich by Food52 (www.Food52.com)! A very popular seasoning right now, chimichurri is a spicy garlic dressing from South America, made out of several spices mixed in olive oil. It brings out the earthy flavor of the steak without overpowering the meat, giving it a delicious spicy touch. In this sandwich, the Chimichurri sauce is used both to marinate the steak and to craft a deliciously inventive mayonnaise. The thick and buttery Texas toast is absolutely essential to absorb the weight of the sandwich – and the delicious juices from the steak!
Photo by: Food52
View Ful Recipe: Flank Steak on Texas Toast with Chimichurri
LOX & CREAM CHEESE vs. SMOKED SALMON & AVOCADO SANDWICH
Disclaimer: I LOVE smoked salmon. Actually, to say I love it is an understatement. I’m a full-blown smoked salmon addict. I will have it on anything and everything, for every and any meal. So nailing the greatest smoked salmon sandwich recipe was a task of personal pride. The winner was the Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Egg Open Faced Sandwich by Kate of Framed Cooks. We love that she used just one slice of bread, since it allows the smoked salmon flavor and texture to shine through, plus the sweetness of the avocado paired wonderfully and matched the buttery texture of the smoked salmon, and the salty and filling scrambled eggs gave it more substance and extra heft. All in all, a protein-packed, antioxidant rich, super filling and incredibly delicious gourmet sandwich!
Photo by: Framed Cooks
View Full Recipe: Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Egg Open Faced Sandwich
Let’s get cooking! Try our imported smoked salmon selection.