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Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Review: "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches" by Susan Russo, Photography by Matt Armendariz (and recipe)

As you can see, the full title of Susan Russo's new book is "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, Recipes, History, and Trivia For Everything Between Sliced Bread."  And it is just that-a chunky, little book chock full of sandwiches made from just about every ingredient imaginable and nuggets of trivia and history for your reading pleasure.  

I was delighted to be able to review this book.  I bought one of my sons her first book "Recipes Every Man Should Know" so I was pretty sure this one was going to be an enjoyable read too.

The recipes proceed from A (All-in-One Breakfast Sandwich) to WXYZ (Walleye Sandwich) over the 300 pages in the book.  Each recipe has mouth watering photos from Matt Armendariz, an introduction covering perhaps something about the ingredients or interesting history (did you know "the earliest record of an American BLT-like sandwich dates to the 1920's"?), a concise ingredient list, and a straight-forward description of how to build each sandwich.

You will see comfy familiar sandwiches like the the Peanut Butter and Jelly, or the Reuben.  In addition, you'll be interested to read about some less than mainstream ones: the Primanti from Pittsburgh or the Spamwich from here in Hawaii.  You'll be tempted to grab the ingredients and whip up an Eggplant Parmesan Sub or maybe like I was, a Monte Cristo-one of my favorite sandwiches of them all.

Susan refers to the Monte Cristo as the American version of the Croque-Monsieur, the French hot ham and cheese sandwich (also included in the book).  I think dipping the ham, turkey and swiss sandwich in an egg and milk bath before frying it in butter, then dusting it with powdered sugar and serving with a berry jam or jelly, takes a hot sandwich to a whole other level!  

I'm no Matt Armendariz!
Unable to find on Maui the red currant jelly called for in Susan's recipe, I served this with a jalapeno-raspberry jam that was a nice complement to the slight sweetness and richness of the sandwich. Yum, Yum!

Susan's book is published by Quirk Books and you can find it on Amazon.  You can also check out Susan and Matt on their respective blogs:  Food Blogga and Matt Bites.

What's your favorite sandwich?

*I received a free copy of this book to review*