How to Make a Perfect Sandwich Slideshow
"I always go for a crisp outside and airy inside," says Ferraro. He says that a baguette works well, but he often prefers ciabatta because it’s thin, has great flavor, and doesn’t have that much bread, so you can avoid an overly bready sandwich.
For proteins like chicken, turkey, or even seafood like soft-shell crabs, Ferraro loves the flavor of an aioli that complements the specific protein. In his chicken thigh recipe, he opts for a three-color roasted pepper aioli.
For vegetarian sandwiches, Ferraro tends to stick to Mediterranean flavors, focusing on the use of good-quality olive oils and vinegars for something like a mozzarella with roasted tomato, artichoke, and arugula sandwich. (He’d go with a nice sherry vinegar for this one.) Using roasted or cured eggplants, a cheese, hummus, or a nice bean mixture also works well for vegetarian sandwiches.
The main thing to keep in mind, Ferraro says, is to create the sandwich around the main ingredient and make sure everything else complements that, which is an easy way to create a balance of ingredients. But, as he says, "I like to make fat boy sandwiches and as long as whatever the main ingredient is is the star, there should be more of it than the bread." For ratios, he suggests that the main ingredient make up at least 50 percent, with 30 percent going to bread, and 20 percent to the remaining ingredients.
For richer main ingredients, its important to have something creamy (like an aioli) to cut the fat.
"Always warm bread," says Ferraro. While nothing is better than freshly baked bread, slightly warming bread before using either on a griddle or dry skillet on the stovetop can bring back that fresh bread flavor.
Though only in season for a short time of year, Ferraro still uses them year-round by charring them and then adding them to sandwiches. Simply slice beefsteak tomatoes to about ½-inch thick, toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil and cook on a grill or grill pan until charred. This will add a huge boost of flavor to any sandwich and make up for less-than-ideal tomatoes.
Skip the requisite Romaine, iceberg, or Bibb lettuce and try playing around with different types of lettuces. Ferraro recommends mustard greens for a little spice (he says it pairs well with pork) or mizuna, just make sure to match the lettuce to the sandwich you’re putting together.