Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tramezzino Competition

Tonight we’re going to Marco’s and Paola’s to weigh in at the “Vado Pazzo per i Tramezzini!” (translated as: “I’m Crazy for Sammiches!”) competition. I can’t wait! This is such a fun concept not to mention easy on the hosts. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it first. So of the 10 contestants, each person comes with about 3-4 sandwiches to share. They are cut in quarters and to start off, each person gets a plate with 10 sandwich quarters to sample. I think we’re all getting a ratings card as well so we can take notes and grade them. There will, of course be extra sandwich quarters for hungry people and for second tastings in case of doubt.
Now tramezzini are not panini. The difference is in the bread. For an authentic tramezzino, you need soft, sliced loaf bread, (I hate to say “Wonderbread” but that is what it looks like). No baguettes or sliced pane di Altamura here! I was really tempted to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches but from what I’ve heard some of my friends say about this loveliest of childhood lunches, it would be like casting pearls before swine as the seem not to realize the glory that is PB&J. Those Philistines! So I invented something new (I think; at least it’s nothing I could find trolling the internet or flipping through my cookbooks). It’s sandwiches of thinly-sliced, curried roast chicken with pear chutney. Since I have to have an artistic title from my entry, here it is: Tramezzino di Pollo Arrostito al Curry con Chutney di Pera

Filling ingredients:
·1 large chicken breast
·¼ tsp each of: garam masala, curry powder, ground cumin, ground coriander seed, turmeric, salt and vegetable oil (if you’re not trying to get heat-fearing Italians to vote your sammich #1, put in up to ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper as well)
·1 jar of homemade pear chutney see recipe here
·lettuce (optional)

Here’s what I did:
First I filled bread loaf pan with my white sourdough (hoping that the homemade-ness will give Gabriel and me an edge) If you want to know more about homemade sourdough starter, see here.
I put the oven on it’s highest setting. Then I mixed all the spices together into a paste with the oil. Then I pounded out 1 large chicken breast as thin and rectangular as I could get it. *I have no meat mallet so I used my small, cast-iron blini pan (looks like a baby skillet) which is flat, easy to handle and very heavy for it’s size. I drizzled ¾ of the spice paste on to the pounded chicken and rubbed it in. I rolled the chicken up into a log and rubbed the remaining ¼ of the spice paste all over the outside. I set that in a small ovenproof dish. Music to drizzle spice paste with: (and only because this is really what I was and am actually listening to): Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. Every last song. Really, really loud. Oh, and shout those lyrics out too; “One baaaby to another says I’m lucky to’ve met youuuu”. Nothing makes you (me) feel younger than remembering college when you walked around every day all grunged out and looking like you were going to a pajama party. I baked the bread loaf and the chicken breast at the same time. After 20 minutes I took out the chicken and after 45 minutes, out came the bread. Once everything cooled, I sliced the bread and the chicken breast thinly, arranged about 9 chicken slices on each sandwich, spread the chunky chutney as evenly as possible and topped with a leaf of lettuce.

Well, wish me luck! (Or wish Gabriel luck with his Tramezzino di Melitsanosalata.) I’ll let you know tomorrow how the competition goes.


Blogger a.c.t. said...

Susan, your sandwich sounds very similar to the classic British sandwich filling 'Coronation chicken' with chicken, curry powder, mayonnaise and sultanas.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I hope you kick butt!

10:27 PM  
Blogger Rowena said...

What a cool competition! And hey, I for one, would go for the pb&j sandwiches - just add some sliced bananas in for extra measure. Looking forward to the results, good luck!

1:19 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi a.c.t., You know, I think I saw that somewhere in my search. I was hoping to get some sweet-spicy Chicken Tikka-y dish. Thing is I'm very picky about raisiny things and jarred mayonnaise. So I had to invent something.

Hi Ivonne, Thanks! I'll try.

Hi Rowena, Peanut Butter & Bananas would have been the other ultra American option "The Elvis".

4:33 PM  
Blogger Corrie said...

ooh, good luck! what original sandwiches for an Italian competition! :) what a cool idea. Perhaps dessert sandwiches could be s'mores for a real dose of Americana? :) (but who knows, if they don't like PB and J, I think we're outta luck...)

6:40 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Oh, man, Stelle, have you ever tried to offer a European a marshmallow? They cringe; they shriek; they go berserk! They have no idea what they're missing.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

A sandwich-making contest, how absolutely wonderful, especially because I am such a sandwich girl - I could eat one at every meal, including breafast!

The filling sounds delicious, Susan, I love the thought of using all those spices - will definitely have to try it sometime.

Also, so glad you won, yeayyyyy!

4:19 PM  

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