Friday, October 16, 2009

Man-wiches and Saucy Bits

Time-saving is high on the list of the workers of the world, and buy-rather-than-make seems to make the most sense, especially when it comes to a working lunch.
Several years ago I checked out the packs of sandwiches on sale, took several home and then set about making almost identical ones (only mine contained more chicken etc) and working out the cost. In every case there was at least £1 saving with each pack (one round cut into two triangles) and this included the triangular plastic pack which could be bought at that time. Sandwiches would now cost more as the price of bread has risen, and presumably also the fillings.
So often we never look at the wider picture, and -when it comes to the cost of making our own sarnies - over a working life of 20 years we can expect the savings we can make to be anything from £20,000 to £40,000. Now that is a HECK of a lot of money. On retirement this could pay for a round the world cruise. And a conservatory to return to. All for 'free' if you are prepared to stay the course and keep up the good work.

But when not organised, sandwiches take time to make, and so often it does seem easier to go out and buy them at lunchtime. With this in mind today am giving a selection of sandwiches that will freeze for up to 2 months, be far cheaper than those bought, and also takes only a short time to make enough to last for several days if not weeks.
The suggestions given are for man-sized sarnies, not large, but well-stacked (with a good sarnie the filling should always be twice the thickness of a thin slice of bread). Best to use day-old bread, and the cheaper bread often works well when freezing sarnies.

Spread each slice with softened butter, and make sure it is spread right to the edges. Take one slice, butter side up, top with chosen filling, season to taste, top with another slice (butter side down), then stack and wrap in foil or cling film. Remember to label. When removed from the freezer before leaving for work, at normal temperatures they should be thawed and ready to eat at lunch-time. If working outdoors and the weather is very cold, start off the thawing by leaving in the fridge overnight.

freezable fillings:
blue cheese and walnut:
blend 4 oz (100g) blue cheese with 1 oz (25g) each butter and chopped walnuts.

liver sausage and gherkins:
stir 2 cocktail (or 1 large) chopped gherkin into 4 oz (100g) mashed liver sausage.

cream cheese and prawns:
stir 2 oz (50g) cooked prawns into 4 oz (100g) cream cheese.

beef and horseradish:
slices of roast beef spread with horseradish sauce.

ham with mustard:
slices of cooked ham spread with Dijon, whole-grain, or English mustard.

cream cheese and olives:
slice 1 oz (25g) stuffed olives and mix into 4 oz (100g) cream cheese

sardine and capers:
stir 1 tsp capers into a can of drained and mashed sardines.

scrambled egg and mushroom:
stir 2 oz (50g) raw chopped mushrooms into 4 scrambled eggs.

smoked salmon and cream cheese:
stir 2 oz (50g) chopped smoked salmon in to 4 oz (100g cream cheese) season with black pepper.

egg mayonnaise:
chop 3 hardboiled eggs very finely and mix with 1 - 2 tblsp mayonnaise and a dash of paprika, or a couple of pieces of chopped sundried tomato.

coronation chicken:
mix 4 oz (100g) shredded cooked chicken flesh with 1 oz (25g) sultanas, and bind together with 1 tsp of mild curry paste and 1 tsp mayonnaise.

turkey and tuna:
blitz contents of a well drained can of tuna with 2 tblsp mayonnaise, and mix with at least 4 oz (100g) finely chopped or shredded cooked turkey.

There are many other fillings for sarnies that will freeze - pate for instance, also cheese and pickle (processed cheese freezes better than the hard cheese). Avoid fillings that do not thaw successfully - the foods that contain a lot of water such as tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce etc. These can be packed separately in a box and kept in the fridge overnight ready to take with the sarnies.