The Sandwich Queen

Anyone else out there obsessed with the Food Network as much as I am? The Iron Chef and Good Eats will probably be my two favourite shows of all time, but newer favourites include The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Top Chef, and surprisingly, The Next Food Network Star.

One thing that really intrigued me about the latest season of The Next Food Network Star is that the guy who won pitched the idea of creating a Food Network show all about sandwiches. And no, this is not Joey Tribbiani we’re talking about.

Who doesn’t love sandwiches? They are hands down one of my favourite foods ever. There is so much you can do with a sandwich (or pita, or wrap). But the components always remain the same: bread, sauce, filling. These days I find myself craving sandwiches more than any other food thanks to the chemotherapy. My body wants bread, more bread, and a yummy protein in between.

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This first sandwich is brought to you by my crock pot. My first foray into making homemade pulled pork. Up here in Canada pulled pork isn’t as widely consumed as with our friends to the south.

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This turned out to be SO incredibly easy. I started by slicing up an onion and put it in the slow cooker. Poured in 1 cup chicken broth I had leftover in the fridge (some people use water or soda) then placed a 4-5lb piece of pork butt in there. Set on low and cooked for 8 hours.

After the 8 hours are up, I shredded the meat with two forks and liberally dumped in my favourite President’s Choice Smokin’ Stampede Beer & Chipotle sauce (available in Canada only). I like it better than Diana Sauce now!

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Some recipes will tell you to dump in a whole bottle. Well, this is a 2L bottle, and I’m honestly not that big of a fan of too much sauce. I like the taste of the meat better!

Let the shredded pork and sauce cook on low for another two hours. After 10 hours total of patiently waiting, you can finally dig in.

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See? Nothing to it! And the result is amazing!! I served mine with coleslaw, of course.

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Served on top of a bun. I used the leftovers to make a pulled pork and coleslaw pita and that was even better!

I’ve also been experimenting with the classic grilled cheese sandwich lately. You may remember I went to a specialty grilled cheese restaurant when I was living in Toronto. Suffice it to say I think of that place every time I make my own grilled cheese. It has inspired me to ask myself “How can I make this grilled cheese better?”

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We had some leftover brie in the fridge from making stuffed hamburgers. I started with that flavour and ran with it.

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Adding some raspberry jam and pieces of roasted pecans, then grilled on the ole’ George Foreman.

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Heaven!! It may seem like an odd flavour combo, but it reminded me a lot of a baked brie you’ll see at parties.

Today I am off to the cottage to relax after receiving my fourth chemotherapy treatment yesterday. So far just feeling really tired and a little nauseous. I am also celebrating some FANTASTIC news I received on Tuesday. An x-ray taken two weeks ago showed the mass in my chest “significantly decreased” from 14cm (5.5 in) to 8.8cm (3.5 in)!!! That’s just after three treatments! Hopefully the cancer keeps responding well to the chemo and we’ll have this sucker blasted in no time.

Oh, and also, I don’t have smallpox. That was just me being dramatic. It’s an allergic reaction to something. Apparently my sensitive skin has become even more so while on chemotherapy. It’s clearing up with a steroid cream and some over the counter allergy pills. Another fun side effect to add to the growing list I guess.

Now I ask you – what is your favourite sandwich combo??

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Posted on September 1, 2011, in Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 76 Comments.

  1. Brad’s dream for when we have our own home is to have a sandwich counter like when you go to Subway or Druxy’s then he can just choose what he wants on his sandwich every morning and pack it up for his lunch

  2. I cannot believe you are making and eating pulled pork while on chemo! Hugs see you soon we will save some meat for you :)

  3. Your sandwiches look great

    And what GREAT news that the chemo is working!

  4. Such incredibly great news Susan!!!!

    And as for the pulled pork, you’re right, it’s totally not a Canadian thing. The last time I tried making it with a stove top method I ended up with a disgusting rubber block of meat. Gross. My husband loves pulled pork, had it on vaca in Virginia a couple of years ago. I’m gonna try your method, it looks simple enough!

    Oh, and have you tried Bullseye Guinness yet??? it’s awesome!

  5. Yum! I love sandwiches! The past couple weeks, I’ve been “stuck” on a new, made-up fave: turkey bacon and cucumber (skin on, thank you) on whole wheat with mayo, a little salt, and pepper. I give equal props to the flavor combination and the satisfying texture. This is not a sandwich you can easily gulp; it requires you -me – to slow down and chew, which really translates into “savor.”
    P.S. I caught FNS online and thoroughly enjoyed the competition and the outcome. :-)

  6. And fantastic news about the cancer shrinking!! :-)

  7. Yay for good news :)
    Have a lovely time at the cottage, it sounds and looks like a very relaxing place to be.

    Favourite Sanwich – got to be Gammon, Turkey, Brie and Cranberry sauce – usually a staple of diet after a certain december holidat, but I love it all year round!

  8. My husban’d favourite is the tequila habanero BBQ sauce from PC. And such good news!!!

    If you’re looking for an amazing grilled cheese, look it up on Pioneer Woman. Hers includes provolone, green chilis, tomato, onion and a special sauce! We now refer to it as ‘fancy grilled cheese’!

  9. Yay, for smaller tumors!! Now, i’m not real creative with my sandwich choices, to me there is nothing better than a tradition grilled cheese, served with tomato soup! Unless of course, you add some ham, turkey, another kind of cheese, and fry said double decker sandwich, and call it a monte cristo….never made one myself, but thats the best darn sandwich ever, served at cheddars, it’s also a heart attack on a plate, so I don’t go to cheddars very often…

  10. my fav combo is chicken, cheese, mushroom, bacon and avocado, normally on Focaccia :)

    Was so happy to read your cancer news :)

  11. Fabulous new Susan!! So great to hear :)

    My fav sammy combo is provolone, apple slices and pesto. I make it at home, but if you are ever at Wheaton’s cafe, you must try it there!! Delish!

  12. susan that’s so great your mass has shrunk!!! You’ve got this :):):)

  13. Thrilled to hear about your body’s response to the chemo. That’s really fantastic!

    I love Follow your Heart vegan mozzarella with either thick chunks of roasted eggplant + marinara OR fresh tomatoes + basil pesto. I never have the patience to grill them, though, which always makes it better – I’ll have to force myself to break out the griddle next time.

  14. I think you can make anything into a sandwich! I, like you, love and am obsessed with the Food Network, especially the shows you’ve mentioned. I’ve done pulled pork before, incredible easy and you can use it up in so many ways! I’m a pita/wrap type of gal, recently, also using those ” thintini’s” meant for hamburgers, soooo good! I live north of the T-dot, so I need to explore this fancy shmancy grilled cheese restaurant–yours looks fab though! The best part of the post is the news of your cancer shrinking, so I’m thrilled to hear that. One of the BEST sandwiches I’ve ever had was from a paninni stop in Belgium and it was pesto, mozzarella,tomato and basil. It’s been over 10 years, and I can still remember how great it tasted!

  15. LOVE the food network! and was SO excited that the Sandwich King won! I loved his food point of view and he was just awesome. And wow, pulled pork looks awesome. I love a good panini but rarely eat them because they aren’t the healthiest. I LOVE roasted veggies with hummus on a wrap. SO good. or any deli meat with some cheese and lettuce and pickles :)

  16. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

    I’m so happy to hear about your cancer shrinking!! That deserves all kinds of special sandwiches! :D

  17. Yum pulled pork sandwiches are so yummy and that barbeque sauce is one of the best too. I also like the PC Tequila Habanero sauce too. It’s almost the same jar, it has a really nice kick to it (if you’re into that).

    My favorite sandwich combo is a chicken, cheese and tomatoes (preferably sweet tomatoes) panini. Yum. I used to do this with ketchup instead of tomatoes, but who needs the sugar!

    Yay for shrinking cancer! That’s great news!

  18. There is not NEARLY enough pulled pork in Canada. I love it and wish I could buy it on every corner.

    As for grilled cheese- this may sound strange, but it is just as an adult that I will eat grilled cheese without jelly on it. I used to only like grilled cheese if it had jelly on it. Cheese and crabapple jelly…with a pickle on the side. YUM.

    These days, I prefer a little spice with my grilled cheese. Frank’s red hot, salsa, tabasco…whatever I have on hand. Although a good grilled cheese and bruscetta sandiwich is good too.

    And the thing I miss the most about not having cable is the Food Network. Luckily I can find most of my favourite shows online :)w

  19. YAY for the good news! I’m so glad the mass is shrinking :) And I heart sandwiches too! mmmm the grilled cheese one sounds heavenly!

    I also made my first pulled pork this year, we made our own chili rub, and that was the hardest part but it was soooo worth it!

  20. That sandwich looks delicious. I love sweet and salty combos.

    Enjoy your R&R time at the cottage….and very glad to hear that it’s not smallpox! Jeeze, that is the last thing you need right now!

  21. Congrats on the good news! So exciting to hear!

    My latest sandwich obsession is a vegan club — tempeh bacon, vegan mayo, avocado, tomato and spinach on whole wheat toast. I’ve been a vegetarian for 4 years, and rarely miss foods, but always had a pang when I saw club sandwiches. After discovering tempeh bacon, I decided to recreate it and, holy cow, I’m pretty sure it was better than the original!

  22. Congrats on your awesome scan news! Nothing is better than hearing that the chemo is doing it’s job and your body is responding well to it :) Eat more grilled cheese to celebrate!

  23. Wow, so happy to hear the GREAT news. I will continue helpful prayers for you. Favorite sandwich combo…hmmm, that’s a tough one. Thinly sliced grilled tofu with crunchy cabbage slaw and strawberry spread is so good. No tofu? Then piles more slaw and maybe a slice of cheese. This is all placed between a toasted cranberry walnut sourdough bread. Sometimes I use turkey instead of tofu, but lately I’ve been on a crispy cooked (hot or cold) tofu kick.

  24. How wonderful to hear the chemo is working! :)

    I will be making your grilled cheese very soon! My favorite sandwiches are fried egg w/ white cheddar and jam or fluffernutters (sometimes I add blackberry jam to my fluffernutter).

    There is a bakery near me that serves the best sandwich. A roasted butternut squash and bacon grilled cheese. It is like heaven. I can’t eat it now because of gluten! :(

  25. I love sandwiches! I mean, is there anything better than biting into a fresh grilled cheese? I think not. Thinly-sliced apple is really good with cheeses like brie or goat, so that is one of my favorites. I think my very favorite, though, is a panini with smoked gouda, peppered bacon, and lots of avocado. So good.

  26. you want a good sandwich?
    Fig Jam + bacon + olives + goat cheese

    its weird, but it works

    Yay about your news! that sucker will be history before you know it!

  27. I made pulled pork last night! It was so good. I love sandwiches and miss them so much (had to cut out bread because of stupid celiac disease.) My favorite is sourdough bread, fontina cheese, avocado, bacon, spinach and grilled chicken. Or challah bread with peanut butter, honey, pecans and bananas (grilled or in the panini press)

    So glad that sucker has been decreasing in size! And in only three treatments. I hope it goes completely away a.s.a.p.

    Steroid cream and steroids in my inhaler…i hate the ‘roids. It does help your skin out pretty quickly though.

    • I got an inhaler this week too! Apparently I have exercise induced asthma. Go figure. I am going to go ahead and blame that on why I can’t run 8 minute miles ;)

      And yeah, I have to take steroid pills with my chemo. They are whack. I get all hyper and jazzed up on them. Sometimes a little bit of ‘roid rage. And a small weight gain, which I am totally blaming on the ‘roids and not the mass amounts of bread I’ve been eating ;)

  28. So happy to hear the good news, Susan!!

    My favourite sandwich: thai chili tuna with roasted red peppers and asian seaweed salad. I’m salivating now…

  29. fantastic news!!

    try this grilled cheese sammie on for size: sourdough bread, muenster cheese, thick slices of tomato and turkey bacon. its delish!

  30. I’m so happy to hear your great news! You can beat this!!

  31. Brie, jam, and pecans! Sandwich heaven!
    I love goat cheese and jam but brie really takes it to the next level!

  32. i wish we had cable just for those shows again. Sandwich idea sounds awesome. I like that combo! i think its good with baked pear and brie as well. Ever tried tomato, provolone, and peanutbutter grilled? try it, for real!

  33. That’s fantastic news!!!!

    Also, now I feel like dropping everything I’m doing and going to that grilled cheese place in Kensington. Grilled cheese magical. I could eat it in any form – even with crappy white sandwich bread and a slice of Kraft singles. lol

  34. Ohhh yum! I just posted a vegetarian version of pulled “pork”. Still needs a little tweaking but it’s almost as tasty as the real thing! I live in the south so I’m constantly surrounded by pulled pork. I loooooooove sandwiches. I just had a hamburger bun + olive & cream cheese spread + monterey jack + baked tofu + cabbage. I should really look into opening a grilled cheese shop. That pretty much sounds like the best thing ever. Also, I’m totally with you on Iron Chef and Good Eats. Hands down the best shows on FN.

    AWESOME news on the shrinkage! Enjoy the cottage!

  35. Woot Woot!!! That’s fantastic news indeed!!

    Those sandwiches look gooood.

  36. Oh. My. God. That sandwich looks A-MAZING!! I am drooling on my keyboard, legit. ;-)
    I love love love food network, everything about it. Could watch it all damn day, it is SO GOOD! Glad I’m not the only addict ;-)

  37. anything with curry and raisins in it – chicken, tuna, even tofu or chickpeas….

  38. That is great news Susan!

    My favorite sandwich combos are sweet and savory:
    Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (and yeah, some gravy)

    apples, ham, cheese and honey mustard

    I also have been known to put potato chips on my sandwiches, which tastes way better than it sounds. :D

  39. You must check out this website — it is a local shop that makes AWESOME grilled cheese sandwiches. The sandwiches list the various ingredients — the chips on the sandwich — are really good! http://www.tomandchee.com/

    Sometimes with the crock pot you can turn the heat level up and cook for less time. Not sure how well that will work with the pulled pork, but a thought if you are in a hurry.

    If you haven’t checked out Top Chef: Just Desserts on Bravo — definitely worth a look.

    Congrats on the great cancer news!

  40. That is good news – congratulations!

  41. This is so funny because I am not usually a sandwich girl – I’ll have them, but I’d rather have a salad with all my sandwich ingredients in the mix. I’m so weird.

    Congrats on your ever shrinking tumor! :)

  42. fantastic news, susan!!!! and Ill take that grilled cheese if you dont finish it ;)

  43. During one of my first classes during my BEd(at UNB!!) we went around the class saying our favourite foods and I answered sandwiches. I love any combo that includes PB or avocado. Or, not a combo themselves. Yuck. PS…I love The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Food Network too!

  44. You know I’m a fellow sandwich lover…especially of pulled pork!!

  45. Congratulations on your AMAZING news!!!! WHOO HOO :) Your pulled pork and grilled cheese look so good :) I love wraps and pitas, especially when stuffed with provolone cheese, guacamole, onion, spinach, sprouts, tomato, and spicy peppers…yummy! I have been eating like crazy today, as I have treatment #6 tomorrow and know that I won’t be eating too much this weekend. Congratulations again on your news!!!

  46. What is up with Good Eats lately? It’s my favorite Food Network show too, and it’s never on anymore! I’m glad it has at least two viewers :)

    • I know!!! I think they stopped filming? I’ve noticed that a lot of Food Network shows don’t go over a few seasons. Well, apart from the reality shows anyways.

  47. So happy for your good news! Also that grilled cheese looks absolutely amazing!

  48. My favourite meal ever is pulled pork/chicken/beef done in the crock pot. It’s so great because you can change the flavours by making it Mexican, a curry, sweet and sour, Moroccan or bbq like you did. Enjoy the cottage!

  49. Great news about your Xray! Steriod cream did wonders for my skin after radiation :)

    Oh man, how did I miss the grilled chesse place when I was in the market last winter??? I always wanted to try out that pie bakery as well…. yummmmm.

    I am a grilled cheese pro, since that’s all I make for dinner (I’m still blaming my high cholesterol on genetics). My favorite is pretty simple: marble chedder layered over avocado that I mush up and add salt and pepper to. Butter both outer sides of the bread and throw her on the gorge foreman. Delicious! With a side of hearty soup it’s even better.

    I keep thinking I should buy a slow cooker, but what kind of vegetarian meals could you cook that are really simple? Can you slow cook tofu I wonder?

    Caolyn

  50. Haha, I just managed to even mispell my own name in the above post….

    Carolyn

  51. That’s great news, congratulations! I love the Food Network, I watched it pretty much 24/7 when I was pregnant and all I could do was sit on the couch (halfway kidding, I actually did take daily walks, which in late pregnancy turn into daily waddles). I think my favorite sandwich is turkey, bacon, tomato, and cheddar on cheddar bread mmmmmmmm or if I’m feeling vegetarian, pita, hummus, and vegetable strips!

  52. Yay! So glad to hear the mass has shrunk. Great news!!!

  53. What fabulous news about your shrinking tumor!!! You go girl…..

  54. CONGRATS about the shrinking cancer!!! That is such exciting news :) I’m a big fan of Food Network myself, and I was so thrilled with Sandwich King winning! I love sandwiches. This brie thing sounds amaaaazing. Whenever we make fancy grilled cheese I call them “Adult Grilled Cheese” ;P

    Great, now I’m hungry. hahaha.

  55. Yeahhh!!! The incredibly shrinking tumor, what awesome news. I have read through everyone’s suggested grilled cheeses and it makes me realize how not creative I have been. Beside the usual cheddar grilled cheese I have really liked banana and peanut butter on buttered honey whole wheat bread. It’s delicious and I highly recommend it.

  56. I can’t even imagine the relief you must’ve felt at your good news! Wow.

    The brie and jam grilled cheese looks so, so fabulously delicious.

  57. I can’t even imagine the relief you must’ve learning about the shrinking tumor. Wow.

    The brie-and-jam grilled cheese looks so, so fabulously delicious.

  58. holy wow. I dont think I could have ever dreamed up a sandwich that looked so great!

  59. I love grilled cheese too. My favorite lately is grilled cheddar and spaghetti sauce. So yummy! :)

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