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Cooking

Joining the club

The classic sandwich gets special extras for Father's Day.

By Adam Ried
June 19, 2011

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Like khakis and blue jeans and little black dresses, double-decker club sandwiches never go out of style. You can keep things simple with the classic formula of chicken or turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo (think of it as a pumped-up BLT), or you can dress them up with cheeses, condiments, and fillings galore.

For Father’s Day, why not swank it up with a deluxe club of lobster, avocado, and watercress? If his preferences are meatier, you could try sliced cold meat loaf and bacon with smoked paprika and garlic-seasoned mayo, or a variation on the classic with cheddar, chutney, and spinach. Or go meat-free with eggplant, tapenade, and fontina.

Whatever the sandwich, if it includes bacon, choose a high-quality brand such as Niman Ranch, and use fresh greens and ripe, fragrant tomatoes. If you happen to be slicing your own bread, try not to cut the slices too thick or the sandwiches will be more than a mouthful.

Lobster Club with Avocado, Watercress, and Lemon Mayo

Makes 4 sandwiches

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon finely grated zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

12 slices (about 12 ounces) bacon

12 slices hearty sandwich bread

1 ripe Hass avocado, sliced

12 ounces cooked lobster meat, sliced (if tails) or roughly chopped

1 1/3 cups lightly packed watercress

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Working in batches, if necessary, in a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, then drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, toast the bread.

Place about a quarter of the avocado slices on each of 4 pieces of toast, then mash and spread gently to cover the slice. Add 3 ounces of lobster and about 1/3 cup watercress. Spread 4 more slices of toast with about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise each and stack, mayo side up, on top of the watercress. Fan 2 or 3 slices of tomato on each and top with 3 slices of bacon and pepper to taste. Spread the last 4 pieces of toast with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise each and place on top.

Press lightly on the sandwiches to compact, cut in half, and serve at once.

Mediterranean Eggplant Club with Tapenade and Fontina

Makes 4 sandwiches

For this recipe, toast your bread fairly crisply. A thin slice of red onion makes a nice addition.

1 medium eggplant (about 1¼ pounds), cut into 12 slices

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 tablespoons olive tapenade

12 slices hearty sandwich bread

4 hefty leaves romaine lettuce

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

½ cup mayonnaise

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

4 ounces fontina cheese, sliced

In a large colander set over a bowl, toss the eggplant with 1½ teaspoons salt. Arrange the slices in a single layer in the colander and set aside to drain for at least 1 hour. Under running water, rinse the eggplant well and spread in a single layer on a triple thickness of paper towels. With more paper towels, blot the eggplant slices dry.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half the eggplant in a single layer and cook undisturbed until well browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue to cook undisturbed for 2 minutes longer. Add half the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 40 seconds, and transfer the eggplant to a plate. Wipe the skillet well, return it to medium-high heat, add the remaining oil, and cook the remaining eggplant and garlic.

Spread 1½ tablespoons of tapenade on each of 4 pieces of toasted bread. Add 1 romaine leaf, 3 slices of eggplant, and 1 tablespoon basil. Spread 4 more pieces of bread with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise each and stack, mayo side up, on the eggplant. Fan 2 or 3 slices of tomato on each and top with 1 ounce of cheese and pepper to taste. Evenly spread the last 4 slices of bread with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise each and place on top. Press lightly on the sandwiches to compact, cut in half, and serve at once.

Smoked Turkey, Cheddar, and Chutney Club with Spinach

Makes 4 sandwiches

12 slices (about 12 ounces) bacon

12 slices hearty sandwich bread

6 tablespoons mango chutney, such as Major Grey’s

4 ounces sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, sliced

12 slices (about 12 ounces) smoked turkey

1 1/3 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves

½ cup mayonnaise

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

Pepper

Working in batches, if necessary, in a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, then drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, toast the bread.

Spread about 1 tablespoon chutney on each of 4 pieces of toast. Add 1 ounce cheddar, 3 ounces turkey, and about 1/3 cup spinach. Spread 4 more pieces of toast with about 1½ teaspoons chutney each and stack, chutney side down, on the spinach. Carefully spread the tops of those middle pieces of toast with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise each. Fan 2 or 3 slices of tomato on each and top with 3 slices of bacon and pepper to taste. Spread the last 4 pieces of toast with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise each and place on top. Press lightly on the sandwiches to compact, cut in half, and serve at once.

Variation Meat Loaf Club with Smoked Paprika and Garlic Mayo

Follow the recipe for Smoked Turkey, Cheddar, and Chutney Club With Spinach, making the following changes:

1) Omit the chutney and cheddar. In a small bowl, mix ¾ cup mayonnaise, ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1 minced large clove garlic, and set aside.

2) Substitute about 1 pound sliced cold meat loaf for the turkey and 4 hefty leaves romaine lettuce for the spinach.

3) Spread each of 4 slices of toast with 1 tablespoon of the paprika mayo. Top with about 4 ounces (1 or 2 slices) cold meat loaf, salt and pepper to taste, and a romaine leaf. Spread 4 more slices of bread with 1 tablespoon paprika mayo each and stack, mayo side up, on the romaine. Fan 2 or 3 slices of tomato on each and top with 3 slices of bacon. Spread the last 4 slices of bread with 1 tablespoon of paprika mayo each and place on top. Press lightly on the sandwiches to compact, cut in half, and serve at once.

Send comments or suggestions to Adam Ried at cooking@globe.com.

  • June 19, 2011 cover
  • June 19, 2011 cover
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KITCHEN AIDE
Frozen lobster

If you’re not up to cooking a lobster, you have options. Some seafood stores sell cooked, shelled lobster meat. Another possibility that I discovered while developing the recipe is cooked, shelled lobster meat available frozen at some supermarkets. I was happy with the brand I tried, Seamazz ($15.99 for 12 ounces at Market Basket, 400 Somerville Avenue, Somerville, 617-666-2420). Both the ingredients – just lobster, water, and salt – and the flavor were clean.