Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Happy Sandwich by Jason Goldstein, Reviewed

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"For better or for worse, but not for lunch," is what my mother used to say. This was her not so subtle way of letting my dad know that she didn’t appreciate his showing up, unexpectedly, for lunch in. My dad didn’t make a habit of this, mind you, he worked in the city and we lived in the county, but he did it often enough so that my mother caught on, and would make a point to be out of the house at lunchtime. Dad, who for a time, was raised in the back of an ice cream parlour, would end up making himself a malt using a Hamilton Beach malt mixer from the 40s; I still have it, and it still works.

Lunch fare often stymies me. Sure, there are soups to be had, salads to be made, and sandwiches to be consumed, but day in, day out, week in, week out, year after year, it all seems the same. That’s why I was delighted with this wonderful book by Jason Goldstein of Chop Happy,
The Happy Sandwich: Scrumptious Sandwiches To Make You Smile. If this book doesn’t get the wheels turning and mouthwatering, nothing will.

The book is divided into six chapters: slow cooker sandwiches; sheet pan sandwiches; grilled cheese sandwiches; no cook sandwiches; no bread sandwiches; and condiments. I have tried a number of these, and each one has been wonderful.

A diehard fan of grilled cheese sandwiches, I plan to work my way through all 10 offerings beginning with spinach and artichoke grilled cheese and ending with brie and apricot jam grilled cheese. The latter I intend to make this week.

I did make, from the no cook sandwich chapter, the garlic dill shrimp salad. I adapted the recipe a bit, and you can find it here. Refreshing and wonderful, it made me long for our travels along the eastern seaboard and all of the fresh seafood. Slow cooker sandwiches run the gamut from an eggplant Parmesan sandwich to the ever popular French dip, to a Thai curry meatball sub. Each one looks delicious, doable, and mouthwatering.

There is much to like about this book. When I particularly loved was the what easy-to-read recipes with the list of ingredients running down one side and the instructions on the other. This book is written in a clear and concise manner so that even the most inexperienced cook will be able to shine. Photos are plentiful and mouthwatering. The variety is wide, including an Open-Faced French onion Soup Sandwich.

The chapter on sheet pan sandwiches is perfect for the busy cook who may not have a lot of time, and wants to make a number of sandwiches at once. Many sandwiches are vegetarian, but there is plenty for carnivores. The chapter on condiments is invaluable.

It lacks an index, but page numbers of all of the recipes contained within are in the table of contents.

I haven’t been as excited about a cookbook as I am about this one in quite some time. Suitable for all levels of experience, culinary interests, older and younger alike. It has my heartiest recommendation. You can buy a copy here.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Melissa’s Produce who provided me with a copy of this book for review.


Unknown said...

Thank you sooo much for the review! I am sooo grateful you like the cookbook! Sending you grateful vibes and happy cooking!

Gina said...

OOOh - I want to see that apricot brie sammie - sounds wonderful!

sandy said...

Looks like some good recipes in there.