12 Vintage Sandwiches You Can Make Today

Chaloner Woods // Getty
Chaloner Woods // Getty

The sandwich, a.k.a. foodstuff delivered inside a bread vehicle, is a timeless classic. The formula is open to endless interpretations, like lobster rolls, deep-fried Fluffernutter sandwiches, and donut grilled cheeses. In 1909, diners were arguably more creative with what they put between two slices of bread than they are today. The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich breaks the sandwich down into its seven main categories: fish, egg, salad, meat, cheese, nut, and sweet. No matter what you choose for filling, the turn-of-the-century publication emphasizes the importance of starting with good bread. A product “at least one day old” is preferred.

1. APPLE AND GRAPE SANDWICH

A sandwich can be so many things—a snack, a dessert, a weird salad you eat with your hands. This dish is a great example of all of the above. Start by chopping up apple, celery, and white grapes and toss the ingredients together with French dressing. Spread your mixture on thin slices of buttered white bread to make your sandwich.

2. OYSTER SANDWICH

Like oysters on the half-shell, the shellfish in this sandwich are garnished simply with oil, lemon juice, and Tabasco sauce. Mix together these ingredients with finely chopped raw oysters and serve on thinly-sliced white bread—add a lettuce leaf for some extra crunch.

3. HOT HAM NUMBER TWO

The book’s second take on a hot ham sandwich is reminiscent of a Monte Cristo. After spreading minced ham onto buttered bread, assemble the sandwiches and cut them into triangles. Dip the sandwich points into a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, and salt and cook them up on a hot griddle. Once the sandwiches have been fried French toast-style, serve with a slice of roasted tomato.

4. LEMON SANDWICH

Not many recipes feature whole lemon slices as the star ingredient. After removing the rind from the slices, dust them with powdered sugar and stack between buttered slices of white bread that have been cut into circles. A candied cherry on top will hopefully help to reduce the pucker-factor.

5. DAIRY SANDWICH

The dairy sandwich stays true to its name: The simple recipe asks you to spread fresh butter onto thin slices of Swiss and press the cheese together. There’s no mention of bread, suggesting this is literally meant to be a butter sandwich served between two slices of cheese. Unfortunately for sandwich purists, the protein-in-place-of-bread theme has only gained traction in the last 100 years.

6. LOBSTER AND CAVIAR SANDWICH

Sandwiches aren’t typically associated with fine dining, but even luxurious ingredients like lobster and caviar can shine between bread. For this recipe, spread caviar onto lightly buttered bread and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon minced lobster meat on top and cover with the second slice of bread. Serve over a lettuce leaf—ideally on the beach with some chilled wine to wash it down.

7. OLIVE AND NUT SANDWICH

Unlike peanut and jelly, olive and nut never caught on as a popular pairing. This recipe calls for sandwich builders to finely chop olives with English walnuts and combine the ingredients together with mayonnaise. Served on buttered brown bread, the mixture makes for a light sandwich that’s big on texture.

8. FARMER SANDWICH

Pork chops and applesauce are commonly seen together on the dinner plate. Here they come together on a sandwich to make a savory-sweet lunch item. You can put this one together by layering thinly sliced cold, roast pork onto white bread and topping it with applesauce. Cap it with the second slice of bread and dig in.

9. TOMATO AND HORSERADISH SANDWICH

Here’s another curious food combination that’s failed to stand the test of time. To assemble a tomato and horseradish sandwich, start by sprinkling thin tomato slices with salt. Combine a half cup of horseradish with two tablespoons of mayonnaise and spread the mixture onto pieces of buttered white bread. Place the tomato slices between the bread and enjoy your meal while clearing out your sinuses at the same time.

10. CALF’S LIVER AND BACON SANDWICH

If you’re not a fan of calf’s liver, perhaps the addition of bacon will change your perspective. Take the well-done liver and chop it up fine with crisp slices of bacon. Season with salt, pepper, and ketchup and serve with a lettuce leaf between buttered graham or white bread.

11. EASTER SANDWICH

Whether or not you make it for Easter, this recipe should be saved for special occasions. Dip a crisp lettuce leaf in mayonnaise and lay that on a slice of buttered white bread. Fill the lettuce with slices of cold hard-boiled egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. After the sandwich has been cut into squares, tie them up with “lavender baby ribbon” and present your guests with the world’s most adorable finger food—just remind them to remove the ribbon before taking a bite.

12. ASPIC JELLY SANDWICH

No list of early 20th century recipes would be complete without aspic. This retro delicacy is made by mixing gelatin and meat stock to create a savory JELLO mold. To prepare it for a sandwich, soak two ounces of gelatin in one cup of chicken stock until soft. Pour in three more cups of chicken stock that have been seasoned with cloves, parsley, celery, mace, salt, and pepper. Strain the liquid into a dish and mix in shredded chicken before refrigerating. Once the gelatin has set, cut it into “fancy shapes” and serve on buttered wheat bread.

This article originally ran in 2016.

9 Vintage Thanksgiving Side Dishes We Shouldn’t Bring Back

We all have that aunt—the one who’s been bringing her Miracle-Whip-bound pimiento-pea salad to Thanksgiving dinner since time immemorial. Although you may swear she got her recipe straight from the devil, it turns out that cheese-and-lime-Jell-O salads and their ilk were all the rage in her day. So it’s not (totally) her fault! To cut her a little slack, here are some examples of vintage Thanksgiving-themed recipes that will make her salad look like a perfectly golden-brown turkey.

1. CRANBERRY CANDLE SALAD

Best Foods Mayonnaise Ad 1960s with Jello Molds

Nothing complements the tart, refreshing flavor of cranberry sauce like some gelatin and salty, eggy mayonnaise. If that weren’t weird enough, this recipe also tells you to shove a real candle in there and then light it. Ostensibly, you’re supposed to eat around the melted wax, but we can’t be sure—maybe it’s considered a condiment.

2. CANDIED SWEET POTATOES WITH ANGOSTURA BITTERS

This recipe for candied sweet potatoes, which involves baking them in a mixture of butter, sugar, and angostura bitters, is probably either really good or really bad. It sort of makes sense, adding bitters to cut down on the sugar factor. Alternatively, you could just not make a candied version of something that already has the word sweet in its name.

3. CREAMED ONIONS

This once-popular Thanksgiving mainstay has been neglected over the last century, for perhaps obvious reasons. In some households, the idea was to pour creamed onions over the turkey, like gravy, to add a little moisture. Or possibly because eating a chunky mouthful of pearl onions and cream sauce by itself is gross.

4. TURKEY AND STUFFING ON JELL-O

Thanksgiving Jello Ad

There’s not much to this one, is there? It’s a pile of turkey and stuffing dumped on top of a cranberry orange Jell-O ring—sounds delicious!

5. WINTER CORN

This mixture of corn, sour cream, and bacon is sometimes found on Midwestern Thanksgiving tables. It’s mostly off-putting because its main ingredient is creamed corn. That said, creamed corn really needs all the help it can get, so adding bacon can only improve it.

6. SWEET AND SOUR TANG POPCORN (A.K.A. ASTRONAUT POPCORN)

Reportedly, this was a popular Thanksgiving dessert in the ’70s. The idea seems to be an offshoot of caramel corn, but … with Tang powder.

7. HOT DR. PEPPER

You gotta give the good folks at Dr. Pepper a few points for at least trying here. They noticed that soda was not often considered a cozy, comforting holiday drink, and they stepped up to the bat undaunted. Bold move.

8. FROZEN JELLIED TURKEY-VEGETABLE SALAD

There’s only one way to improve a dish as alluring as Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad, and that’s to stick it in the freezer. From the sound of the recipe—which combines cream of celery soup, salad dressing, diced turkey, vegetables, and gelatin—this is basically the inside of a turkey pot pie if it was served frozen. And also if it was square.

9. JELL-O FRUIT CORNUCOPIA

Sure, cornucopias were for holding food in olden times, but don’t you wish you could eat one? Well, guess what—your years of longing are finally over, because someone has made a Jell-O version of one with fruit trapped in it. You don’t even have to take the fruit out of the cornucopia this time—you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth. Dreams do come true.

Up Your Turkey Game With This Simple Buttermilk Brine

iStock.com/4kodiak
iStock.com/4kodiak

Whoever chose turkey to be the starring dish of Thanksgiving dinner has a sick sense of humor. Not only does the bird take hours to thaw and cook before it's safe to eat, but its size makes it very difficult to cook evenly—meaning there are many opportunities for the millions of amateur cooks who prepare it each year to screw it up. But there's no reason to settle for dry, flavorless turkey this Thanksgiving. With this buttermilk brine recipe from Skillet, the breast will come out just as juicy as the thighs with little effort on your part.

A brine is a salty solution you soak your uncooked meat in to help it retain its moisture and flavor when it goes into the oven. A brine can be as simple as salt and water, but in this recipe, the turkey marinates in a mixture of buttermilk, water, sugar, salt, garlic, citrus, bay leaf, and peppercorns for 24 hours before it's ready to roast.

Rather than a whole bird, this recipe calls for a bone-in turkey breast. White meat contains less fat than dark meat, which is why turkey breast often turns out dryer and less flavorful than legs and thighs when all the parts are left to cook for the same amount of time. The buttermilk brine imparts a tangy creaminess to the turkey breast that it otherwise lacks, and by cooking the breast separately, you can pull it out of the oven at peak juiciness rather than waiting for the meatier parts to cook through fully.

After the turkey breast has had sufficient time to soak, remove it from the refrigerator and drain it on paper towels. Blot any excess buttermilk and pop the meat into a roasting pan and into a 375°F oven. In addition to lending flavor, buttermilk promotes browning, which is essential to a tasty Thanksgiving turkey.

When the internal temperature reads 150°F (which should take 90 minutes to 2 hours), pull out the bird, let it rest for 15 minutes, and commence carving the most succulent turkey breast ever to hit your Thanksgiving table.

[h/t Skillet]

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