2 June 2008

Not so Classic Clubhouse with Avocado Spread

Clubhouse with Avocado Spread
Sometimes lunch or a light supper requires getting back to the basics. Every diner or hotel restaurant I have ever visited has a Club Sandwich, or, what we call a Clubhouse on the menu. The traditional club ingredients are turkey or chicken, bacon, lettuce, and tomato served on toasted bread. You know the one...served with fries and a pickle.




Nothing takes me back to my childhood like a Clubhouse Sandwich and fries. I remember all too well heading to Woolworth's for a Clubhouse, fries and a float!!! Every kid from Ontario will remember this classic. There are no fries here...but maybe you could serve some nice yam fries with or without blue cheese dip, and of course a pickle!!! When I moved to Western Canada years ago the Clubhouse seemed to be replaced by the Beef Dip, and you could only get a Western Sandwich in the Eastern provinces. Since then I have had many versions of the Clubhouse all across Canada and the United States. I wonder if you can get a Clubhouse in Australia, or Britain, or Spain, or Greece.....only you know.

I remember reading somewhere that this is one of James Beards favourite sandwiches so I am going to push this sandwich into the gourmand category in his honour. To make this classic, Beard instructed people, " to spread crisp toast (white bread only please!) with homemade mayonnaise, top it with freshly cooked, sliced chicken breast, bacon, peeled, ripe tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce." A triple-decker sandwich is what we normally see in most restaurants, but, Beard considered, "the third slice of toast a "horror" and suggested in American Cookery that the responsible party be condemned "to eat three-deckers three times a day the rest of his/her life."

Where did the name Clubhouse come from? Various sources say the sandwich was created in the kitchens of private men's clubs or perhaps in the club cars of American passenger trains, or even at the Saratoga Club (a turn-of-the-century casino in upstate New York). Whatever its origins, this sandwich was well established by 1941 when America's Cookbook gave a detailed recipe with six variations specifying that, "the lettuce extend beyond the toast's edge and that the sandwich be served while the toast is toasty."

This is my version of a Clubhouse with an avocado and goat cheese spread for a twist, roasted chicken, hothouse tomatoes, cheese of choice and crispy bacon slices served with 8-grain toast....sorry Mr. Beard but I don't usually do white bread!

Do we really need a recipe for a Clubhouse Sandwich? Probably not...but I did find an actual recipe on the Food Network. If you have never made a Clubhouse before then follow the instructions... if you have then by all means wing it. A sandwich is an individual thing.


**Classic Club Sandwich with Avocado Spread**

12 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
8 romaine lettuce leaves
16 slices vine-ripened tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 slices crispy cooked bacon
16 ounces thinly sliced roasted chicken or turkey
Avocado spread (recipe follows)
16 frill picks or wooden toothpicks

On a clean work surface, arrange 3 bread slices in a row. Spread 1 tablespoon of avocado spread over 1 side of each bread slice.

Place lettuce on top of the first bread slice, top with 2 tomato slices, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place 2 slices bacon over the tomatoes (broken to fit neatly if necessary) and top with 1/8 of the turkey or chicken (without letting any hang over the sides). Season the turkey with salt and pepper, to taste.

Repeat with the second bread slice. Carefully place the second layered bread slice on top of the first layered bread, turkey side-up. Cover with the third bread slice, avocado spread side-down.

Pin the sandwich's layers together by piercing them with 4 frill picks or wooden toothpicks through the top bread slice, in 4 places in a diamond-like pattern, all the way to the bottom bread slice.

Repeat the entire process with the remaining ingredients to form 3 more sandwiches. Using a serrated knife cut each sandwich, diagonally, into 4 triangular pieces (each piece should be secured in the center with a pick or toothpick).

**Avocado Spread**

1 ripe avocado
1 oz goat cheese
¼ teaspoon chopped chives or spring onion
1-½ tablespoons chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

Combine avocado with goat cheese and mix until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust salt to taste. Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature to let flavours blend.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

39 comments:

  1. I love it, Val! Sometimes I just want a sandwich for supper. This one is perfect. Thanks :)

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  2. Great choice of ingredients for your sandwich Val. It's true that sandwiches are a personal thing and I like your individual touch with the goat cheese and avocado. Mmmm...also love crunchy pickles too!!

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  3. I am ashamed to admit I've NEVER thought about goat cheese and avocado, combined! I just should be whipped with a whisk! It's GENIUS! What a fabulous sandwich with a nice history lesson!

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  4. Great sandwich. Love the toothpicks. Nothing like a good sandwich.

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  5. Oh I can't wait to use that avocado spread on something!!! I have three avocado's growing on my tree and I want to make something really special from them! This just may be it!

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  6. This is such a coincidence. I've been craving one of these for the past week! Now, I have really got to make myself one! It looks soooo good!

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  7. What is it about a club sammy that just hits the spot. However when does avocado and bacon not hit the spot!

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  8. Mmmm goat cheese and avocado. A wonderful combination I've never considered. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  9. Delicious! That's the kind of sandwich which is addictive! Yummy!

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  10. Ooh, avocado spread, NICE!! Cerys would love this.

    Cheers
    David

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  11. Val, I forgot to say, I didn't end up doing the Canadian desserts on my World food day! I didn't have the time unfortunately, it had to be something I could do in 5-10 minutes on a hob. Next time though!

    x

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  12. A classic indeed. Always a comforting meal and like you brings me back to childhood. I like your version with the guac.

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  13. Looks like a delicious sandwich and I love the sound of the goat cheese/avocado sauce. It never would have crossed my mind, but I'll have to try that when I whip up my sandwiches for next week

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  14. oooh, that avocado spread sounds fantastic! forget the classic, i'll take this one!

    lady, you eat some good food!

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  15. Vall I really feel hungry when I com your Blog, look divine!!!xGloria
    I love the mix avocado and cheese!

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  16. I love a good Clubhouse sandwich! I haven't heard it called that in a long time. The addition of the avocado spread sounds delicious.

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  17. I always love a good club sandwich, and that avocado spread sounds so delicious!

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  18. Ode to the simple sandwich.Does anyone even remember Woolworths and their lunch counter?

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  19. Love it too Bellini V.
    have printed this off and will be making on the weekend when I hope for sunshine!

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  20. I loooove club sandwiches! These ingredients are wonderful... I just want to take a big bite!

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  21. I hardly ever eat sandwiches, but always enjoy them when I do!

    The avocado and goat cheese spread make this for me!

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  22. We don't do white bread either. But we DO put avocado all over our sandwiches.

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  23. What a great looking club sandwich!

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  24. Clubhouse is still a classic when we visit the family in Quebec. I remember spending hours with grandma at Woolworth and before leaving we had to share a clubhouse. It brings back good memories.

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  25. Val, this looks delicious! ANd the best part about the spread (for me) no mayo. Hooray! :)

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  26. Um, did you say Avocado spread? I am so there! With goat cheese too, this sandwich sounds wonderful!

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  27. Sandwiches are so underrated. This is a perfect meal - no whipping, steaming, broiling, chopping, cooking, baking.....fantastic comfort food.

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  28. I totally remember Woolworths and their lunch counter Val, Well over 20 something years ago out here.
    I like your avocado spread, sounds great on a club!

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  29. al, this is the 2nd sammy I've seen with avocado and it's wonderful!

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  30. Yum! I love your take on this!

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  31. That avocado spread spread sounds tasty and it would go well in a club sandwich!

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  32. Club sandwiches take me back to high school and a particular all-night diner where we'd often go on dates -- or on nights when we didn't have dates but wanted to hang out with friends. This diner made the most amazing variety of club sandwiches, placed on a plate with French fries mounded in the center. Yum.

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  33. We definitely have club sandwiches in Australia! Yum! But they're not served with a pickle... that's an excellent addition that I will be adopting ;)

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  34. Ever sit in a restaurant and just not know what you feel like eating? The Club is always my go to - always satissfying, always know more or less what you're getting and never disappointed.

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  35. Val I'm adopting your sandwich... I got some leftover of chicken, some ripe avocados... NO CHEESE... some wonderful supersmelly tomatoes... just perfect... I'm going shopping for the breaaaaaaaad :D

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  36. Okay, so this is sounding really excellent right now since I skipped lunch today. We call this a California Club -- the avocado is usually sliced, the cheese varies but is white, like provolone (but the goat cheese you've got has my vote)and once in a blue moon, I'll see sprouts. Regardless, it's an excellent sandwich, and I'll take one to go, please!

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  37. healthy club sandwiches - delicious!

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  38. Clubsandwiches- love them! Especially if there's avocado in it like yours! Clubsandwiches is also part of my childhood memories!

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  39. Clubsandwiches- love them! Especially if there's avocado in it like yours! Clubsandwiches is also part of my childhood memories!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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