|Clubhouse with Avocado Spread|
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).
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.
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