Sandwiches for the graduation lunch bunch
June is the month for family gatherings and graduation ceremonies. If you’re the host, your house can quickly fill up with visiting relatives who have come to catch up on family news and congratulate the graduate. And as soon as the ceremony has concluded, everyone will be hungry and ready to eat.
Sandwiches (the ultimate finger food) are the perfect choice to serve your guests. They can be prepared in advance and served hot or cold in just a few minutes once your prep work is done. It also helps if some guests contribute side dishes. That really eases the pressure.
Once you decide on a menu you’ll need to get busy a day or two before the event. If you decide to serve baked beans and potato salad, put the ingredients for baked beans in a crockpot and refrigerate. Cook and cool the potatoes for potato salad and chop the other ingredients. Assemble everything (minus the mayo) and refrigerate. Add mayo and seasonings the morning you’re serving.
I have found that sandwiches assembled on small dinner rolls are the perfect size for all ages. Costco (and most markets) have about a 3-inch soft roll that is perfect for a variety of fillings. They are mighty tasty served with egg salad topped with a cucumber slice, a black olive and lettuce. An old favorite combo of curried turkey, water chestnuts, grapes and almonds makes a nice crunchy filling.
The rolls also make a good dinner meal warmed with barbecue beef and topped with cheese. You can cook the meat the day before in the crockpot with your favorite BBQ sauce and reheat it the next day. (Last month’s brisket recipe makes especially good sandwiches.)
Or you can take a whole round loaf of bread and turn it into a delicious Italian Muffuletta sandwich. It’s also fun to have something to drink more festive than soda pop. So check out the following recipes for frosty cold fruit drinks to go along with your meal.
4 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey, white meat
1 small can water chestnuts, drained and diced
1 pound seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted and divided
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, or less, as desired
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained (if desired)
In a mixing bowl, mix turkey, water chestnuts, grapes, celery, and 1 1/2 cups almonds. In a separate bowl mix the mayonnaise with the curry and soy sauce; combine with turkey mixture. Chill for several hours. Serve on sandwich buns or bread garnished with the remaining almonds, pineapple chunks and lettuce.
1 3- to 4-pound beef brisket
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium onions, sliced
1 16-ounce jar barbecue sauce*
Carefully trim the meat of visible fat and season with salt and pepper. Place the onions in the bottom of the crock, lay the meat on top of them. (You may have to cut the brisket in half and stack the pieces.)
Pour about a half cup of the barbecue sauce over the meat and flip it around to coat it. Cover and let it cook for 9 to 10 hours on low.
Carefully remove the cooked meat from the crock and pour out the fat and juices, retaining the onions. Put the meat back in the crock, mix in the remaining barbecue sauce, and let it cook another half hour or so. (You could eat it now, but it's better if it soaks awhile.)
Slice the brisket across the grain (can also be chopped or shredded) and place it on a platter, discarding any fat. Cover it with sauce and let it sit 5 min. Serve on rolls, onions on the side. 8 to 10 servings.
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 c. chopped green stuffed olives
1 c. chopped oil cured black olives, (pitted)
4-5 peperoncini, minced (bottled sweet peppers)
1/2 c. roasted red peppers, chunks
1 c. olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh parsley
large pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. each oregano and basil
2 tbsp. white wine or balsamic vinegar
1 large round loaf bread
1/3 lb. salami, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Provolone, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced in circles
1/2 lb. Havarti cheese, thinly sliced
1/3 c. Prosciutto or Capicola ham, thinly sliced
Combine ingredients for salad and allow to stand overnight so that flavors can mingle. Slice the bread in half, slicing off the top portion (like a cap) and scoop out some of the center of loaf. Drizzle oil from salad on both top and bottom halves, using a good deal of the mixture for the bottom half. Layer the olive salad, cold cuts, cheeses, and layer again until all ingredients are used. Top with bread top (cap). Slice like a pizza. Serves 6.
1 (12 ounce) can frozen, pulp-free orange juice concentrate
thawed and undiluted
2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime soft drink, chilled
1-2 fresh oranges, thinly sliced
At serving time, stir together orange juice concentrate and lemon-lime soft drink in large punch bowl. Serve over ice in individual glasses, garnished with an orange slice.
2 cups apple juice
2 (6 ounce) cans pineapple juice
1 (12 ounce) can cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
1 (6 ounce) can orange juice, undiluted, thawed
4 cups club soda, chilled
Combine first 4 ingredients; stir until blended. Add soda just before serving. Serve over ice. Serves 10 (1-cup each) drinks.