We all know I’m a fan of the open-faced sandwich. I don’t think I’ve eaten a sammie with two pieces of bread since Mom packed me lunch in the 7th grade. By the way, when I was in the 7th grade, she used to send me to school with some kick-ass bagel sandwiches with horseradish. That’s right – horseradish. I was a cultured 7th grader. I probably haven’t eaten a whole bagel since then either. Now I’m just into halves. Or open-faces.
Which leads me to the next stop on the train that is my thought process. Why is it called an open-face? I’m thinking of a face 🙂 at first, but then I get smarter and think about how we also have building faces (because “face” = “surface”). Am I being clear or am I dragging you through the mud?
All of this prompted me to Google search Open-Faced Sandwich. And everything I read was pretty interesting, but also kind of wasteful when I have three loads of laundry to do, groceries to buy, and emails to respond to. So I’ll save you a few minutes and give you the abridged version:
A Brief History of Open-Faced SandwichesDue to a plate shortage during the Middle Ages, people used trenchers to hold their food. A trencher is a thick slab of coarse bread. As you can imagine, the trencher would get yummier and yummier throughout the course of a meal as gravies and sauces and meat drippings, etc. seeped in. And so people ate it, of course. If you’d like more information about open-faced sandwiches, please click here.
Somehow, I’ve run my train of thought right off the rails.
All you really need to know is that Shallots & Thyme = Best Friends. That smell is warm and sweet and pungent all at the same time. It’s really hard to get the shallots out of the pan and on top of the sandwich. They sort of gravitate towards your mouth.
For my trencher-plate, I went with a thick-slice of earthy, dark rye bread. Add a layer of crisp, tart apples, then a layer of melty cheese. If you’ve managed not to eat all the thyme shallots by now, place those on top. Broil the whole thing and, Mmm Hmm, you’ve got yourself a professional, open-faced, eat-me-now-please sammie.
Open-Faced Apple Shallot Sandwich
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- salt and ground black pepper
- 2 slices fresh rye bread
- 1 tart apple such as Cortland or Granny Smith, thinly sliced
- 2 ounces Swiss cheese sliced
Preheat oven to broil setting. Line a baking sheet with foil if desired and spray with cooking spray.
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook shallots, stirring continuously, until shallots begin to soften and caramelize, 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place bread in skillet to soak up any butter and juices left over from the shallots. Transfer bread, wet side down, to prepared baking sheet.
Top each slice of bread with sliced apples. Then layer 1 ounce cheese. Lastly, evenly divide shallots between sandwiches.
Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
My rating: 4/5 stars. It needed a condiment. Southerners love their condiments. I dipped it in spicy mustard, but you could easily spread mustard (or other condiment of choice (jam would be good)) on top of the bread before layering the rest.
The BBF: Did not get one! My roommate liked it though – and she deemed it No-Condiment-Necessary.