Simple Tips to Help you Produce an Amazing Sandwich Platter …

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This week we celebrated Christmas at work with a staff lunch in the office.  We had already attended the “official” work Christmas Party but the lunch is a more casual tradition with everyone in the office asked to bring a plate of food to share and celebrate.  We ended up with a fantastic variety of food and enjoyed a delicious lunch with great company.

 

 

One of my “go to” offerings when I’m asked to “bring a plate” is a sandwich platter.  Rarely does anyone ever double up with the same thing and I always find it’s enjoyed and appreciated.  So, here are some simple tips to help you produce an amazing sandwich platter:

 

 

  • Buy the freshest bread possible. I usually buy my bread fresh from the bakery on the morning I’m going to make my platter … it really is my secret for an awesome sandwich platter.  Choose a loaf (or loaves) that are as “square” as possible because it will help you cut the sandwiches as uniformly as possible which will help with your presentation.

 

  • Create a “rainbow” of colour by choosing ingredients that will look bright and appealing … if it looks good, people will eat!

 

  • Make sure there’s a lot of variety in the fillings on the sandwiches. Everyone has different tastes and should be able to find something they like if there is a range of flavours to choose from.

 

  • Don’t be too heavy handed with flavours, sauces and spices. Keep it simple and let the beautiful ingredients speak for themselves.

 

  • Pay attention to the “construction” of your sandwiches. Spread all the fillings to the edge of the crust so your sandwich remains stable and holds together when on the platter and add “wet” ingredients like beetroot and tomato in the centre of the sandwich (away from the bread) to prevent soggy sandwiches.  It’s really personal preference, but I tend to leave the crust on my sandwiches when cutting them in triangles as it gives a more solid base so the sandwich remains upright.

 

 

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  • To remove excess moisture from wet ingredients like beetroot, tomato and cucumber, lay them between two pieces of paper towel to soak up the excess before placing them onto sandwiches. Roma tomatoes also tend to have less liquid than regular tomatoes and are, therefore, ideal for fresh sandwiches.

 

  • Don’t butter the sandwiches … not everyone likes it and if there is enough flavour in the fillings, it won’t be missed. It will also be cheaper to construct your platter.

 

  • Prevent your sandwiches from drying out as they’re being made. As each sandwich is finished, place it on a plate, cover it with plastic wrap like Gladwrap and refrigerate.  Alternatively, place the sandwiches on a plate and cover with a tea towel until they need to be cut.

 

  • Avoid ingredients people may be allergic to and, at the very least, tell everyone what’s on the sandwiches so they can make and educated choice.

 

  • Work with dry hands. This may sound obvious but because you’ll be working with lots of different ingredients, you’ll most likely be wiping down cutting boards and knives frequently as well as washing your hands often.  Wet hands and fresh bread definitely don’t mix.

 

  • Try to make your platter on the day it will be eaten, if time permits. A lot of preparation can be done the night before, like mashing eggs, grating carrot, etc. but the secret to an awesome platter is definitely the fresh bread purchased on the day.

 

  • When it’s time to cut your sandwiches, be sure to use a large, sharp, serrated knife to cut cleanly and I would also recommend cutting one sandwich at a time. It is more time consuming but it will prevent crusts from tearing away from the bread when it’s so fresh.

 

  • In terms of presentation, I prefer a simple plain white platter because it lets the vibrant colours of the sandwiches stand out and be a feature rather than getting lost in a “busy” colourful pattern on a plate. The way you display or layout your sandwich triangles will also depend on the size and shape of the platter you select.  I usually just lay out the sandwich triangles in straight lines … quick and easy is the name of the game for me … but you can be as creative as you like.

 

 

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Here are my favourite sandwich fillings when making a platter, although the possible combinations are endless:

 

 

  • Turkey (finely sliced) and Cranberry Sauce

 

  • Chicken (finely diced) and mixed with fresh corn, celery and mayonnaise

 

  • Curried egg with alfalfa sprouts

 

  • Tomato and cheese with corn relish

 

  • Ham and Avocado (mashed and blended with some squeezed lemon juice to prevent the avocado browning)

 

  • Hommus, beetroot, carrot and cucumber

 

  • Tuna with shallots and mayonnaise

 

  • Smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers

 

  • Salami with semi-dried tomatoes and lettuce

 

  • Roast beef (shaved) with chutney and spinach leaves

 

  • Corned beef with pickles

 

 

So tell me, what do you make when you’re asked to “bring a plate” and do you tend to go for sweet or savoury?

 

 

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