Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect it. When it does, a Tex-Mex influenced appetizer gets stuffed into an Italian bread and is garnished with very Asian fried onions, fried garlic and fresh coriander. And the entire jumble results in a rather, rather tasty sandwich.
The story starts about a week ago when I started working on a chicken sandwich, experimenting with various rubs, marinades, sauces, Indian and leavened breads but to no avail. I couldn’t quite get it right. And then, just as I started looking at Mediterranean and Latin recipes for wraps an idea struck. In less than a couple of hours I had figured out what I wanted to do and how it needed to be done.
And this is what I came up with.
1 ciabatta cut into about 6-inch long piece
200 gm sausages, cut into 1-inch long pieces
4 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, sliced paper-thin
200 ml tomato puree
3 tbsp tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ red chilli powder
½ tsp grain sugar
½ pork stock cube
1¼ green chilli, finely minced
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
¼ tsp black pepper powder
1½ tsp oil
1½ tbsp Monterey Jack cheese, grated thick
2 tbsp iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 tbsp fried onions
1 tsp chopped garlic, deep-fried
In a large frying pan fry the sausages in ½ tsp oil till evenly browned.
Remove and keep aside.
Add the remaining oil and fry the chopped onion on a medium-high flame till it starts to brown.
Stir in half the garlic and continue cooking for about a minute and a half.
Pour in the tomato puree and mix well. Continue cooking on a low flame, stirring occasionally.
After about 5 minutes add the chopped tomato and mix well. Stir in the chilli powder and sugar, and add the stock cube. Mix well.
After about 8 minutes when the sauce has thickened stir in the green chilli. Stir once and add the reserved sausages. Mix well.
Pour in the ketchup and Worcestershire black pepper. Cook for about 2 minute more.
Finally add in the remaining garlic and black pepper. Cook for another minute.
Split the ciabatta into two lengthwise almost to the edge.
Arrange the shredded lettuce on the base of the bread.
Spread the hot sausage mixture over evenly. Top with the shredded cheese, deep-fried garlic, fried onions and fresh coriander.
Eat hot or room temperature.
Make a day ahead if you like: the filling tastes better the next day
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Makes 3 sandwiches