Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This dinner fits the "impulsive" definition on a couple of levels. About a year or so ago, I was on a big-time Subway kick. I seemed to always have a taste for it, and would get the same thing every time- Cold Cut Combo, wheat bread, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, everything except cucumbers and green peppers.  I've been getting this every time I go to Subway since I worked there when I was 14. Don't get me started on the green peppers- seriously. There's a very good reason i'll never eat green peppers from Subway.

He must have had the green peppers.
So here I am, eating subs once or twice a week, and one day I thought to myself "Hey self, I'll bet that I can do this better. After all, I was one of the original Sandwich Artists!" I mean, Subway is good, but for $5, you're kinda getting what you pay for. I made a stop at Kroger on my way home, and looked around for what I could buy to make my own version. Not exact, mind you, but similar and better. A year of tinkering- adding, removing, and modifying what went into the sub, I finally got it perfected, and Lisa will back me up on this. So sit back and get ready for a journey into the sublime world of The Impulsive Chef's subs....
Just imagine you're going through hyperspace.
So the most important part of the sub is the bread. The bread can seriously make or break your sandwich- if it's too crunchy, it cuts the roof of your mouth and you get all pissed off, and if it's too soft, it doesn't have the structural integrity to hold your sub together. Flavor of the bread is important as well, especially considering the type of sub that you're making. For this sub, I've chosen to go with a whole wheat batard- the kind that you buy near the deli counter, but still have to bake. I flip-flop between wheat and white, usually based on what is available. The meat is second, and being at the deli, I opted for Genoa salami and Heritage Farms baked turkey, both thinly sliced. I put ham on the sub as well, but since I'm not a huge fan of pressed ham, I usually buy a small pack of black forest ham off the rack. Typically, I use cheddar cheese and provolone, but I recently acquired about three metric tons* of shredded mozzarella from my friend Mark, so I'll be using cheddar and mozzarella for this sub. Tomato, onion, salt, pepper, banana peppers, olive oil and vinegar, and we're just about ready to roll.
(*may not actually be three metric tons)
Cornucopia of sub stuffs
Layering is the first step after slicing the bread in half, and can be the difference between an evenly-cooked sub and a subtastrophe. Since you want the cheese to melt, save it for last. On top of the bread, I folded three slices of turkey length-wise and lay them end to end, top that with about eight slices of salami, slightly overlapping, and finish off with three or so slices of black forest ham. Typically i'll press the meat down a little to give myself a flat surface for the cheese and toppings, then I tear the cheddar slices in half and place them along the top of the meat, and then top that with a handful of shredded mozzarella. Now that i've got a good base for toppings, it's time to add the ones that need to cook. I've always had a soft spot for cooked onions on a deli sub, dating way back to when I was a kid and there was a sub shop called Quizno's (and it absolutely was NOT the Quizno's that exists in chain form.)
That was a Quizno's in the early 80's- Godown Road, Columbus, Ohio

An, since this was the early 80's, they had to have an arcade machine in there. In this case, it was Gorf.
Gorfian robots- attack attack!

Anyway, so since i've always liked that, I will cook the onions and banana peppers with the sub. I suppose I should have said that I was preheating the oven to 250 degrees. Right. The sub is now ready to go in the oven, but NOT the top part of the batard. Set that aside for now.
Let's get melty!
I will usually cook the subs for about 20-25 minutes at 250. The reason that I do this is because i don't really want to cook the sub, but rather warm it up, melt the cheese, and soften the onions and peppers. Around the 20 minute mark, I'll put in the remainder of the bread, cut-side up. This is going to prevent the bread from getting crunchy and cutting the roof of your mouth. Seriously, I get so pissed when that happens. Back when there were Denny's here, I would get the Deli-Dinger (which was AWESOME) but it would ALWAYS cut the crap out of the roof of your mouth. 15 years later and I still remember that.

Where was I?

Yes, put the remainder of the bread in and let it get toasted. Have a beer or play some Gorf while it finishes.

When it comes out, I top mine with sliced Roma tomatoes and lettuce, and my wife's with just lettuce. She's not nearly as adventurous as me, but to be fair, when we started dating, she was a vegetarian, so she's come a long, long way. Finish off the sub with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and some mayo (applied to the top piece of bread) and you're ready to eat.
Eat me!
Slice them diagonally...


And serve.

You're not going to find a better tasting sub anywhere. I've eaten a lot of sandwiches, but this is the kind I could have every day.

How do YOU like your sub? Loaded up? Plain? Somewhere in between? Post it in the comments!


  1. Brian, you have dug up a partial memory of mine. I have a vague memory of the best sub I have ever had. I am sure this will be on my mind until I remember what is was and where I got it, or I die, whichever comes first.

    Your sub sounds great, maybe we will make some up this weekend, our oldest is coming back home while on break from college.

  2. Do you remember what kind of sub it was? General area? So many local places have great subs.