October 31, 2008
Sandwiches are a Hoboken specialty. The city abounds with wonderful Italian delicatessens. Those Italians know how to make bread and cold cuts, and when they pile them into different combinations--heaven is not far away.
Not long ago I discovered a sandwich known here as the Chicken Frank Sinatra. It's made with some balsamic vinegar splashed onto good Italian white bread. A little arugula doused in vinagrette is added, then a layer of sliced grilled chicken, topped with a few marinated artichokes, slices of tomato, and some mozzarella. Half of one of these babies is plenty for lunch, and you can have the rest some other time.
How about this: When you get the sandwich home (particularly if you're on the Atkins diet or some version and you're not wild about balsamic vinegar), you take one half, remove the vinegar-soaked bread (and put it in the fridge for later), take all the insides and combine with about one cup of salad from those salad bags everybody keeps around these days. Put all on a chopping board and chop into bite size pieces. Now place this mixture in an eating bowl, toss with your favorite dressing, and eat.
My favorite dressing, by the way, is homemade vinagrette, and I almost always have it on hand. I make in by taking a teaspoon or so of dijon mustard, adding a generous pinch of salt, a splash of vinegar, a drop of honey, and beating like crazy for a few seconds until all is dissolved nicely. Then I slowly add Italian olive oil (extra virgin) until it is a nice amalgamation. Your favorite dressing may come out of a bottle, and that will work for this salad too.
The Chicken Frank Sinatra Salad doesn't need much dressing. There is already a little oil and vinegar here and there in the sandwich, after all. But to my way of thinking, it does need a couple of tablespoons. Save leftover dressing; you won't have it for long. And be grateful you live in Hoboken where you're never far from a Chicken Frank Sinatra. If you live somewhere else, you're on your own in finding the ingredients.