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Big Food

The Sandwich Bowl

January 21, 1998

For the Super Bowl, you don't want to mess with a knife and fork. You want convenient food, non-distracting food, food you can't accidentally stab somebody with in the excitement of a touchdown. In short, something you can eat with a spoon, like chili, or pick up in your hand. That's why the sandwich was born.

Former Times Test Kitchen intern Janet McCracken has concocted two giant sports weekend sandwiches, one based on Brie and the other on shredded beef. The Oyster Po' Boy (which could be a Shrimp Po' Boy if you don't like oysters--just substitute a pound of shrimp) is by Mayi Brady of the Times Test Kitchen.

Brady has also designed some easy spreads, the mustard for any cold cuts and the horseradish particularly for beef. Each makes enough for one large French or Italian loaf or 4 to 6 French rolls. They can be made a couple of days ahead and refrigerated. Let them come back nearly to room temperature before using.

BRIE SANDWICH

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Salt, pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 (1-pound) loaf French or Italian bread

1/2 pound Brie, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 large tomatoes, sliced

4 cups loosely packed mesclun

Mix mustard, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to taste and vinegar in small bowl until well blended. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Set aside.

Slice bread in half lengthwise. Put bottom half of bread on baking sheet. Cover with Brie pieces and top with tomato slices.

Bake at 325 degrees until Brie is melted, about 5 minutes.

Toss greens with vinaigrette and arrange on top of tomatoes. Top with remaining half of bread, slice and serve.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 4 servings:

636 calories; 1129 mg sodium; 60 mg cholesterol; 30 grams fat; 69 grams carbohydrates; 23 grams protein; 1.06 grams fiber.

SHREDDED BEEF SANDWICH

1 tablespoon oil

2 pounds top or bottom round or shoulder roast

Salt, pepper

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

2 cups red wine

1 bay leaf

3 juniper berries

1 large sprig thyme

4 sprigs parsley

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can beef broth, optional

8 kaiser rolls

Heat oil in saucepan just large enough to hold meat. Season beef with salt and pepper to taste. Sear until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onion and garlic to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, juniper berries, thyme, parsley and reserved beef. Cover tightly and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender enough to be shredded, about 2 hours. Add beef broth as needed if mixture gets too dry. Remove beef from pot and set aside to cool.

Discard bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Shred beef with hands. Return beef to pan and reheat, stirring into juices in pan. (Beef may be made 1 to 2 days ahead.)

Slice rolls, spoon beef onto bottom half, Sloppy Joe-style, and top with remaining half of roll.

8 servings. Each of 8 servings:

348 calories; 446 mg sodium; 52 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 33 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.29 gram fiber.

OYSTER PO' BOY

REMOULADE

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon minced capers

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 teaspoons minced parsley

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

OYSTERS

2 (8-ounce) jars oysters

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 cup oil

ASSEMBLY

4 French rolls

3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

REMOULADE

Mix mayonnaise, capers, mustard, anchovy paste, parsley, pepper sauce and lemon juice in small bowl until combined. Set aside.

OYSTERS

Drain oysters and rinse with cold water. Dip in beaten eggs, then roll in bread crumbs. Set aside.

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add breaded oysters and fry until cooked through and golden on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

ASSEMBLY

Cut French rolls in half lengthwise and spread about 2 tablespoons remoulade on each roll. On bottom half of each roll, place 1/4 of shredded lettuce, 1/4 of diced tomatoes and 1/4 of oysters. Place top of roll on each sandwich.

4 servings. Each serving:

469 calories; 751 mg sodium; 68 mg cholesterol; 26 grams fat; 43 grams carbohydrates; 17 grams protein; 1.25 grams fiber.

HERBED MUSTARD SPREAD

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons coarse mustard

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped chives

2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Mix butter, coarse mustard and Dijon mustard until creamy and smooth. Stir in chives and parsley.

About 1/4 cup. Each 2-teaspoon serving:

43 calories; 219 mg sodium; 10 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 0 carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.03 gram fiber.

HORSERADISH BUTTER

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

1 to 2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine butter, horseradish and Worcestershire in small bowl and stir until well mixed.

About 1/4 cup. Each 2-teaspoon serving:

68 calories; 104 mg sodium; 21 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 0 carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.01 gram fiber.

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