It started this summer after a golf game when I got a sudden terrible craving for a club sandwich. The public course I played on didn’t serve them, and neither did the pub down the street. And so I went without. Until Thanksgiving. And then I saw all that leftover turkey and knew What Must Be Done.
I don’t belong to a country club, although my parents did in their last years (they weren’t allowed to join for decades—even though they lived across the street—because of my father’s Jewish parentage). When we did go, the club definitely made a good club sandwich. But of course, it wasn’t organic.
The club sandwich is at least 100 years old and, I think, due for a comeback—much as Southern food has made a comeback in the past few years. Southern food and club sandwiches never went out of style on their home turf, but the fickle minds of city dwellers always like to think that they have discovered something new. And so let’s agree that the club sandwich is ready for its rebirth in the hearts and minds of all America.
You can use leftover turkey, chicken, ham, smoked turkey, or—as I did—hand-smoked capon from Dietrich’s Meat . Historically, it seems, most clubs used chicken, but hey, it’s no secret I’m an iconoclast.
Here is my recipe:
- 2 slices whole grain bread, toasted
- Turkey, chicken, ham, or smoked turkey or chicken
- Bacon (cooked)
- Lettuce (iceberg!)
- Tomato (sliced)
- Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- Layer everything on the slices of toasted bread. Slice the sandwich in half and if it’s too tall, put toothpicks in to hold it together. Clubs are always cut it into quarters. I don’t use the usual third piece of bread in the middle because it’s unnecessary carbs. In club talk, that’s called a “junior” club.
Traditional accompaniments include pickles, chips, fries, and maybe a green olive or two.
Anyone can enjoy a club sandwich (except vegetarians)—you don’t have to belong to a country club to make one at home—and they hit the spot. It’s fun for the kids to compile their own.