Antelope Valley Press - AV Living (Antelope Valley)

How to make super-tasty, adorably tiny open-faced sandwiches

- WRITTEN BY Bethany Jean Clement | The Seattle Times

Many an article about sandwiches begins with ye tired olde origin story: The Earl of Sandwich, desirous of a snack easily and ungreasily handled whilst he continued to play cards, demanded his joint of meat or giant drumstick or what have you be ensconced between two slices of bread, and so forth. The Earl’s idea, born though it was of laziness and/or addiction to gambling, was an excellent one. Sandwiches are very good! It is difficult to imagine improving upon the Platonic ideal of a food-form that is the sandwich!

Or is it? I come to you today with a radical propositio­n: This is the time for open-faced sandwiches. Why now? In an era when bread and/or yeast has sometimes been hard to come by, an openfaced sandwich reduces bread use by 50%. Further, an open-faced sandwich represents a dramatic improvemen­t on the traditiona­l closed-faced sandwich’s filling-to-bread ratio (as eaters of peanut-butter-and-honey toast are already highly aware). And given an open-faced sandwich constructe­d with a not-too-floppy bread base, a skilled sandwich-eater can absolutely continue playing cards or doing whatever they care to with the other hand.

A version of the open-faced sandwich did manage to capture the fickle American interest with the momentaril­y ubiquitous and unfairly vilified avocado toast. Avocado toast is good! But what’s even better: tiny open-faced sandwiches, or T.O.F.S. Versions of T.O.F.S. have gained traction here as imports from other cultures, though mostly on toasted bread, e.g., crostini and tartines. What we’re talking about here is like the more-seldom-seen Danish smørrebrød, in its smaller formats, or the obložené chlebícky of the Czech Republic. These adorable little open-faced sandwiches, built on the likes of a slice of an undersized loaf of rye or a diagonal of good baguette, make larger open-faced sandwiches look out of scale and oafish.

With T.O.F.S., the laborious bite-taking of a traditiona­lly sized sandwich is exponentia­lly reduced or even potentiall­y eliminated, depending on their size. T.O.F.S. also offer the opportunit­y to engulf several types of sandwich in one sitting, rather than just the tedium of one. And while regular-sized sandwiches, whether open-faced or lidded, are generally speedily assembled, T.O.F.S. provide both a fun project and a festive eating experience during times of boredom, as well as many opportunit­ies for aesthetic expression and nice photos for Instagram.

What goes on T.O.F.S.? This is limited only by how many different kinds of food exist and the strength of your imaginatio­n. It is never a bad idea to start T.O.F.S. with a layer of nice-quality softened butter. From there, just the beginning of the

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