Chef Alexei Zimin, founder of London’s Zima Restaurant, gives his club sandwich a distinctive edge
Editor’s note: Each month, British Airways popular “Club” magazine publishes as a regular feature a club sandwich recipe contributed by a world class chef. BA is kind to share the recipe with bloggers. In its July 2016 edition “Club Magazine” featured Chef Alexei Zimin. Here’s his very Russian-style Club Sandwich:
Alexei Zimin started as a food writer in Russia, where he launched a food magazine called Ega. He went on to train with London’s Le Cordon Bleu before he opened a restaurant in Moscow, and then his first London restaurant, Zima, this year. Here he gives the classic sandwich his own distinct flavor.
“The Club Sandwich is as universal as a Caesar salad or spaghetti carbonara, and the perfect room-service meal if you’re suddenly hungry,” says Alexei. “The recipe’s been around the block and can be done badly, but if you’re creative it’s easy to make a stand-out version.
“The secret is the chicken – fresh and well prepared. For my twist I’d use spicy chicken, balanced by crisp bread and salad. Then, instead of adding tomato, bacon and egg, I’d combine them all to create an omelette,” he says.
Alexei Zimin’s Club Sandwich
(makes one sandwich)
1 chicken fillet, with skin
3 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and white pepper
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp mint
1 tsp ground fenugreek
2 lettuce leaves
2 cabbage leaves
1 radish, thinly sliced
2 tsp dill, finely chopped
5ml apple cider vinegar
3 slices of bread
2 tsp butter
2 rashers of bacon
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large tomato, diced
1 large egg
1 tbsp sour cream
2 pickled mushrooms, finely chopped
1 pickle, finely chopped
½ small onion, finely chopped
1. Create a marinade by combining the olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, mint and fenugreek in a bowl. Add the chicken, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for eight hours.
2. Make a slaw by slicing the raw cabbage and lettuce into thin strips and mixing with the dill and thinly sliced radish. Season with salt, pepper and vinegar.
3. Bake the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.
4. Meanwhile, fry the slices of bread on both sides in butter, then bake until crisp (no more than 10 minutes).
5. To make the omelette, fry the bacon in the sunflower oil. Once browned, add the diced tomatoes. Whisk the egg in a bowl and pour over. Season with salt and pepper and cook until firm.
6. Remove the chicken from the oven and slice.
7. Combine the sour cream with the finely chopped mushrooms, pickle and onions.
8. To assemble, arrange the slaw on the first piece of fried bread. Add the chicken slices and top with the second slice of bread. Add the omelette and top with the sour cream sauce.
9. Serve with fried baby potatoes.
NOTES FROM ZAGAT:
Moscow-born food entrepreneur and TV and magazine journalist Alexei Zimin offers his modern interpretation of traditional Russian street food at this evening-only Soho basement decked out to resemble a typical Russian dacha with a touch of Soviet-era drinking den. Ingredients are sourced from across the homeland for a daily changing menu displayed on blackboards, and there’s a vast vodka line-up (some infused with lingonberry, apple or curry leaves).