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Thursday, February 5, 2015


Editor’s note: The following appeared in Inspiration, the travel blog online magazine for British Airways.  Having been mentored by Spanish Catalan chef Ferran Adria, one of the forefathers of molecular gastronomy, it’s not surprising that fellow Spaniard Sergio Sanz Blanco’s Club Sandwich would have a unique twist. The editors at the airline blog asked the head chef at London’s Michelin-starred Ametsa with Arzak Instruction to share his secret recipe:

Chef Sergio Sanz Blanco
Head Chef Restaurant Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
GUEST BLOG—By Chef Sergio Sanz Blanco--“When I worked at Villa Magna hotel in Madrid we certainly sold lots of Club Sandwiches, but they’re not really a familiar sight in Spain. Instead we have something called a bocadillo – a sandwich made using a baguette rather than sliced bread.

“Now, when a guest at the Halkin Hotel orders a club sandwich the waiters ask if they would like one with an Ametsa twist. It doesn’t appear on the menu – it’s our secret. Whether they go for it depends on how open they are to trying something new.

“We use the same ethos as we do in the restaurant – we include a surprising twist while introducing earthy flavours of Spain’s Basque region.

“Instead of cucumber we use sweet piquillo peppers. We replace bacon with iberico ham, and the egg appears as a very thin Spanish omelette. Instead of mayonnaise we use alioli and on top of the sandwich we put a gilda, a typical tapa that consists of an olive with guindilla, a spicy green pickled pepper.

We then decorate the plate with powders made using a dehydrator, my most useful kitchen tool.”

Sergio’s Club Sandwich in the Basque style
(Serves one)

3 slices white bread, toasted
2 piquillo peppers
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 chicken breast
20g thyme
20g rosemary
1 leaf baby gem lettuce, shredded
1 beef tomato, sliced
2 tbsp homemade mayonnaise
1 tbsp garlic oil
30g iberico ham
2 pitted gordales or any large olives

For the Spanish omelette
30g potatoes, cut into thick slices
20g white onion, sliced
2 free-range eggs
Olive oil
1 tbsp flatleaf parsley, chopped

For the pickled guindillas
2 guindillas
50ml port wine
2g cochinilla powder
2.5g vegetable gelling agent powder

For the roasted red pepper salad
1 roasted red pepper
1 spring onion, sliced
1 guindilla
1 pinch parsley powder
20g curly endive lettuce
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sherry vinegar

1. Lightly toast the bread.

2. Sear the chicken breast with salt and black pepper. Put in a bowl with olive oil, thyme and rosemary. Marinade for at least an hour then cook, slice and layer it on the first piece of bread.

3. Chop the garlic and fry in olive oil until golden. Add the piquillo peppers and slow cook for an hour until the peppers are soft. Place on top of the chicken.

4. Put half the tomato and half the lettuce on top of the piquillo peppers.

5. Make the alioli by mixing the mayonnaise with the garlic oil.

6. Spread half the alioli on to a second slice of toast. Put the toast, mayonnaise side down, on top of the peppers. Add the iberico ham.

7. To prepare the omelette, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the potatoes and onion and stew gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally until the potatoes are soft. Strain the potatoes and onions through a colander (set the strained oil aside).

8. Beat the eggs and stir into the potatoes with the parsley. Add salt and pepper. Heat a little of the strained oil in a smaller pan. Tip everything into the pan and cook on a moderate heat, using a spatula to make it very thin.

9. When almost set, invert onto a plate, slide back into the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Repeat a few more times, keeping it thin. Slide onto a plate and allow to cool.

10. Cut a portion of omelette to the shape of the toast and put on to the sandwich.

11. Add the remaining tomato and lettuce.

12. Spread one side of the remaining slice of toast with the rest of the alioli.

13. For decoration, put the port, jelly and cochinilla into a pan and boil. Soak the green guindilla in the liquid and remove quickly when it is covered with a red layer.

14. Put the green guindilla and olive onto a cocktail stick. Add a red guindilla and a second olive. Place on top of the sandwich.

15. Mix the dry ingredients of the red pepper salad, dress with the sherry vinegar and olive oil, and serve on the side of the sandwich.

Where to find:
Ametza with Arzak Instruction Restaurant
In the Halkin Hotel, Halkin Street
London SW1X 7DdJ, UK
+44 20 7333 1234

The Halkin Hotel, London

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