MATTHEW’S PASTRAMI SANDWICH
8 slices rye, crusty deli bread, or French rolls*
⅓ cup Russian dressing
1½ pounds sliced pastrami**
4 slice Swiss cheese
2 cups coleslaw
* = rye bread is by far the most popular bread for this sandwich. However, I’m listing substitutes as some people can’t abide rye.
** = This is a simple recipe, so the quality of the pastrami is particularly important.
*** = Omit this if you wish to eat a cold sandwich.
Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes if sandwiches are served cold, 30 minutes if the sandwiches are hot.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap bread in aluminum foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. (Skip this step if you’re making cold sandwiches.) Spread Russian dressing over 2 slices. Add pastrami to bottom bread slice. Place 1 slice of Swiss on pastrami. Top with coleslaw. Complete sandwich by adding the top slice of bread.
1) Look at the sandwich in the above picture. If you were to turn one of the sandwich halves upside down, you would still have a pastrami sandwich half. In fact, if you hadn’t done the flipping yourself upside down, you never would have been able to tell.
2) This very thing happened to the budding artist, Auguste Renoir. In 1859, he labored all summer painting the best pastrami sandwich the art world had seen or even would see. He painted with such style and such élan that the directors of the Escalier Galerie asked to display his masterpiece.
3) But quelles horreurs, the oaf in charge of exhibitions hung Renoir’s brilliant “Le sandwich au pastrami” upside down. None of the visiting art lovers nor any of the heads of France’s Académie Française noticed this mistake. No, not enough to articulate their artistic uneasiness. But mon Dieu, their psyches did. The viewers’ souls recoiled. The masses, without knowing why, turned away from Renoir. The painting elite also shunned the young Auguste. Renoir shook his fists at the heavens. “Bah, never again will I faithfully painting reality. Mais non, I shall quickly paint my impressions of life. Nothing more. He did and to his lasting amazement, he became one of the pillars of the impressionist movement. Now you know.
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef