Columbus Discovers New Sport – Competitive Salami Sandwich Making

I don’t do a lot of sandwich recipes here on Food
Wishes, mostly because, well, they’re sandwiches, but today I’m making an
exception. On Thursday, I participated in a sandwich making contest sponsored
by Columbus Salumeria, and I wanted to share what turned out to be the winning
concoction.

Columbus sponsored the #TopWichSF event to promote their new line of
Farm to Fork Naturals, and things got off to a appetizing start as Sean
Timberlake, from Punk Domestics and Hedonia, treated us to an array of small
bites he created using these great new products. 
Photo courtesy of Columbus Salame
I really loved his wonderful
Waldorf-filled endive topped with strips of oven-crisped salami. With
entertaining season right around the corner, I highly recommend you add this to
your repertoire.
I was grateful for the energy and inspiration the tasty
bites provided, as I was up against two very worthy opponents in Michael
Procopio from Food for the Thoughtless, and Lynda Balslev from TasteFood. 
The
competition was held at the Hotel Vitale, and started with a romantic pedicab
ride to the Ferry Building across the street. We were given 10 minutes and $10
to buy any additional ingredients we wanted to accessorize our sandwiches with.
My idea was to do a smoked turkey and teleme sandwich,
topped with some kind of meat relish made with soppressata and fruit. I ended
up finding some beautiful pluots, and used the rest of my cash to get a small
bag of pine nuts. They were raw, but I figured I could toast them on the panini
press, which I knew was hot and waiting. I was gifted a few grapes which while delicious, played no part in my creation.
We had just 20 minutes to build our sandwiches, while a
distinguished panel of five judges looked on. I was a little nervous to begin
with, and knowing there were representatives from YumSugar, Chow, SFWeekly, and
Tasting Table there, only added to it. The time went by incredibly fast, which
made my fellow competitors’ work that much more impressive.
Getting ready to bone marrow the bread.
Photo courtesy of Sean Timberlake
Michael bought some bone marrow butter and used it to toast
a turkey, soppressata and apple panini. A brilliant idea, and had time
allowed for a longer, deeper caramelization, it would have crushed my
non-beef-fat-fried offering.
Photo courtesy of Columbus Salame
Lynda did a fennel salami, fig, and goat cheese sandwich,
which she topped with apple slaw, shaved fennel, and her secret ingredient,
fennel pollen. It was a classic combination of flavors, and a great way to show
off the Columbus salami. By the way, check out Lynda’s great recap of the event, where you can see and read more about her beautiful sandwich. 
Despite their worthy efforts, the judges awarded my
rustic-looking sandwich the grand prize. I received a dangerously large basket
of salami and other gourmet goodies, as well as $500 cash! 
I figured that a two-year’s supply of salami was enough of a prize, so I’m having them donate the
money to the SF Food Bank. I would have just spent the money on more salami
anyway. 
A huge thank you to Columbus for inviting me to participate. They have a bunch of great photos on their Facebook page in case you want to check out some more of the action. Also, a sincere thanks to
Michael and Lynda for helping make the event such a fun experience. Enjoy!
Photo courtesy of YumSugar
Smoked Turkey & Teleme Sandwich with Pluot, Sopressata,
& Pine Nut Relish
Ingredients for 4 Sandwiches:
For the relish:
8 oz Columbus Sopressata, diced
1 cup pluot, diced
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
The rest:
1 tbsp Harissa or other hot chili pepper paste
6 tbsp mayonnaise
8 slices bread or 4 rolls
4 oz room temp teleme cheese
8 oz Columbus Smoked Turkey
Mix relish ingredients and let sit in fridge for 1 hour to
develop flavors. Mix the harissa and mayonnaise; spread on bread. Spread both
sides of bread with teleme cheese and top with turkey. Top with relish, and
serve immediately, or wrap and press with a plate in the fridge for 30 minutes
to compress.

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