Category Archives: Sandwich

A Riff on a Masterpiece…….Sandwich

Downtown Denver has so many great places to eat and there is a deli that has enamored my taste buds for several years.  I don’t get to Masterpiece Deli  that often – maybe once or twice a year – and that’s why it’s such a treat when I do.  This is my riff on a sandwich that they have perfected, the Seared Ahi Tuna sandwich.  They make it with fresh, seared Ahi tuna slices that are piled on an English muffin with wasabi mayonnaise and Asian slaw made with green cabbage.  It’s a simple combination that delivers with tons of flavor.  The English muffin adds a slightly sweet and soft bite, the coleslaw gives some crunchy texture and the wasabi mayonnaise ties it all together with a spicy zing.

Here’s how I changed things up for my version:  I love red cabbage and always use it for my coleslaw – it has great flavor, fun eye appeal and lots of nutrients. The coleslaw also has carrots, rice wine vinegar, cilantro, mayonnaise and scallions.  To recreate the wasabi mayonnaise, I used some of David’s homemade horseradish because we always have it on hand and it has the same flavor zing without any dyes – stir a dollop into some store-bought mayonnaise and you have an instant spicy spread.

When buying tuna, get the freshest available, from a reputable source and buy it the day of your meal; I bought mine from my local grocery store.  You only need 8 ounces (half a pound) of meat for two sandwiches, and the trick is a smoking-hot pan to sear just the outside, with a rare inside.  After the tuna cools use a serrated knife to make slicing easier.  Don’t worry if some of the meat falls apart, it will get covered up with the other ingredients on the sandwich.

If you are strolling through the Denver Lower Highlands (LoHi) neighborhood and near the Highland pedestrian bridge, be sure to stop by Masterpiece Deli to enjoy their delicious, creative spin on sandwiches.  And then stop by another one of my favorites, Little Man Ice Cream  for a scoop (or two) or the best hand-made ice cream.

Eat well and share the love!

Seared Ahi Tuna Sandwich (print recipe)
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Prep Time: 15 minutes/Cooking time: 13 minutes/Total cooking time: about 30 minutes

¼ cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/16 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced (both green and white part)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2¼ cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and grated
Horseradish Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
Seared Tuna
8 oz. filet of Ahi tuna
Olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 English muffins, split and toasted

ColeslawAdd the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar, scallion and cilantro to a medium bowl and mix well.  Add the cabbage and carrots and mix together with a fork until the mayonnaise mixture and cabbage are well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwiches. The coleslaw tastes best if allowed to sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to develop and cabbage to soften.

Horseradish Mayonnaise:  Add the mayonnaise and horseradish to a small bowl and mix well.

Seared TunaAdd 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a medium skillet and heat to medium high heat. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the tuna steak and season with salt and pepper. Turn steak over and repeat with the olive oil and seasoning.

When the oil in the pan starts to develop slight ripples – about 3 or 4 minutes – it is hot enough: the pan should be very hot to get a good sear on the tuna. Place the tuna steak in the pan and don’t move it. Let cook for about 2 minutes and turn steak over. Let cook for another 1½ to 2 minutes for rare doneness and remove from heat. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool completely, about 5 minutes. When cool, slice the meat into thin slices using a serrated knife.

Assemble SandwichesToast the English muffins until they are just golden brown and add some mayonnaise to both sides.  Add half the tuna slices to the bottom piece of each English muffin and top with about ½ cup of coleslaw.  Place the top on sandwich and serve with your favorite potato chips or fruit.

  • Cover and refrigerate and leftover coleslaw for up to 2 days

Savour the Thanksgiving Leftovers with a Sandwich

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays because it’s a celebration centered on food, traditions (history) and gatherings around the dining room table.  I am grateful for many things this season, especially all the readers who follow my blog.  I still haven’t run out of things to share with you and I always love to hear how my posts inspired you in some way.  Tomorrow the house will be filled with heart-warming smells and there will be plenty of food on the table where we can catch up with loved ones and share in a few heartfelt toasts.  And the next day the refrigerator will be full of delectable leftovers, so here’s a refreshing idea for a simple sandwich (based on a sandwich from Baggin’s in Tucson) to enjoy for lunch over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The sandwiches have been our favorite for years and we look forward to them almost as much as we do the dinner!

They are made from some of the best of the leftovers.  There’s no typed recipe today, so here are the directions:  slice and toast a Kaiser roll and dress both sides with some mayonnaise, then layer with some cranberry sauce, warm stuffing (with sausage, of course), turkey slices, chopped romaine lettuce and finish it off with the top bun.  There are so many flavors in each bite, it’s creamy, sweet and tart, rich and savory and has a nice crunch from the lettuce.  You’ll want to have some lettuce and your favorite rolls on hand so you can use up your leftovers in a new way!  Have a wonderful celebration and be sure to tell the person who is next to you how special they are, Happy Thanksgiving!

Eat well and share the love!