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The story behind California Chile Roast Beef Sandwich
Growing up, when we would stop for fast food, it was usually Carl’s Jr. or McDonald’s. At Carl’s Jr. rather than a hamburger, I would opt for their California Roast Beef Sandwich, a combination of seasoned roast beef (I think they put it into a jus so it was sort of French dip like), along with some swiss cheese, Ortega chile and thinly sliced tomato, all on a steamed bun.
I‘m not changing the name to Hatch Chile Roast Beef Sandwich – although in this case I could
When I first met my husband, he was bartending. Or as he put it, “taking a vacation”. After a long night of pouring drinks filled with Midori and any other sweet booze (they really loved their Midori drinks where he worked) and closing the register; we would head over to Denny’s; one of the few places still open at that time of night, for their Super Bird sandwich, a combo of french bread, American cheese, deli turkey and sliced tomato. I’ve already improved upon this with my Turkey Bird.
But when you put them together…what have you got?
Well, I use to call it the “Bell Beefer” but since Taco Bell is not a player in the preliminary line-up, it’s now a…
California Chile Roast Beef Sandwich.
After returning from Santa Fe, New Mexico with my stash of Hatch chiles, I knew this sandwich was coming to our dinner table soon. And so it did.
But I’m not changing the name to Hatch Chile Roast Beef Sandwich, because I’ve been making it for years with California roasted chiles. And I live in California. So it stays with California. Even though I used a New Mexico chile this time.
As with the turkey bird, I start with sourdough bread. Then I layer cheddar cheese, chiles, lean roast beef (I do buy deli roast beef, but only GOOD real roast beef at the deli counter- you know, the kind that is really made from beef and not cobbled together with bits and pieces of beef that are glued together. Softened butter coats the outside, and then 99% of the time, I sprinkle them with some finely grated parmesan cheese. The 1% of the time that I don’t, it’s because I happen to have run out of it. Otherwise, it’s a big YES. Put this on a grill pan, or a Panini press, get it nice and toasty and, yep…it’s all good.
California Chile Roast Beef Sandwich
*The recipe is for two, but can easily be multiplied.
4 slices sourdough French bread
1/2 to 3/4 pound roast beef, thinly sliced
2 - 4 roasted California chiles (can be fresh roasted, or canned) seeded and sliced
2 - 4 slices cheddar cheese (mild, medium or sharp, your choice)
1 - 2 teaspoons butter, softened
1/4 to 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (optional, but good)