This One, Simple Tip from Rachael Ray's Class Will Make Your Sandwich So Much Tastier

I should have been doing this all along.

November 22, 2019

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When I make a sandwich, I put the meat on flat like a slab because that’s how my mother – and for all I know, her mother before her (and maybe generations before her) – made sandwiches. That means I really have to pile on the meat to give my sandwiches depth. And that can get costly. (I probably don’t have to tell you: Deli meat ain’t cheap.)

My sandwiches certainly have heft but, I must admit, they lack a certain … lift.

My husband, on the other hand, always does something magical with the meat when he makes a sandwich. He kind of scrunches it up, which is what his mother did – and for all I know, her mother before her. As a result, his sandwiches seem tastier and textually more interesting than mine — even though he uses less meat.

I never understood why scrunching would make a difference (my husband comes from a big family and I attributed the method to an attempt to stretch a pound of meat a little further) — so I never changed the way that I make sandwiches. (Mom-taught kitchen habits die hard.) But after hearing Rachael Ray endorse scrunching during her live Low-Maintenance Panini Bar cooking class on the new Food Network Kitchen app, I hereby vow to surrender my flat-layering method and embrace the scrunch.

Rachael explains that “fluffing up” your deli meat before putting it on your sandwich adds air. That, in turn, brings “more texture” and “more chew appeal” than a flat slab or thin layer of meat would. Always “ruffle the meat” and “put a little more life into it,” she advises.

Now that I understand, it makes sense — I’m scrunching and fluffing from now on. (Sorry, mom!)

Want to make paninis with Rachael or get her tips for setting up a Low-Maintenance Panini Bar? You can find this class on demand on the all-new Food Network Kitchen app. You’ll be able to drop in on all of Rachael’s classes and learn all about sandwiches and paninis and so much more.

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