The other day I was reminiscing about my recent trip down to my old childhood home, San Diego. I visited my old neighborhood and found old friends. I photographed the house I grew up in there and I saw my elementary school and well, you get the picture. Chef Sheila Got a case of the Warm & Fuzzies.
Major nostalgia for a Navy Brat, Lifer, Retiree, Chef. ”So there I was…….kidding.
Later in my kitchen, I was reliving some memories of the house and garden and how my Grandmother took care of us and what should invade my nostalgic mind trip? But my granny frying up a fried baloney sandwich…
I mean I could smell it and my mouth was in full blown salivation! Now lets face it folks. I was born into a Navy family of five siblings and parents plus grandma on enlisted pay during the Vietnam War. We were poor. We were “Clever Mommy made my undies poor”. So whatever we got at the commissary usually looked like Navy Issue Food.
Brown paper packaged thin sliced Navy Issue Baloney….REALLY…nondescript packaging. Just like the Navy Coffee, a mixture of various cheap beans…quite good and I remember the great aroma to this day. That was the same with Navy Baloney. Quite tasty and relatively cheap.
A good friend of mine, Craig Crawford, who is bizarrely hooked (northern girl opinion only) on “Fat Greasy Fried Baloney Sammiches”…That’s right, its called a Sammich in the South. My Uncle Thomas in Alabama loves “Maater Sammiches”….Translate THAT.
But I digress, Craig Crawford is a typical southern boy who pays typical homage to the hillbilly palate. It bears no pride, counts no calories, and uplifts even the lowliest of ingredients to the heights of celestial delight. I mean, my Daddy added peanut butter to stew and put everything but the kitchen sink in his grits!
Craig’s Sandwich is not so much a recipe, as a southern scripture. The Holy of Holies, passed down from family lore. Heck, doesn’t Cracker Barrell sell FBS in Kentucky?
Start with good bologna – notice the PROPER name here – deli-sliced about a half inch thick, not the pre-packaged stuff. Get some good deli-sliced cheese of your choice.
Bread is extremely important. Fried Bologna Sammiches are traditionally made on white sandwich bread, like Wonder Bread….YUCK…lol. I can’t help it. A kid gets bored with just Wonder Bread. I used to take a slice and squeeze it into a ball just to throw it at my little brother! the bread in the world that is mostly air.
Again I digressed. – Heat a small amount of oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Make a slice in the center of each slice of bologna. (prevents curling). Fry it till its browned. But while it’s frying on the second side, plop on your favorite barbeque sauce. Add a few drops of hot sauce or Tabasco if you like.
Spread mayonnaise on the bread. To build a truly Southern Sammich, just use the sauced and fried boloney. DO NOT ADD VEGETABLES. Top with cheese while still warm and put the sandwich together.
Now me and Grandma? Grill both sides of a buttered hamburger bun. Fry the Baloney the same way, except fry up about three or four thin slices. A slice of Velveeta and there you have it!
Seriously, this sandwhich tastes better than it sounds.