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Sandwich improv, sandwich bliss

"BEST SANDWICH EVER"


Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Awhile back I was in the mood for sandwiches, but didn't have lunch meat and didn't want peanut butter.  So I did what any sane cook would do:  I found another use for bacon.  And cream cheese.  And tomatoes. My family declared it the best sandwich ever. I usually make this sandwich with a big loaf of french bread split lengthwise.  For a car trip recently I made individual sandwiches using hoagie rolls, which also turned out great.  I do think a fairly sturdy bread works best.

Ingredients

1 loaf french bread
1/2 pound bacon, 6-7 slices
1/2 to 1 package cream cheese, 4-8 ounces
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into thick slices
fresh spinach, a handful or two, optional

Spread the bacon slices out on a cookie sheet and bake in 450 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until bacon is nicely cooked. Bacon will take zero attention during the first 10-12 minutes of cooking. Check every couple minutes after that to make sure bacon doesn’t get overdone. (You can also fry the bacon in a skillet if you prefer). Set cooked bacon on a paper towel to drain.

Slice the french bread in half, lengthwise. Spread the top half of the loaf with cream cheese, half a package for a lighter sandwich, or the full package for a thicker, heartier sandwich. Spread tomato slices across the bottom half of the loaf. Sprinkle with a layer of fresh spinach if desired. Next, spread bacon slices evenly around the bottom layer of the sandwich. Set the top half of the bread loaf back onto the bottom half of the loaf. Press firmly together, so that the cream cheese and bacon stick together and some of the juice from the tomatoes releases into the bottom layer of the bread. To serve, slice into 4-6 pieces.

Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate until use, preferably within 24 hours.