1. Use fresh (or fresh-frozen) bread
Starting with a crisp baguette and scooping out some of the bread is key.
You can always have sandwich bread on hand by freezing single-serving baguette portions. First, cut one into four equal pieces and slice each lengthwise (so it opens like a book). Scoop out the inside and save it for breadcrumbs or croutons. Wrap the sections individually in plastic and stick them in the freezer. Reheat as needed in a toaster or conventional oven before using.
2. Amp up mayo with pantry ingredients
Start with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and add 1 teaspoon Sriracha.
Start with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and add 1 teaspoon Dijon and 1 tablespoon chopped cornichons.
Start with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and add 1 tablespoon finely chopped olives.
3. Strategically layer ingredients so they marinate beautifully
Try one of these ultra-flavorful combos, then steal our packing tip -- wrap with plastic, then aluminum foil to keep everything tightly in place.
Veggie Banh Mi
Toss 1/2 cup julienned carrots with 1 teaspoon each brown sugar, lime juice, and pickled-jalapeno juice. Season with salt. Spread Spicy Mayo on both sides of bread. Layer 1/4 cup sliced cooked beets, dressed carrots, and a few pickled jalapenos. Top with cilantro sprigs.
Ham and Havarti
Spread Mustard Mayo on both sides of bread. Layer with 2 slices Havarti, 1/4 cup arugula, and 2 slices Black Forest ham.
Chicken Pan Bagnat
Toss 2/3 cup shredded cooked chicken with 1/3 cup sliced roasted red peppers, 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons each red-wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread Olive Mayo on both sides of bread. Top with chicken-pepper mixture and whole basil leaves.