Hoagies, Heros and Submarines

          It seems appropriate that as football season is in full swing we celebrate by eating the quintessential tail gate food, the hero sandwich. At its most basic, a hero is a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments galore).  At its finest, it’s a culinary work of art.  

These delicious full meals on a bun can also be called grinders, heroes, hoagies, hoagy, Italian sandwich, poor boy, or submarine sandwich. You can serve them hot or cold, make them vegan or a carnivore’s delight and when you pack them up in a cooler with chips and salad and fruit you have the perfect pre-game tail gate meal.

The following recipes are not exactly your traditional or typical hero sandwich recipes with the layers of meat and cheese. I leave those babies to the fast food franchises. However, these really BIG and delicious sandwiches are perfect to serve when you’re looking to score extra points with your food fans.


1 (16 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/8 teaspoon dried chili pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 cup chopped red peppers

1/2 cup chopped radishes

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 6 oz can white tuna, drained and flaked

6 (10 inch) flavored or plain flour tortillas

In blender container or food processor, combine drained beans with the lemon juice, cream cheese, olive oil, Parmesan, chili and marjoram. Process until the mixture is almost smooth. Spread mixture on the tortillas and then divide the red peppers, radishes, celery and tuna between and radishes between the 6 tortillas. Roll them up egg roll style, enclosing the filling. Cut the roll in half and wrap them in plastic wrap. These sandwiches can be made one day before you need them. Serve cold or they can be wrapped in foil and heated at 350 for 15 minutes if them warm. Makes 6 sandwiches.


2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey (leftovers are perfect)

3/4 cup chopped pears

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

1/8 teaspoon salt

8 thick slices of sour dough bread

leaf lettuce

 In a bowl combine the chicken, pears, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise, cranberries, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Make sandwiches by placing the lettuce on 4 slices of raisin bread and placing 1/4 of the salad on top of each piece of lettuce. Place the remaining bread on top of each sandwich. Makes 4 sandwiches


You can add cold cuts if you want to make it a heartier sandwich

1 cup fresh basil

1/3 cup olive oil

2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon capers, drained, optional

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 French bread (unsliced)

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (can use more)

4-5 ounces sliced provolone cheese or mozzarella cheese (or to taste)

2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

2 cups fresh spinach, torn in pieces (or you can use lettuce instead)

To make the basil/parmesan mixture: (this mixture can be doubled if desired) In a blender or food processor bowl combine basil, Parmesan, capers, wine vinegar, mustard and garlic cloves; process until almost smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours (overnight is better!).Cut the bread in half length wise. Hollow out each half (leaving a 1/2-inch shell).Spread the prepared basil mixture over each bread half, and then layer artichoke hearts (at this point you can add in cold cuts if desired) then provolone cheese, tomato then top with spinach. Cover with the bread top. Cut the sandwich crosswise into about 6-8 pieces

Modified from epicurean.com


3/4 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup sliced cucumber

2 tablespoon chopped kalmata olives (or black ones if you prefer)

2 tablespoon crumbled feta

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 whole wheat submarine rolls

4 lettuce leaves

12 slices deli ham

12 slices deli smoked turkey

In a bowl combine the mushrooms, cucumbers, olives, feta, vinegar, oregano, tomatoes and garlic. Toss to combine and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cut a thin slice off top of each roll and set aside. Cut a 2-inch wide, U shaped wedge down the center of each roll. Drain vegetable mixture. Line each indentation with a lettuce leaf and then arrange ham and turkey evenly over lettuce. Divide the vegetable mixture between the 4 rolls and cover the mixture with the top of the roll. Makes 4

Submitted by Barb Collentine Indianapolis IN

4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small jalapeno chili, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 slices cooked turkey bacon
4 thick slices sourdough bread, toasted
8 thin slices turkey pastrami
4 large tomato slices
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced
Romaine lettuce leaves

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic chili and cumin.  Cover and refrigerate. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the bread. Cover 2 bread slices with turkey, then tomato, avocado and bacon. Season generously with salt and pepper. Top with lettuce and remaining bread slices. Cut diagonally and serve. Serves 2.


 1/2 cup guacamole (store bought or homemade)

 4 hoagie buns, split

 4 slices pepper jack cheese, cut in half diagonally

 16 thin slices cucumber

 8 thin red bell pepper rings

 4 slices provolone cheese, cut in half diagonally

 8 slices tomato

 ground pepper
Spread guacamole on cut-sides of buns. To assemble layer bottom half of each bun with 2 pieces of cheddar, 4 slices cucumber, 2 slices of pepper, 2 pieces of provolone and 2 slices tomato. Season with pepper. Top with remaining bun half. Secure with toothpick. Makes 4 sandwiches.

© Eileen Goltz tailgate10


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Guess Who?
    Oct 04, 2010 @ 05:44:20

    FYI, in Rhode Island they’re called grinders.


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