Hellmann’s Deli Club Contest
When Hellman’s Deli Club announced their current contest, Update a Vintage Recipe, I knew immediately what I was going to make: my Mom’s Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Sandwich Loaf.
The humble name might fool you, but anyone that was anyone at the Women’s Auxiliary Luncheons was standing in line for a slice of mom’s layered sandwich loaf.
Layered sandwich loaves have a long history of being served at church functions, funerals, weddings and ladies luncheons. The sandwiches are always decorated beautifully with edible flowers or vegetables. Each is made with cream cheese and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, then filled with an assortment of creamy salads, making them decadent and rich with flavor.
Not Much to Update
It’s difficult to update an heirloom recipe that’s already so delicious and beautiful. Using ingredients I already had in my kitchen, I filled my sandwich loaf with layers of tuna and caper salad, pimento cheese and curried egg salad; all of which are made with Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise. My mom always served her sandwich loaf with a layer of ham or deviled salad with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and sweet pickles. I really missed the sweet-saltiness of the ham salad, so I plan on incorporating it the next time I make the recipe.
This is an incredibly easy and fun recipe to create with so many options for fillings and decoration.
The Household Searchlight Recipe Book
One of my favorite antique cookbooks is The Household Searchlight Recipe Book. I found the cookbook at a resale bookstore in Denver, Colorado almost 13 years ago. I love the hard cover and the lovingly worn tabs that display it’s years of use.
The inscription warms my heart, as I imagine Faye a newly wed, receiving the cookbook from her mom or a lovely gift from her mother-in-law. I’m sure it was used well and cherished for many years.
You’ll find a simple recipe for Sandwich Loaves on page 253 in the 1941 edition, published in Topeka, Kansas. If you look closely you’ll see the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise; which shows that Hellmann’s Mayonnaise is a long lived tradition in American kitchens. As my family calls it, Hellmann’s is edible liquid gold!
The Magnificent Slice
There’s nothing better than seeing the first slice cut from the loaf, as it reminds me of the times I spent watching the ladies faces brighten with admiration towards my mother’s expert construction of the sandwich.
Savor the Flavors
Your first bite will be tastier than the next as the sandwich changes flavor with ever layer. My favorite is the pimento cheese layer but tuna and capers salad take a close second.
A Few Pointers
- Always cut the crust from the bread, keeping the bread as square as possible. If you have an H.E.B. grocer near you, try using their BARE Bread (photo below) it’s delicious and comes un-crusted
- Chunky filling is not a good thing. Salad fillings need to be very creamy to create the perfect slice. I add 1 tablespoon cream cheese to all my fillings to help the consistency
- If the sandwich starts to lean: refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before adding more layers.
- Once the sandwich loaf is done and has been refrigerated for an hour or more, it can be transferred to another plate using an offset spatula, but it’s best to decorate the loaf on the plate you want to serve it on.
- The loaf can be made a day ahead, and holds up very well for several days in the refrigerator
I hope you try your hand at making this heirloom recipe. It’s by all means a crowd-pleaser, and is sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
Women's Auxiliary Luncheon Sandwich Loaf
Ingredients: Curry Egg Salad
3 hard boiled eggs
1 tablespoon Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
½ cup whipped cream cheese
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
Chop eggs very small. Mix with remaining ingredients until smooth
Ingredients: Tuna Salad with Capers
1 6 oz. can albacore white tuna in water
2 tablespoon fine chopped capers
1 tablespoon Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cream cheese
Drain tuna and capers. Chop capers very fine. In a medium bowl, mix ingredients together until smooth
Ingredients: Pimento Cheese
1/4-pound block yellow cheese such as sharp cheddar, Colby jack or your favorite variety
2 heaping tablespoons cream cheese
1/2-3/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Shred cheese and chop the red peppers
Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor, pulse until well combined, open processor several time scraping down sides
Add peppers and pulse until mixture is creamy
Test consistency, additional mayonnaise may be added to make mixture creamier
Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients: Sandwich Loaf
1 loaf white bread
1 cup mixed edible flowers
1 small bunch fresh chives for garnish
1 bunch dill
Ingredients: Cream Cheese Frosting
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature, divided
1 tablespoon fine chopped chives
2 tablespoons Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, divided
Remove crusts from bread. Place in a plastic bag until ready to build the sandwich
Chop chives finely. Place 1 8 oz block of cream cheese in a medium bowl with chopped chives and 1 tablespoon Hellmann’s mayonnaise.
Using an electric mixer, mix until cream cheese is very smooth. Keep at room temperature
In another medium bowl, combine 1 8 oz block of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes until fluffy and smooth. Keep at room temperature
To Build the Loaf:
Lay a piece of bread on a large serving plate. Start with one of your three fillings, spreading about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture evenly over the bread. Add another slice of bread and add the next flavor of salad filling, continue adding bread then filling, alternating flavors. If the loaf becomes wobbly, refrigerate for 5-10 minutes before continuing.
Once the loaf is filled use an offset frosting spatula to spread a thin “crumb” layer of the chive and cream cheese mixture over all the sides of the loaf like you are frosting a cake.
Lay the loaf on its side by placing the flat edge of the offset spatula on one side of the loaf. Gently push the loaf over with a butter knife or your finger and guide the loaf onto the plate. Pull the knife out and refrigerate the loaf for 15 minutes.
Frost the loaf with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
Garnish the top and sides of the loaf with edible flowers, chives etc.
Refrigerate the loaf for 1 hour before slicing. The loaf can be made up to 24 hours before serving.