The grand Marshall Fields department store on State Street in Chicago was bought out by Macy's in 2005 and re-named to Macy's in 2006. But, for my mom, "Fields," as they called it, lives on in the form of the "Marshall Fields Sandwich."
She and my dad have one at least a couple times a week. So, in honor of Mother's Day, I bring you The Marshall Fields Sandwich. (From lakemagazine.com)
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MARSHALL FIELD'S SPECIAL SANDWICH
Source: Deborah Loeser Small, Lake Magazine
The Walnut Room. Marshall Field's Special Sandwich. Some things cannot be improved upon. In the 1970s I learned to make "Field's Specials" at a part-time job in the kitchen of Field's Old Orchard store, Skokie, Ill. These "sandwiches" are in fact mountainous, delightful salads. Two or three outside corporate owners later, the Special doesn't appear on any Field's menu (although the Walnut Room will make them on request)--but here is the step-by-step way to make it at home. I've also included my personal recipe for Thousand Island dressing. FYI: This is fantastic use of after-Thanksgiving turkey.
One fresh, crispy head iceberg lettuce
Three to five thin slices of freshly roasted turkey breast (white meat only), room temperature
Three-fourths cup thousand island dressing (recipe to follow)
One thin slice of aged Swiss cheese
One fresh slice of Jewish or other mild (but flavorful) rye bread
One to two teaspoons butter, softened
Two slices of your favorite bacon
Slice of hard-boiled egg
Slice of tomato
Olive and parsley garnish
Butter rye bread and place on a large cold serving plate. Cover bread with Swiss cheese slice, followed by one or two slices of turkey. Take a nice large outer lettuce leaf from the head of iceberg and set aside. Slice the iceberg lettuce in a few large sections and arrange a section on top of the turkey and Swiss cheese.
Cover the open-face "sandwich" with big lettuce leaf. Top with several slices of turkey. Pour a very ample amount of dressing over the lettuce, allowing it to puddle slightly all around the plate. Place a slice of bacon and an olive on either side of sandwich mound. Place tomato slice and egg slice atop mound with parsley sprig. Serve immediately.
Yield: one Special Sandwich
Yield: One entree-size serving
Thousand Island Dressing
One cup real mayonnaise
One-half cup Heinz chili sauce
Two tablespoons sweet pickle relish
Two large green olives, pitted and finely chopped
One-half teaspoon dried tarragon
Dash Worcestershire sauce
One hard-boiled egg, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Serve.
Yield: One and three-fourths cups dressing
Did you gape when you saw that you put 3/4 cup of Thousand Island on each sandwich?!? We don't use that much. After all, my parents are still ALIVE and they are in their seventies!
Here is what it looks like after the butter, cheese and first turkey layer have been added.
Now we have added the multiple lettuce and turkey layers.
While searching for this recipe, I found out that Fields also had a famous chicken salad recipe, a famous meatloaf with red pepper sauce recipe, and several other specialties. Apparently, there is even a Marshall Fields cookbook!
I also found famous recipes from other department stores - many now defunct - from across the nation. This is what the 'ladies who lunch' ate while shopping. This is what the Mad Men's wives had for lunch!
So, Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there and to all you sons and daughters of mothers too!