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Better-than-Subway Meatball Subs

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Who says campout lunches should consist of the same boring cold cut or PBJ sandwiches that every other new scout patrol in the nation serves?  Wouldn't a really TASTY hot sandwich be so much more appetizing?  Sure it would!

Here's a few tips to help you have a BETTER sandwich for lunch...

  • BREAD.  Find a really good sub roll. If you can get small French bread loaves, like the ones that Vietnamese restaurants use for their Banh Mi sandwiches, you're in luck!  A Mexican panaderia near my neighborhood sells fresh-made bolillos that are perfect!  Another good choice is a sourdough sub roll...
  • SAUCE:  Canned marinara (spaghetti sauce) is really the way to go, simply for reasons of practicality. That doesn't mean you can't spice it up though.  I always add an Italian seasoning mix, or I make my own using oregano, basil, rosemary and marjoram.  Sometimes, I like adding minced garlic to my marinara. I often add pepper.
  • CHEESE:  A good meatball sub has good cheese. Pick a cheese that you like and that is sufficiently flavorful. I like a cheese that melts when the hot marinara and meatballs are spooned on top of it. Mozzarella is a time-honored classic for meatball subs. Provolone is popular too. I like the slightly acidic edge of a good Manchego cheese. 
  • MEATBALLS.  The easy way to do this for scouts is to use frozen meatballs. Those work fine, but if you want to up your game, try making your own meatballs from scratch. My mother used to blend in ground veal with the beef. Today's health conscious eaters might try ground turkey or vegan meat substitutes (though I personally find those to be unappetizing and to have an unacceptably pasty texture).  

Brown meatballs in a small amount of olive oil. Add marinara sauce and simmer.  Slice sub rolls lengthwise (if not pre-sliced). Put a layer of cheese in the rolls. Spoon hot meatballs in sauce on top of cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired. 

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