Sandwich Archive

Thursday, October 3, 2013

frico grilled cheese sandwiches

frico grilled cheese

With all due respect, I think you’ve been putting cheese on the wrong side of your grilled cheese sandwiches. Or, at the least, neglecting the better ones, the exteriors. Wait, hear me out. It’s basic food math that while cold cheese is good, warm cheese is better. But if you take that a step further — and if you’re new here, let me tell you: we will always take it a step further — you will agree that melted cheese is better than warm cheese, and the melted cheese that rolls off a piece of sandwich bread and sizzles on a skillet, browning and crisping, is the top of the cheese tower… A place I’d very much like to live. Do you think a cheese tower might exist somewhere? Might it be France? Now I’m picturing an Eiffel Tower made out of cheese and what were we talking about? Oh right: melted and browned cheese wins, really for the same reason that browned butter trumps regular butter: the fats melt away from the dairy solids and toast them until they’re caramelized and achingly delicious and you forget why you’d ever eat it any other way. Don’t fight it.

hearty wheat bread
orange cheddar, lots of it

Frico is the official name for it. It’s usually invoked in the realm of Parmesan-Reggiano, or at least in almost every restaurant since the wildly fric-wild heyday of the 80s and 90s, usually in lacy crisps that garnish soups, salads and the like to remind you that they’re fancy. They’re not actually fancy, though. They’re just a pinch of grated cheese, melted in a skillet or on a baking sheet until they bubble, crisp and can be lifted in one lacy disc with a spatula. And I see no reason they should they should be limited in flavor to Parmesan, or at least not when I’m craving grilled cheese and tomato soup, really the perfect early fall meal.

this image has been stamped on my brain

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, June 27, 2013

pickled vegetable sandwich slaw

mustard seed-pickled sandwich slaw

If you’re one of those people who saw the word “pickled” in the title and said “Ugh, no, sorry, not for me,” do know, I was the same not too long ago and encourage you to fight the good fight for as long as you can, because once your tastes cross over to the vinegar side, there’s little going back.

fact: colorful things taste better

Something of a gateway pickle, these should be eyed suspiciously as well. The thing is, one day you’re eating the foods you’ve always liked — sandwiches, salads, tacos, cheese — and you wouldn’t change a single thing. And then, once day, the quadruple-threat crunch/sweet/salty/punch of a pickle gets under your skin and suddenly, the food landscape is a bleak, depressing place without them. You need pickled red onions on your tacos, pickled celery in your tuna and egg salads, cucumber slices in your potato salads, grapes with your sharp cheeses and pickled carrot sticks in the fridge whenever the mood strikes, and nothing’s ever quite right without them again. I can find a clear demarcation in my pre- and post-pickle junkie days (it’s just about 10 (!) years ago, when I took up with this Russian I married) and think there’s still hope for you. Here, how about some granita instead?

julienned radishes, maybe not recommended

Continued after the jump »

Monday, February 27, 2012

fried egg sandwich with bacon and blue cheese

fried egg sandwich lyonnaise

Due to a delightful clerical error (a scheduled babysitter when we forgot Alex would be home from work), I got to have a weekday lunch with my husband on President’s Day. In a restaurant. With linens on the table and no sippy cups in a two-table radius! Oh, and maybe something petite, bubbly and pink in a glass. I admit nothing. But man, sometimes I think everyone should have kids just so they can get 80 times the joy out of excursions that would have been ordinary in another era. I am joking, of course. You should have kids because you detest sleeping past 6 a.m. Whoops, there I go again. It must be the pink bubbly.

what you'll need, besides hunger
frying thick-cut bacon lardons

It’s hardly a revolutionary concept, but like most parents, when away from a toddler’s totally respectably developed (his enthusiasm for both millet and cod, for goodness sake, far outweigh mine) but still quintessentially two year-old (“Mommy clean this” he said yesterday about a fleck of parsley on his carrot, while his father nearly fell off his chair laughing) palate, I go immediately for things he won’t go near, because, it’s cool, we can wait until your third birthday to introduce you do the joys of Sriracha. That day, it was a uber-bitter radicchio salad but quite often, it’s even simpler stuff — runny eggs, blue cheese, scratchy lettuces, sigh.

bacon vinaigrette so good you'll hate me

Continued after the jump »

Friday, February 4, 2011

meatball subs with caramelized onions

meatball sub, all melted up

Last September, surprising nobody more than my husband, decided I’d be a Good Football Wife this year and start using Sunday afternoons to make a hearty meal, one that stuck to our ribs and balanced out all those salads we enforce on ourselves during the week. I made beef chili with sour cream and cheddar biscuits and then I made… Right. It about stopped there. In my defense, my husband’s team of choice, The Giants, were hardly Good Football Material this year, so perhaps both of our enthusiasms waned simultaneously. Also, the baby decided he had to start running around dismantling the apartment most weekends, so somebody had to, you know, make sure he didn’t injure himself and blame us. Toddlers, man.

yeah, these are raw
browning them, trying to dodge splatters

And so I’m going to make up for four lost months in one recipe today. I hardly know where the itch for a meatball sub came from; I can’t say I’ve ever ordered one from a sandwich shop (where you’d find them where I grew up in New Jersey, at least) or have any great nostalgia for a specific one, but I always had a hunch that if I made them my way, I’d make a convert out of me and a happy guest of anyone who stopped by to watch a game who was into that whole meat/sandwich/melting cheese thing. You know, people with pulses.

cooking the onions

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, February 28, 2009

steak sandwiches

steak sandwich

Sometimes, I don’t know me at all.

You see, one of the less-discussed factors in my cooking life on this site is the one I most like to keep a secret: I am incredibly picky. The list of foods I don’t want to eat is miles long. People like me have to learn to cook, it’s the only thing saving us from a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And well, barely that recently, while we’re being honest and stuff.

seasoning the slab o'meat
steak!

Among the items on the ridiculously long list of things I have no desire to eat is steak. You see what I mean? I can see your face. You’re outraged. You’re going to fill my comment section with recipes and links to steakhouses and swear that if I’d only eaten steak there, I would see the greatness that is steak. But people, I want to tell you something: I’ve been to just about every good steakhouse in New York City (don’t laugh — I like the sides, and the company of red meat-eaters) and none of them has turned my disinterest in broiled slabs of beef on its head.

onions
caramelized onions

Continued after the jump »


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