Just like Joey Tribbiani, I love sandwiches. Club, open-faced, grilled cheese, and BLTs. I love them all. As a tribute to my love
of sandwiches, I’ve decided to provide you all with a guide for making sandwiches breakfast, noon, and night.
Sandwiches in the AM
A good breakfast sandwich is my favorite thing to eat in the morning. Here are the components necessary to a good breakfast sandwich:
- Eggs ( I generally make one poached egg per sammie)
- Toasted bread- a bagel, sliced whole wheat, baguette, sourdough, English muffin…. I generally make my AM sandos open-faced.
- Pig- bacon, spam slices, or prosciutto. TIP: Crisp up prosciutto in a dry (no-oil) fry pan to give your sandwich some crunch.
- Cheese (optional, if you include pig but sometimes you need to gild the lily)- I’m partial to sliced provolone
- Something green – I love arugula, but you can use spinach or even romaine in a pinch. Adding some green to your breakfast sandwich adds a fresh dimension to what could be a very heavy start to your day. Try it, you’ll like it.
- A little bit of spice- I always top my breakfast sandwiches with fresh salsa, pico de gallo, or hot sauce. Just like the greens, the salsa is a counterpoint to the richness of the egg, pig and cheese. HINT: Take a sip of coffee after taking a bite of the sandwich with the salsa. There is something truly amazing about the combo. Hot coffee enhances the good burn of salsa and hot sauce.
A Sandwich to Share in the Afternoon
In December, I posted my recipe for tapenade and a “muffaleta” sandwich I make for parties and picnics. If you like spicy, salty, meaty, bready things you will LOVE this sandwich. If you are more of a cucumber/hummus/tomato sandwich type of person this probably isn’t the sando for you.
Nighttime is the Right Time for Sandwiches
This is another sandwich to share. I make it when I have someone over for dinner. It’s a bit more involved but worth the effort.
Burger with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions
1 lb of ground beef (I like 15% percent fat)
Focaccia or rosemary Italian slab bread cut into a 9-inch square ALTERNATIVE: Baguette sliced into 6 inch “rolls” or slider rolls (Trader Joe’s now makes slider rolls)
1 large yellow onion sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
2 pats of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Creamy blue cheese (I hate those crumbles that come in the plastic container as they are generally pretty dry but if it’s all you have use them)
Arugula, Spinach, or Romaine
Salt and Pepper
For caramelized onions: place butter and oil in a medium to large-sized sauté pan set to medium. Dump in the sliced onions once the butter has melted. Leave them alone for five minutes or so. Once the onion pile has reduced a bit, turn down the heat to medium-low. You may now salt the onions. Stir infrequently (I mean it, don’t stir them very often as the onions won’t caramelize). It may take up to 30 minutes for your onions to get soft, melty, and translucent. Turn down to the lowest heat setting once the onions have become translucent. Continue to stir occasionally.
For burgers: Heat a large cast iron pan lightly coated with canola oil. Get the pan VERY hot (my smoke alarm goes off every time I make burgers in doors) While the pan is heating, form two 7-inch rectangles with the ground beef. Salt and pepper both sides generously. Once pan is smoking hot (I’m serious it should be almost smoking before you put the beef in) place both burgers in the pan. Leave them alone for 5 to 7 minutes and then lift one up and see if a nice dark crust has formed. Once the burger has a nice crust and the burger has been cooked halfway through carefully flip the burgers over. Let them cook for another 7 to 15 minutes depending on your desired doneness. It’s ok to turn down the heat a bit if your pan starts to smoke a lot (you’ll probably want to open a window too J). I actually like my burgers (unlike my steak) cooked through so I probably let burgers sit for at least another 10 minutes before I pull it out of the pan. Place the hot burgers on a large piece of foil. Top with the blue cheese and cover loosely with the other half of the foil. Let them sit for 5 minutes.
To assemble the burgers: cut the 9 inch square slab of bread horizontally. Put some of the arugula on the bottom half. Top with the two burgers (you should have a 1-inch well between the two burgers). Spoon the caramelized onions on top of the burgers. Top with the other bread square. Slice the square into 2 rectangles (use the 1-inch well between the two burgers as a guide). Then cut each rectangle into 2 squares. Serve two burger squares per person.
Alternative: Obviously, if you are going to use the baguette or slider rolls you’ll need to shape and size your burgers to fit. Keep in mind, cooking time will shorten because the burgers are smaller.
In my last blog post, I promised a popper update from Super Bowl Sunday. The baked jalepeno poppers wrapped in bacon were a hit. And, they were fairly easy to make. If you are going to make them, keep in mind you need to keep the top of the jalapeño on when you slice horizontally. I tried both ways (chopping off the top before slicing and keeping it on). The cheese stayed in mucho mejor when I kept the tops on but it did slow down the popper making process quite a bit. I was in a rush that day and looking to find a faster alternative. Sometimes, slow and steady wins out.
I’m waiting on some pics from a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago but if all goes well I’m going to do a knife skills post next week.
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