We're living in a golden age of food media. Between exceptional print magazines like the gone-too-soon Lucky Peach and Bon Appetite, to Netflix shows like Chef's Table and PBS's Mind of a Chef, to David Chang's recent discussion of a developing food media empire, there is just so much professional-level food edu-tainment that an interested viewer need never go hungry.
And yet, even though the space is saturated with quality content, amateur programs are still finding their niche in online forums.
You've heard the worn-out phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread." But, really, this overused comment only highlights a deeper observation: why sliced bread is such a great invention in the first place.
It is, of course, because sliced bread leads to sandwiches. They are, perhaps, Western culture's greatest culinary achievement, named after an aristocratic gambler, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who requested that his valet bring him his meat tucked between two slices of bread so that he could continue to eat while playing cards, without getting his cards greasy or put them down to dine.
Whether that story is true or not, no one can deny the magic of combining baked grains with other food stuffs to create a portable, all-in-one-bite package. Nearly every Western culture has its variation: the pizza, the taco, the flatbread wrap, so one thing's for sure: the combo of a grain-based dough, some meat and veggies, a little sauce, maybe a bit of cheese, is better than simply sliced bread. It's the greatest thing in the world.
I'll admit it. I'm a total sucker for these "make a classic fast food staple at home" techniques. Especially when it's the Egg McMuffin, whose egg, American cheese, Canadian bacon and English Muffin combo sounds great in theory (and a bit like a joke that takes place at UN summit), but never quite comes together on those early road trip mornings when we all inevitably stop because its the only place at the exit.
Sure, you could go for burgers and dogs this holiday weekend, grilling to order like many a man on Memorial Day before you.
Or you could eat one of these.
Prepare yourself for this exhaustive exploration of the breath of diversity in the American sandwich market. The guide begins defining the parameters of the sandwich according to the United States Department of Agriculture and the famous 2006 court case, Panera v. Qdoba. In other words, the "product must contain at least 35% cooked meat and no more than 50% bread" and cannot be open-faced. Also excluded from this complete list are hamburgers, hot dogs, gyros, shawarmas, tacos, and burritos.
It seems like heresy, especially in the height of grilling season and particularly the day after Independence Day weekend, but if you want to make truly amazing burgers at home, don't ever let them touch the grill.
This recipe to make a gooey, crunchy, grilled cheese sandwich is the exactly the kinda thing we want to eat on an early spring Saturday. Or, um, any day.
When you think about it, a great bahn mi sandwich and a perfect taco are pretty similar: a small amount of super flavorful meat topped with crunchy veg, something spicy, and plenty of aromatic cilantro and lime, all wrapped up in a tender, toothsome baked starch thing that brings it all together.
As a kid, nothing felt more like a fall weekend than a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. The combo of having just come in from outside with a cold, sniffly nose and the crispy/gooey/chewy sandwich with requisite tomato soup
Were there ever a contest for greatest sandwich of all time, this guy would have to be a contender. The recipe comes from chef/owners of the LA restaurant Son of a Gun, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, who also run the award-winning Animal.
The awesomeness of the grilled cheese sandwich is not only confirmed internationally, as nearly every culture that eats bread and cheese has a version in their tradition, but also scientifically. University of Wisconsin food science professor Scott Rankin says,
It's hard to go wrong with a sandwich. Quality ingredients stacked up properly and mixed with other good stuff can lead to something greater than the sum of its parts.
"For something that has almost unlimited potential," argues "The Minimalist" Mark Bittman, "the sandwich has become staid and unimaginative...mostly because we’ve allowed sandwich-making to become something that is either done by someone else or a task to be squeezed in between breakfast and taking the kids to the bus."
Jackie, you and I are on the same page. That page being: some things are way more than just the sum of their parts. And in this case, those parts are two of our very favorites: type and sandwiches.
Typewiches is a new project by Jackie Ngo, a "hungry lady, who loves Sandwiches,
Recently, chefs all over the United States have been turning back to the classics and dressing up comfort foods - duck confit macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits with circulator-poached eggs and radish kimchi, braised short ribs on everything.
And now, chefs take on the ultimate home cooked comfort food classic:
McSweeney's contributor John Peck imagines over seventy new sandiwches designed after famous musicians, their backgrounds, and lifestyles.
Like every informed person, Kelly understands that making a good sandwich is an art form. An adventure, even. So, she's set out to create a sandwich recipe to best represent each state in the U.S.A., using signature ingredients from each state, playing with regional flavors, and honoring the food traditionals that make residents proud.