Sometimes I serve this with a little bowl of finely based unsalted nuts, and dip the cheesy exposed sides for extra flavor and crunch.
I was fortunate enough to have Matty participate in one of my Food Salons in New York. I was consistently impressed by the way he wove together serious topics and those that were not so serious. He talked about his family and how food was a unifying force early in his life. He talked about moving from a small town to Toronto and taking in the energy of the city. He talked about the stresses of a chef’s life. We also talked about sneakers, which we both collect, and which raise some of the same creative issues as food—how to innovate while also respecting tradition, for example. This was still in my mind when I asked him to join in on the potluck, which is why I’m sending him Run-D.M.C.’s “My Adidas,” one of the legendary songs about shoes, stress, energy, and unifying forces.
This Korean breakfast sandwich, often sold on the street in the morning around bus stations and universities, is filled with a vegetable and ham omelet and topped with ketchup and brown sugar.
Out of all my mom’s greatest breakfast hits, dahi toast is easily the most the beloved in our family. This sandwich—a loose interpretation of a recipe from one of my dad’s friends—is totally unexpected (who would ever think to put yogurt between bread?!) and impossible not to like. Imagine a tangier, spicier grilled cheese sandwich. You get that satisfying oily bread crunch, but with onions, chiles, and (my favorite part) a crispy topping of black mustard seeds and curry leaves added into the mix. The glue that holds this recipe together is the tang of the sourdough bread—it’s the perfect foil to the rich, ricotta-like filling. We are a house divided when it comes to accompaniments for dahi toast—my mom and sister like cilantro chutney, while I prefer ketchup. My dad uses both: He swirls the chutney and ketchup together to create a kinda ugly-colored but admittedly delicious super-sauce.
When we were shooting the photos for my last book, Dorie’s Cookies, lunch was a highlight of the day, as each of us took turns cooking. One morning, Claudia Ficca, the food stylist, announced that she’d bought some salmon and had an idea for lunch: salmon burgers. Like everything Claudia does, these are special. They get a supersized helping of zip from lemons, capers, two kinds of mustard, scallions, lots of dill and Greek yogurt, which adds tang and, most important, moisture.
If you like falafel (fried chickpea patties usually sandwiched in a pita pocket), you’ll love this healthier baked twist on that theme. The flavor profile of the fish cakes, like falafel, comes from a tasty puree of chickpeas, lemon, and spices. Adding mackerel gives a healthy seaside twist to this fusion sandwich.
Often, I have a bit of chicken left over from dinner that I use up the next day for lunch. Here is a really delicious summer version, using fresh-cooked chicken breasts; obviously, you can swap in leftover roast chicken.
These Italian roast pork sandwiches boast tender, slightly spicy broccoli rabe and sharp, melty provolone cheese.
This vegetarian play on tuna salad relies on white beans as the base. The beans become so creamy when smashed that only a touch of mayonnaise is needed to bring it together, and celery seed and tangy lemon juice intensify the flavor. It’s ultra versatile: slather it on thick bread slices as a sandwich, mound it on top of salad greens, or spread it on a croissant for an impressive brunch. In the summer, we add chopped basil, chives, or tarragon for an herby kick. It’s unassumingly tasty, and we make it for quick lunches or dinner in a pinch.
Roasting mushrooms gives them a great, meaty texture that is perfect for this grilled cheese sandwich. This takes more time, but – trust us – the flavor is far more intense.