A carefully made grilled cheese sandwich is a gustatory wonder. Its key ingredients are bread that’s firm enough to hold its own against heat and pressure but soft enough to produce a tender sandwich; full- flavored, high-quality cheese (my preference is Comté or an aged cheddar), cut about 1/8 inch thick; and clarified butter. The butter flavors the bread and allows it to color deeply without becoming too dark or, worse, burnt. Make the sandwich on a griddle or in a heavy skillet and use another heavy skillet to press it down. The greater the pressure, the more the ingredients will blend and the better your sandwich will be.
The perfect fried egg sandwich means different things to different people. Find just the right one and you are guaranteed bliss for many mornings (or late nights!) to come. For me, a lot has to do with the layering strategy (a well-thought-out stack can help keep layers from sliding out the side of the sandwich!), as well as how the eggs are cooked (I like mine fried with edges slightly crispy, and yolk just runny enough to coat everything when you take a bite, without getting lost to the plate). Another equally important factor is the inclusion of a little acidic tang to play off the fat of the egg yolk and cheese. My answer to this is mustard and pickles. I discovered these unconventional additions when I was in college in Montreal, and often frequented a burger joint called La Paryse. My favorite dish on the menu was the egg sandwich with pickles. Now, when I wake up a little rough around the edges and need a substantial meal to start the day, this is it.
Years ago, my friends and I visited a regional business called Let’s Dish, where we would pay to prepare individually portioned freezer meals. They would set out recipes and raw ingredients, and we’d prep and label enough meals to last for weeks. It was a great concept, and it opened my eyes to how easy it was to cook meals from scratch. After we paid for the service a few times, I began to do the same in my home. Storing individual portions of uncooked mushrooms and buttery rolls in the freezer makes for a delicious, time-saving meal later. The mushrooms can be marinated up to 48 hours in advance.
I have been making broccoli sandwiches for myself since I was a kid. In high school, I would sauté broccoli and put it on top of mashed potatoes between two slices of bread. In my early twenties I got hooked on steamed broccoli with ham and cheese on a sesame seed hamburger bun. Now I roast it and top it with mayo, pickled lychees, pine nuts, and a salty, crumbly cheese.
If I ever open a restaurant, this will be one of the top items on my menu.
This is a gooey, cheesy sandwich, a marriage of garlic-spiked chickpeas and already braised greens—and with a little punch of something extra.
Don’t tell me you’ve never had a salad sandwich!
The French figured out a long time ago that the best way to cut the heat of a raw radish is to dip it into softened butter and sprinkle it with salt. They also take it one step further and put it on a baguette, turning it into a light lunch or a snack with wine.
Viet cooks love to grill thinly sliced pork; it's no wonder banh mi thit nuong is one of the ubiquitous options at Viet delis.
Shrimp cooked in caramel sauce (tom kho) is among my favorite Viet comfort foods.