review

A SUPER UPSETTING COOKBOOK ABOUT SANDWICHES – TYLER KORD

A Super Upsetting Cookbook About SandwichesA Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches by Tyler Kord

i took june off from monthly book-projects because i thought my time was better served being a goddamn crybaby. guess what? it wasn’t. so here i am, ready to get back to being a karen i can respect and face in the mirror every day. and it all starts with sandwiches. tomorrow. today’s excessive heat warning = i’m not cooking anything.

THE SHADIEST ONE
cheddar, avocado ricotta, cucumber muchim, fried shallots

this is one of those cookbooks that requires you to go to several different pages in order to get to the recipes for the various components that make up the desired recipe. that would ordinarily annoy me, but since this is also one of those cookbooks that is funny and uses lots of naughty words, i will overlook it.

this is the mise for basic muchim brine.

i am going to be making a lot of different muchims for this project, but since i always run out of room on these things, i need to streamline my picture-posting, so just always imagine the above picture with the main ingredient added. in this case, cucumber:

mise for fried shallots:

i think these could have been fried only once – the second pass through the oil made them a little darker than i like. i will know better next time.

mise for the rest of it:

aaaand – finished open-faced sandwich

i approve! the avocado ricotta was a little bit too salty, but otherwise, i loved it and the cucmber muchim is so delicious i am excited to make it again and make all of the other muchims in here all the time.

BROCCOLI, EGG & CHEESE

this is an egg sandwich that required three recipes to pull off, involved deep-frying in the stupidest heat wave of all time (although that may not be the book’s fault), and filled the sink with dishes after i’d just done the ones from yesterday’s sandwich. this project may be more trouble than it’s worth.

mise for “perfect scrambled eggs”

i forgot to take a picture of the scrambled eggs on their own, but they were pretty tasty. “perfect” is maybe overstating it, but considering there was no milk or anything, they were surprisingly good. you be your own judge to determine if it’s worth it to dirty a blender to make something as simple as eggs. if you have an immersion blender, that’s a different matter. if you know where mine went, please tell me.

mise for the fried broccoli

fried broccoli

either my candy thermometer is broken, i am impatient, or oil just doesn’t heat beyond 250 but it was too hot to wait any longer. because of the particular layout of my apartment and the shape of my plugs, it is not possible to have AC and a stove running at the same time. choices were made.

sandwiches:

the recipe called for smoked gouda, but i don’t love smoked cheeses, i had swiss in the house already, and i’m too poor to buy food i don’t love just to be an obedient little doggie. also, i did not put ketchup on it because ketchup on eggs makes me barf. sean of the house put sriracha on his, and i used some of the leftover avocado ricotta, and both were tasty, but at the end of the day – it’s an egg sandwich.it shouldn’t have to take that long or make that much mess.

BACON VON BRAUNHUT

mise:

that stuff in the bowl is shrimp muchim

so glossy!

so, if every sandwich i make outta this book from this point on is disgusting and gives me the kind of food poisoning wherein you essplode from every pore and nook and cranny, it will be worth it to have discovered this one. because of the layers of goodness, we’re gonna take it slow

step 1 – just the muchim (and [store-bought] mayo:

those buns were dragged through bacon grease and fried up. oh, did i say ‘bacon?’

yeah. bacon. and what could complete this spicy, salty treat? a little sweet-tart pop?

this is one of the best sandwiches i have ever eaten. or at least one of the best i have made with my own hands. as you can see, i live my life without a japanese mandoline, so my apples are…emphatic, but i gobbled them up so quickly i didn’t have time to feel ashamed for their lack of uniformity or elegance. i myself lack elegance, with mayo smeared all over my face and bacon-greasy fingers. and that’s how i celebrated the 4th of july, like a goddamned american.

THE SUZANNE SUGARBAKER

this sandwich involves peach muchim

and fried mushrooms. here is the mise for the fried mushrooms

and here are the mushrooms, fried

and here are the sandwiches, open-faced, after an application of mayo to the bread

and here they are using that artful propping all the best food photographers have mastered

my propping needs some work. however, my making of this sandwich was ON POINT. this thing was delicious – the spicy sweet fruitiness of the muchim and the salty salt earthiness of the mushrooms (which used OTHER MUSHROOMS in its coating and YOUR MIND IS BLOWN) was sublime. i wasn’t even hungry last night and i ate two of these. unreal, man. a new favorite sammich.

THE TIME CHRIS PARNELL PLAYED BENEDICT ARNOLD ON DRUNK HISTORY, THE SANDWICH

mise:

the stuff in the tupperware is muchim brine, which is used in lieu of boring old water to poach the eggs. like so:

i may not have used “4 perfect, thin slices of a red onion,” opting instead for “giant lazy chunks” because yesterday was a very long day, but do not bodyshame my onions! not the most exciting of sandwiches, but i wanted to use the extra brine and the ripe avocado because waste = bad. also, i love popping poached eggs. POP!

TEXAS-WISCONSIN BORDER

this recipe required three recipes:

mise for pork & shrimp sausage:

mise for michelada mayo:

mise for roasted onions:

mise for the rest:

and here are the sandwiches in various stages of dress:

i would tell you more about this sandwich, but my back is killing me and i need to not be sitting. in brief: it was tasty, i enjoy cilantro on a sandwich and i would make the sausages again but probably just eat them on their own. okay owwwwwww off i go.

ALF

a sandwich with three recipes sandwiched inside of it (4 if you count the recipe for “mayo” nested into the recipe for “roasted tomato mayo.” i just bought my mayo because i’m just one man, after all)

mise for roasted asparagus:

mise for roasted tomato mayo

i included a picture of the roasted vegetables because the mayo itself isn’t super-photogenic. incidentally. one of the steps in the recipe for this mayo is “Heat the oven as hot as it will go. While it is heating, put a large, rimmed roasting pan into the oven to get as hot as it can possibly get.” i picked the wrong time of year to do this project for sure.

mise for fried garlic

mise for the rest of it

sammiches:

before the glop:

post glop:

i thought these were going to be in my top-tier, but while they were tasty, they were definitely more effort expended than pleasure experienced. i MIGHT take a night off from project just to run through all the leftover odds n’ ends sammich makings crowding up my fridge, but i promise i will return – there are a LOT more in here i need to try.

in case you were wondering, i ended up making a cold pasta salad with the roasted tomato mayonnaise, the cucumber muchim, the leftover green apple, red onion, cilantro and some other assorted vegetables i had lingering in my fridge. and it was delicious. #nowasteonmywatch

POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE

mise for yellow squash puree

mise for pickled mushrooms

mise for the rest of it

this one deserves a few close-ups

this is a lovely mess of flavors sweet and salty and briny and textures mooshy and crisp and most importantly – fried freaking pepperoni. who knew that was a thing? i will 100% make the squash puree again. a good sandwich, but not top tier.

JCVD

mise for old bay curry sauce

mise for the rest of it

sammies

these are very lovely and messy beasts. the recipe warned that there would be way more sauce than a home cook would ever need, and it is true, but i glopped on a ton of it, which made the english muffins very soggy and unpleasant. oops. but the combination of mussels & brussels was surprisingly nummy. turns out i’m not wild about old bay as a seasoning. lesson learned.

SANDWICHES FALL APART

mise for boneless, skinless chicken breasts

mise for fried squid

mise for the rest of it

i am running out of review space, so i’ll need to continue somewhere else (and i won’t be able to post pictures of the squid puppet show, the grossest idea i ever had), but while i have the room, i will say this was a mostly-successful sandwich. i think for my tastes, next time i wouldn’t bother with the raisins or the curry powder or onions etc and just use the chicken, squid, avocado, and maybe the lettuce and lime segments. i’m simple. also, that was my first time making squid. thank god for internet or i would heave eaten a lot more of that creature than is probably edible. they are gross, whether or not they are being used as puppets. but they tasted damn good.

now that this is on my blog, where there is UNLIMITED SPACE, i will post pictures of the squid puppet show.

THE FRITO KID

mise for black bean hummus

mise for the rest of it

this is the chicken i didn’t use for “sandwiches fall apart,” soaking in all new flavors

sammiches:

i was not crazy about this one. i would tell you why but i am out of room here! again, with unlimited space i can be unlimited: the hummus was good, the chicken was unusual but also mostly good, but the two together were just too many conflicting flavors. and then my fritos got soggy, which ruins everything.

THE #2 BEST NEW SANDWICH IN AMERICA IN 2012 ACCORDING TO THE HUFFINGTON POST

mise for roasted cauliflower

mise for raisin & scallion relish

mise for smoked french dressing

mise for the rest.

i took liberties. i opted not to make my own potato chips, because it was already way too involved for a monday night sandwich. i will make my own potato chips when it isn’t 95 degrees and i’m not already dirtying a million dishes and heating up the apartment by roasting vegetables. and when commercially-made potato chips are outlawed. also, although the book gave me THREE different options for putting the “smoked” in the smoked french dressing, i ignored all three. i don’t love the flavor of smoke, and i’m poorer than usual so if i can save money, i’m gonna save money by not buying ingredients i’m not going to use in any near-future scenario.

i deem these “okay.” i assume that when they are made by a pro (and with homemade potato chips and smoke), they blow people away (LGM). i will say it is the best sandwich i have ever had with raisins and cauliflower on it, but it is not my favorite flavor combo.

CHUTZPAH EXPRESS

mise for roast beast

i forgot to photograph some of the things. i had already made the pickled mushrooms for another sandwich, and i thought i had photographed the chinese mustard and rolls and parsley, but i guess i didn’t. moops. but here’s the sammich:

this is probably the most straightforward sammy in the book – what could be more classic than beast, mustard, greens and mushrooms? i guess pbj? but still, this made one helluva roast beast that i get to turn into another sandwich tonight (the one i have been most looking forward to since the beginning of this project) so BRACE YOURSELF!

THIS WILL BE OUR YEAR

this sandwich has FRIED CLAMS on it. fried clams (NOT clam strips, heathen) are my very favoritest food, but fried clams, although popular in new england cuisine, are not often to be found in new york city.

i have never seen a proper fried clam in new york, not even at the various boardwalks, it is always just strips, which is bullstrip. but then one time, no. 7 sub had a sandwich with fried clams on it. it wasn’t this sandwich, but it was still a revelation. this recipe is the reason i decided to choose this book for this month’s project, because i’ve never tried to make ’em myself, but my dad always bemoans the fact that he hasn’t found the perfect recipe/technique for making them at home. mine weren’t as good as the ones i get back home, but they’re a damn sight better than strips.

mise for fried clams

two dozen clams seems like more in theory. and the guy gave me a couple of extras, too…

mise for grape jelly mayo

tomato muchim (mise the same as all muchim recipes before this one – see part one)

roast beast leftover from other sandwich

sammich says AAAAHHHH

so, i didn’t make the wonderfully panfried buttery hot dog roll the recipe suggested (like the one from the bacon von braunhut), because i still had some sub rolls and i need to be flexible because poverty. next time i will do it 100% accurate because there WILL be a next time. yum. just yum.

DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA

named for the FOUR different kinds of onions invited: pickled onions, fried shallots, roasted onions, and scallions. i chose this one NOT because i wanted to keep fellow commuters at arm’s length from my morning-after onion sweat (although thank you for that bonus!), but because with the exception of the pickled onions, i already had the components on hand from the ghosts of sandwiches past as well as the ingredients to make the pickled onions. zero grocerying FTW!

mise for onions

mise, leftover style

stinky open-mouthed sandwich says “aaaahhhh”

onion overflow

this wasn’t a revelation of a sandwich: traditional ingredients, timeworn flavor profile, no curveballs, but it was tasty and filling and i have fewer leftovers than i did before i made it. a perfect thursday night fix.

GENTLE THOUGHTS

mise for roasted asparagus

mise for carrot puree

in the interval between when i took this picture and when i made these carrots, i decided to use butter instead of olive oil, because buttery carrots rule. so this picture is a LIE. also, my “puree” was mad rustic and that’s okay.

mise for shallot-ginger vinaigrette

this vinaigrette is a keeper.

mise for the rest of it

recipe calls for “cheap pumpernickel bread” but pumpernickel bread is bluck, and this bread is called butter bread. note to universe – you want my attention on anything, open with the word “butter.”

this makes a very pretty sandwich

with no manners. pppbbbbllltt

very tasty one here, even though mine wasn’t as oi punk rock as the one in the book

nor did my carrots puree as prettily. but it’s a nice sandwich to eat cold, which is what i did on this sweltering july evening. cold vegetables, bread and cheese. requiring only a few hours of prep time.

ZUCCHINI PARM

mise for onion puree

mise for fried zucchini

mise for pickled jalapeños

mise for the rest of it

a couple of cheats here. i once again decided against making my own potato chips because i’m lazy and i didn’t broil the sandwich because my broiler is haunted. but it didn’t matter because this is a delicious sandwich of deliciousness and well worth the time and effort. although it would be much less effort (for me) if no. 7 sub would just open a location here in woodside. i think that would be best for everyone.

THIS IS A CHICKEN SANDWICH

mise for fried eggplant

mise for the rest of it

okay, i cheated a lot with this one. i had the sads again and there was shark week to watch and sorrows to drown and a broken keyboard situation to remedy (AND WHAT IS SO FREAKING SPECIAL ABOUT YOU, NEW KEYBOARD, THAT YOU ARE $129?? YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A USB-HOLE!!) &etc. so i risked missing out on the promised “best sandwich you have ever had” by taking the shortcut of buying a rotisserie chicken and not making the special sauce. because seriously, my fridge is filled with the remnants of about 40 different sauces i’ve needed to make for this project and i would like to have a spare bowl or two. i used the leftover french dressing on this one and it was still delicious.

i’m taking another break tonight to catch up on leftovers because food waste is sad and i don’t need any more sad.

BROCCOLI CLASSIC

mise for roasted broccoli

lychee muchim (see mise from previous muchims, add lychees)

fried shallots (see mise from earlier attempt. this time, i knew not to dump them in such large clumps so i could better regulate their level of friedness)

light ones

dark ones

mise for the rest of it

i strayed from the recipe again – my store didn’t have ricotta salata and i already had feta at home from the other sandwich and it was the feta that ruined my keyboard and cost me 140 bucks, so 1) it deserves to get eaten and 2) i can’t afford additional fancy cheeses.

i liked the fried shallots a lot this time out. i am a fan of lightly fried, with just a touch of crunch. the lychee muchim is my least favorite so far, because the sweet/sour/spicy thing is too many tastes for my delicate palate. it was good, but not as good as the others. but i like the toasted pine nuts/broccoli/cheese combo and the lychees went really well with the sandwich as a whole. roasted broccoli is now a thing i will be putting on future sandwiches.

HOT PATOOTIE

mise for the meatloaf

mise for the bacon mayo (NOTE – ZERO BACON)

mise for the rest of it

tomato muchim

BUILD! A! SANDWICH!

i have been trying to replicate the meatloaf my mother made when i was growing up for years, with zero luck. this one, while nothing at all like the meatloaf of my youth, is so freaking good, i may abandon my nostalgic pursuit. this sandwich is a star.

IT MUST HAVE BEEN WHILE YOU WERE KISSING MEATLOAF

mise for fennel puree

mise for the rest of it

incl: shrimp muchim

fried shallots

surf & turf!

i made the fennel puree too salty, and THEN, before i realized this, fretting that i would have one more sandwich spread in a fridge already bursting with them from this project, i decided to slap ALL OF IT on the sandwich, so it was SUPERSALTY. otherwise, though – very tasty. i never would have thought that meatloaf and shrimp would be friends and yet here they are. also, i never understood seafood and cheese except in very specific instances (lobster mac and cheese, tuna melts, alfredo sauces, etc) then again, i had crab pizza on sunday and that was good, too, so maybe i just don’t know WHAT i want.

HOW SOON IS NOW

mise for veggie burgers

mise for the rest of it

cucumber muchim (i forgot i had to make this for the sandwiches and i started too late to make sure they were good n saturated)

sammiches

these were okay. i don’t have a food processor and it’s a bitch to try to make these in a blender. but i did because i’m a trooper, and they just…fell apart. they didn’t want to be made into patties and when i tried to flip them in the pan they slithered and plopped all over and i managed to wrangle them into patties for the baking portion of the program, but even after that, held together by the glue of velveeta, they were…unsolid. they tasted fine, but man – not burgery.

and that is all for me! goodbye, july!

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