Just a brief update, to prove that I’m not dead or missing.
I’ve been trying to stay busy lately. I recently left my job at SoHo House, under good terms, to go to Culinary School. This time off has been good for me, but I needed to work somewhere again, so I went back to bartending. I now work at The Meatball Shop, as one of the bartenders.
The thing I love about the place, aside from the people, ambiance and food, is that they’re so willing to take any creative ideas to the table, and run with them. I spoke to the Chef and asked her if I could make a meatball of my own, bring it in and get it on the menu, if it was up to snuff. So, last night, after buying my own grinder and all, I made my first attempt at my Banh Meatball! Seemed like a fun idea. I was leaving work the other day, stopped off at this great Banh Mi restaurant next door and thought, “Duh, that would be an awesome meatball!” So far, I’ve had some positive responses to it. Great heat, good flavor, fun idea and easy to make - who wouldn’t love this thing, if you ate meat? But a ball on its own isn’t enough, so I made a cilantro-ssiracha aioli with bread-and-butter pickled carrots. Now it’s ready. One bite with all the fixin’s and it leaves the body wondering where the rest went.
I also wanted to share a couple pictures of a sandwich that I make nearly every single day for me and Keiko. It’s usually the first thing we eat, when we wake up. Simple to fix and fun to make, and it’s just freaking delicious, too. It’s quite simply “The Greatest Sandwich Ever,” adapted from Thomas Keller. Aside from the Banh Mi, that is.
Peasant’s Bread (or other, good-quality bread)
Bacon (or veggie bacon, for Keiko)
Red Leaf Lettuce
1 Red, ripe tomato
Whole Grain Mustard
Grilled Chicken Breast (Optional - more my thing)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The trick to this sandwich, especially when you make it as often as I do, is to have a system. You want everything to finish at the same time and be hot, without overcooking anything (i.e. The egg).
If you do this right, you should be able to stay busy doing something the entire time, while waiting between cooking, and have your sandwich turn out awesome.
Firstly, preheat your oven to 400. Take your bread, apply a small amount of oil on one side of each slice of bread, enough to cover most of the surface. Sprinkle Kosher salt and pepper on each slice. Place on a baking sheet tray and toast for about 5 minutes and flip over.
While bread is toasting, you can clean and set aside your lettuce leaves, and cut your tomato slices. If you’re cooking bacon, rather than microwaving it, now would be a good time, so you can let it drain on a paper towel, when finished.
When bread has toasted, apply the mayonnaise and whole grain mustard to your slices and dress with lettuce and tomato, bacon, too, if ready.
When you’re done, heat a pan on your burner. You want to let it run on the heat for a good minute or two, without oil, and after it’s hot, add about a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan, just to loosen your egg. Move the pan around to coat the oil to the pan, and be sure to keep it from smoking. When your pan is hot, crack the egg over the center of the pan and let the sucker cook. You want to season generously with Kosher salt and pepper and after about 15-20 seconds, with the flip of the wrist, flip your egg over. Turn off the heat on the burner and let it cook on the hot pan for an additional 30 seconds or so. Enough to cook it, but not to cook the yolk. Slide it off the pan, onto the sandwich and plate it up! Cut on a bias and voila! You’ve just made/eaten the greatest sandwich in the world.
I make mine with grilled chicken, so usually when the bread comes out, I’ll throw my cooked chicken breast in the oven, to warm it up.
I hope that some of you take the time to understand what’s so great about the greatest sandwich ever. It’s pretty great.
If anybody happens to frequent Brooklyn, or Williamsburg, for that matter, bring yourself over to The Meatball Shop. Get some balls, get some booze, say hello and have a great time. I promise, I’ll make it as entertaining as I can. Who knows, you may be there when my meatball makes the menu!