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The reason for Sandwich Night’s success is easy to understand: the sandwiches are incredible. They’re gourmet meals that happen to sit on bread, the furthest thing away from the boring old sandwiches that we usually content ourselves with. Instead of PB&J or tuna salad, how about Braised Artichokes, Ricotta, and Mint Pesto with Pine-Nut Currant Relish? Or Eggplant, Seared Tuna, and Anchoïade? Or even Bacon, Avocado, and Watercress? These open-faced sandwiches are innovative dishes that taste wonderful, look beautiful, and are perfect for entertaining.
The closed-faced sandwiches are delicious new takes on well-loved standards like the Croque Monsieur, the Monte Cristo, the Reuben, and, of course, everyone’s favorite, the Classic Grilled Cheese. Also included are Nancy’s creative sort-of sandwiches—Fondue the Swiss Way, Snackbreads, and Skewered Mozzarella—and tea sandwiches, wonderful creations that will banish memories of limp watercress and insipid egg salad forever. As if this isn’t enough, there are the mouthwatering sandwich cakes and cookies, like the Open-Faced Berry Brioche Sandwich, Chocolate Cake Club Sandwich, and Almost Oreos.
There are recipes for some truly addictive bar snacks, like Cheese Fritters and Candied Spicy Walnuts, to serve before the meal. And there are also recipes for tantalizing spreads and condiments that go well beyond the ordinary. Finally, for the cook who wants to make everything from scratch, Nancy has included recipes for different breads, from Brioche to Hot Dog Buns, based on those from her world-famous La Brea Bakery.
Written in Nancy’s charming, down-to-earth style, these recipes are versatile and easy to follow. As good to look at as they are to eat, these sandwiches offer a new, creative solution to entertaining and will be a valuable addition to the home cook’s repertoire. The result: Sandwich Night is sure to be a hit in your home, too.
From the Hardcover edition.
“Everone knows that Nancy Silverton is perhaps America’s best pastry chef, but only lucky Los Angelenos know her true calling as a craftsman paninist. This book oculd be called ‘Zen and the Art of the Autogrill’ for its mastery of perfection between two slices.”
--Mario Batali, Babbo restaurant.
From the Hardcover edition.
My favorite American sandwich is a BLT, yet it almost didn't make it into this book; the world doesn't need another recipe for it. But after eating at 'ino, a tiny sandwich shop in Greenwich Village in New York, I decided their version—a PLT—was a different story.
P is for pancetta, sold at Italian delis and upscale markets. Cut from a large salami-like roll, it is the Italian version of bacon, unsmoked and cured with salt and spices.
This is strictly a seasonal sandwich; I forbid you to make it at any time except when tomatoes are at their prime—ripe, juicy, and sweet.
1 recipe Lemon Aioli (see below)
8 ounces pancetta, sliced into 16 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling over the tomatoes
2 or 3 ripe tomatoes, core end discarded, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 slices white or whole-wheat sourdough bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
Approximately 2 cups arugula leaves, loosely packed (about 1 to 1 1/2 ounces)
Place the slices of pancetta about 1/2 inch apart from each other on a baking sheet. Cook them for about 20 minutes, until they're cooked through, but not crisp.
Drizzle the olive oil over the tomato slices, and sprinkle them with salt. Allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes.
To assemble the sandwiches: Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the lemon aioli on one side of each slice of bread. Arrange the slices of pancetta on the bottom of the slices of bread, and place tomato slices over it. Arrange the arugula on top and cover with the top slice of bread. Spread the outer slices of bread with softened butter and grill in a panini machine, or brush with olive oil and grill on a charcoal or gas grill. Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal.
Traditionally, an aioli should be made with lots of garlic and extra virgin olive oil. If you find the flavor too strong, you can use half olive oil and half vegetable oil (and a little less garlic if you must).
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra large egg yolk
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the garlic and salt to a smooth paste. (If you don't have a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic with the flat side of a chef's knife or a garlic press.) If your mortar is too small to whisk the entire amount of oil in (or you don't have one), transfer the mashed garlic and salt to the bowl of an electric mixer or a medium stainless-steel bowl, and whisk in the egg yolk by hand. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, drop by drop, whisking constantly. As the mixture begins to thicken, add a teaspoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a teaspoon of warm water. Once you've added almost half of the oil, place the bowl in the mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and mix on medium speed. Or continue to whisk in the oil by hand. Pour the oil in a slow, steady trickle, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. As the mixture thickens, add a little more of the lemon juice and water, and continue whisking until the remaining olive oil is completely incorporated and the sauce is thickened. Season with lemon juice and zest, and salt to taste.