The Big New York Sandwich Book
I’ve always cherished a good sandwich, from the grilled extra sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches I used to make in my college dorm room at 2 am to a pastrami and rye at Katz’s Deli for lunch. Lately, however, the sandwich has moved out of the midday slot and arrived on dinner menus, a nod to a daring chef’s innovative prowess. New York food writers, Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang, have reined in this trend and created a muffaletta of a cookbook, The Big New York Sandwich Book. Culling recipes from the city’s top chefs, Reistad-Long and Tang present such tantalizing fare as a “tartiflette” grilled cheese sandwich created by the Big Cheese himself, Artisanal Fromagerie’s Terrance Brennan. Brennan uses my favorite French cheese, Reblochon, slices of apple-smoked bacon, Yukon gold potatoes, and country bread to design a sandwich that’s not too hard to make, but will blow away my family at dinner time. Chicken of the sea? Throw it back in the water, especially after trying Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s hot and crispy tuna sandwich, served with fresh tuna dipped in extra virgin olive oil on crustless white bread. Daniel Boulud chimes in with his version of a croque monsieur, complete with his recipe of béchamel sauce. My perfect picnic award goes to the Tuscan pear, cheese, and prosciutto panini given to us by Cesare Casella, proprietor of Salumeria Rosi on the Upper West Side. I have a feeling I’ll be devouring this tasty combo sometime this spring next to a bed of tulips.