Category Archives: The List

Chili Burger

So, this sandwich is a legitimate gutbomb.  I’m not going to mince words here, folks.  I’ll give it to you straight.  This sandwich is going to make you feel like you want to die…but in a good way!

We decided (wisely, I think) to outsource this sandwich to the professionals at George’s – a neighborhood dive in the truest sense of the word.  Although we are dedicated to the craft of making the world’s finest sandwiches, the necessary work to make this sucker at home is daunting, and likely a bit expensive.

A chili burger is an actual hamburger patty smothered in chili con carne.  It delivers beef directly into your gaping maw via two mechanisms (burger and chili, if you aren’t paying attention).  This sandwich is an exercise in excess.  Now, burgers, on their own, or chili, on its own, are not overwhelming.  But the thought of making both burgers and chili met with a decidedly lazy ‘meh’ and to the dive bar merrily we went!

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We sipped on our beers, listened to jukebox Top 40 hits (not necessarily this year’s hits but hits nonetheless), and took it all in.  Finally, we were served these monstrosities.  There had been some debate as to whether we should share one, but we decided that we must each have our own…for science.  I hate so much to admit this, but that decision may have been a mistake.  I hate even more to admit this…but look how much precious sandwich I left behind on that plate!

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I am so ashamed.

If you are considering purchasing your own chili burger at George’s, here are some lessons learned.

  1. This sandwich is the opposite of Ham Fraud ™, wherein the sandwich maker creates an illusion of more sandwich through deceit and trickery.  To the contrary! This sandwich wants you to have the most of everything! You’ll note first that it is open faced, but then the top bun is cut in half and placed at either end of the burger patty, thus creating the greatest possible surface area for the chili.  This sandwich wants you to get your $7.25 worth.
  2. This sandwich is only $7.25 and could easily supply you with three meals.
  3. You do not need the large tater tots, you jackass.
  4. You also do not need the potato salad. Mainly because it is not very good.
  5. You will have the option of cheese and onions on top and I strongly urge you, in no uncertain terms, to exercise that option.

Do You Immediately Want Another Of This Sandwich?

Guhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

*farts*

That would have to be a no for me this time, friends. I have to admit I enjoyed this less than I thought I would, seeing how much I love both burgers and chili.  The first several bites were satisfying, but in very short order it just became too much.  But, do I think there is something inherently worthwhile about going to a dive bar and ordering a Legitimate Gutbomb ™ just for the hell of it?  Yes, emphatically I do.  So take that for what it’s worth and eat accordingly.  Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

 

Chicken Salad / Chickpea Salad Sandwich

GOOD EVENING little birds! We’re making chicken salad and its vegan counterpart, chickpea salad sandwiches. The Vicomtesse knew that the “recipe” for a chicken salad sandwich would be trivial, so I glanced at a few and put something together on my own with a heavy dose of flat-leaf parsely & yellow onion.

The star of the show was obviously the chicken. I wasn’t quite sure what chicken to buy, and I’m so so so pleased I ended up choosing boneless skinless chicken thighs from New Seasons. Y’all, I don’t know what love they massage the chickens with when they’re peckin’ around the henyard, but their chicken is so friggin’ delicious that I’m pretty sure they must. I didn’t want to deal with the cooking time of bones nor the discarded fat, but I knew I wanted the flavor of awesome chicken thighs instead of the stupid, overinflated, medically-specious chicken breasts.

At Luc Lac, the Vietnamese restaurant and lunch bar that gets great press around here, they serve a chicken salad that they shred instead of chop, and I thought the texture was terrific, so I did that here too:

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Isn’t that gorgeous?  So, three spatchcocked, boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked at 375F for 40m, scored, salted & peppered in a glass dish with just a little bit of oil.  Then I shredded it, and added about half a cup of shredded parsely & about the same of preeeetty finely chopped yellow onion, and a little less than a tablespoon of Best Foods mayo (the only mayonnaise, by the way.  the only mayonnaise.  the only mayonnaise.).

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I waffled a bit then on a few things, first, mayo on the sandwich even though it’s in the mix?  Ended up going with a thin layer on either slice which ended up being the right decision.  The other was whether or not to add salad greens & we ended up nixing ’em.  LOOK HOW PRETTY:

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OH HELLO THERE, THE VICOMTESSE LEFT HER KEYBOARD ON CAPS LOCK AND NOW I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT CHICKPEA SALAD.  Sorry but I cannot resist a good capslocktunity.  Shut up, it is too a thing!

For this very tasty chickpea salad, I used [Smitten Kitchen’s recipe](http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/01/smashed-chickpea-salad/)!  We love Smitten Kitchen around these parts.  Buy her book, it is great! In essence the recipe calls for a can of ‘bonzos, some thinly sliced black olives (we used Kalamata, the workhorse of the black olive world), some red onion diced finely, lemon zest and lemon juice, and parsley.  Smush it a little bit and add a couple of “glugs” of olive oil.

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I followed the SK recipe to the letter EXCEPT that I doubled the amount of olives and quadrupled (!!!! [one for each uple!]) the amount of onion.  (The original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of onion which is just madness.)

We added some tasty roasted red peppers and a schmear of hummus to trusty Dave’s Killer Bread, and that’s about that!

This sandwich was a VERY GOOD everyday sandwich.

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I spent roughly $16 for all ingredients including the loaf of bread and red peppers, and we made three sandwiches and there is an ample amount left over for more sandwiches.  You easily could get a bunch of weekday lunches out of this.  (And, I know we are a sandwich blog, so shhh…don’t tell anyone I’m telling you this, but…you could also put this on a….salad, like one made out of lettuce.)

WHAT? NO, I WASN’T TALKING ABOUT SALAD.

Anywho, delicious, nutritious, economical – I’m a fan.

Do you immediately want another of th(is/ese) sandwich(es)?

We each had two servings :}

Cheesesteak, Philly

HEY HEY! Today, wholly in the warm clasp of the Cs, we come to the Cheesesteak comma Philly.

The noble Philly Cheesesteak is the introductory sandwich of many lifetime sandwich enthusiasts. Dating back eighty-odd years, the marriage of thin-sliced beef, grilled onions and mushrooms, mayonnaise, sometimes peppers (hot or sweet are both acceptable), AND A (“)CHEESE(“) is both beautiful and impressive. The battle rages on between those who insist on “traditional” provolone, and those who demand recognition for a “steak with ‘whiz,” as in, a cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz, which, honestly, sounds terrible, but I’m willing to try most anything, and how bad could extra-salty cheese-flavored cheese-food product be on a steak sandwich? The bread is evidently Amoroso or Vilotti-Pisanelli, the latter of which sounds like an extremely profitable merger or the overwrought stylings of a couple who couldn’t choose between either complicated last name for their child. Thin and long and soft, I knew no standard hoagie roll nor baguette would suffice, here.

Having not grown up anywhere near Philadelphia nor the east coast of the continental United States, I’ve never had a proper Philly, thus felt utterly unqualified to prepare my own Vicomtesse’s Special Philadelphia-Brand Cheesing Steak. We were off, then, to a purportedly fine (Her Eminence has been singing its praises for years) purveyor of the sandwich here in town, Shut Up and Eat to outsource it, as with the Barbecue and Banh Mi sandwiches.

Preparation
We didn’t make ’em! We just paid for them (called Broad Street Bombers at SUAE) and took our beers and a seat, eyeing each others’ meaty upper arms a bit dangerously. I am sad to report they had no Cheez Whiz, but apparently they get asked that semi-regularly! Finally, they arrived. They certainly looked perfect:

Impressions
The beef, the onions, the peppers, even the mayo and provolone were perfect. The beef tore apart perfectly, the cheap cut made perfect, the slight amount of gristle adding texture and interest rather than chewy uselessness. The draped, melted cheese bound the onions to the peppers to the beef, and the bite was good, and chewy, but the bread was WRONG. Here in Portland we just keep dressing up sandwiches that are already perfect. Look, the elk burger with baby shallots and baby salmonella sprouts and baby avocadian spears is really good, but so is just a damn ordinary burger. The bread on the Bomber was a fine some-kind-of-sourdough with a hearty crumb, great flavor, and a long chew – really good bread! But we’re not looking for really good bread – you want a cheap, white, long roll, softened with preservatives and dough conditioners, perfected with salt and probably sugar, maybe even an artificial fat of some kind, margarine or whatever.

Do you immediately want another of this sandwich?
Her Eminence and Her Eminence’s Boyfriend appeared to greatly enjoy theirs, though H.E.B. got a chicken Bomber instead, reporting it delicious and quickly eliminated. Her Eminence disagreed a skosh with me on the wrongness of the bread, which I understand – it was pretty good bread, after all, and a great sandwich on its own merits.

The Vicomtesse: Look, guys. The sandwich was great! Really, it was fabulous. But she just weren’t no Philly – the bread is VERY IMPORTANT – and I’ll have to wait til I visit a friend who moved there recently to eat a real one.

that said there aren’t a lot of sandwiches out there that I don’t immediately want another of – it was good, and yes, my friends, my heart, always

Butterbrot

For the noble butterbrot (buttered bread), um, well, wow. Wow… wow. We do love butter, yes, and bread, of course, and while we have had the combination of these two more times than I can even admit (I admit to >1000x), it’s something that makes us incredibly happy.

This time, we started with Grand Central Bakery’s sour rye, earthy but still tangy with a great crumb. Her Eminence of the Italian Deli Meat Sandwich (a proper lady deserves her proper full name) acquired some stupid-expensive butter from our local mostly-good, mostly-overpriced grocery franchise. This stuff was like $18/lb. YES. YES.

Butterbrot is sometimes just butter on bread, but no matter the topping, always begins with that most essential of sandwich preparation. We also had some dalmation fig spread and some BLACK CAVIAR LUMPFISH. that may be redundant, maybe it’s just “black caviar” or “lumpfish” but what a linguistic presentation with all three!

Listen, friends. I know it’s just butter. I KNOW THAT. This “lightly salted” (whatever that adjective imparts, regulation-wise) $986/lb butter was just, gah, perfect. It’s not something I can buy on a regular basis, it’s not something that you cook with, but when you do drop the six clams on a third of a pound of it, you taste it eternally.

The fig spread was great, yknow, it’s jam, it’s high quality, and it’s fine! Her Eminence also tried a brot with Zhir Gracious Majesty’s Finest Butter Product and some wildflower honey that I bought today at the apple orchard, and she reports excellence on that account.

While Her Eminence is well-versed in preserved salty fish product, the caviar was a first for The Vicomtesse of the Bacon Lettuce Tomato. I was really happy with it, I suppose that’s why it costs upwards of one-tenth of the cost of the Butter Absurd™. NEWSFLASH: CAVIAR IS REALLY GOOD. always glad to be the first to report on the necessities in life!!

until next time, sandwich slayerz™