The demise of the 24 hour supermarket in my town has meant that my drunken culinary adventurousness is very much constrained by what I soberly purchase during office hours.
This, perhaps, isn't such a bad thing. I find supermarkets to be cathartic places (when attended at less populous hours) and the last thing I need is to be walking around one knowing I'd been stumbling around the same isles, in the early hours, endlessly comparing cheeses. I do not need fear here.
Now I purchase one or two items per trip with no predetermined plan in mind, only to hide them at the back of the fridge for the hungry late night adventurer to discover and decide the best path for.
I've felt that I haven't been maximising the potential of the salami in my sandwich. I'd mostly used it as a replacement for 'plainer' meats, the flavour is wonderful but if you're not careful in your layering, it can drag out all the other contents on the first bite. I wanted to see if it'd be a good addition to a sandwich when in a crisped up condition.
Was. It. Fuck.
Here's what went into one of the best decisions of my life:
- White bread. Always the best option for fried sandwiches. Grains and seeds and shit just confuse matters. If you don't want to use a standard sliced loaf like this, a harder sourdough or tiger bread loaf will work great too. Those breads actually work best when they're a couple of days out of date as they're harder and crisp up a lot better. Obviously don't let shit get to the mouldy point. That's not gonna do any of us any favours.
- Hot Sauce. I used this Encona Hot Pepper Sauce, it's got a savage kick off it from Habanero and Scotch Bonnet Peppers but its fruity flavour always manages to sneak a few points past that defence.
- The cheese was the always reliable and delicious Kilmeaden cheddar. Buy a block and grate it yourself. It just tastes better that way.
- The salami was Italian made, very important to buy Italian in this regard.
- The egg, if you needed to know, was straight from the arse of a well treated Cill Dara chicken. Up the Lilies, Kildare for Sam.
I'm not a big fan of messing around. Three frying pans was in no way excessive for this operation. It was simply what I needed to get the job done.
- The grey pan up the front is my primary, this is where the bread goes. It has the largest surface area and is closest to me for easy flipping/catchment of spillage.
- My secondary pan is the white fella. This is for the salami. It's positioned at the back, and please bare with my attention to positioning detail, it's of the utmost importance. Salami has the potential to spit like a scumbag kangaroo so you don't want to get burned, keep it away from you. It will also, in the moments leading up to its transcendence into crispy glory, start to smoke like an aul lad after mass so you want it under the extractor fan as much as possible with the least possibility of it hitting the general air population/smoke alarm and alerting other inhabitants to your exploits.
- Frying pan numero trois is for the egg. I could have done this in the salami pan but it's currently experiencing a suspension issue, causing the egg to flow to the edge and fry in an awkward shape.
The standard operating procedure when it comes to frying a sandwich is low and slow. A low temperature pan for a longer time will achieve the 5 star outside crispness in tandem with complete inside meltiness.
1. Butter one side of the bread, this side hits the pan.
2. Mayonnaise the other side.
3. Cheese on top of that.
4. Slice of bread on top of that.
5. Butter the slice of bread you're now looking it.
6. Check after a couple of minutes. If it looks good, flip it.
7. Check the second side after just 1 minute, because of some science trickery it seems to cook quicker.
Hot pan for the salami, no oil needed, you want to remove some of the oil that's already in the meat. Flip regularly and watch carefully, this will burn quick. You'll know when it's done because it'll attain the rigidity of a thick crisp and the smell of Willy Wonka's Factory had he been raised by pig farmers.
The egg I fried in coconut oil because my health is my wealth.
Scheduling the 3 frying pan cook off isn't difficult, the salami can start the same time as the bread. It'll cook quicker but it'll keep well on a sheet of kitchen paper. The egg, I cracked when I flipped the bread, you'll want it with a runny yolk when it lands on the inside...
Now its time to move fast, split the sandwich apart in its pan and lash some hot sauce on one side and the crisped salami on the other. The egg then joins these two powerhouses together, try not to break the yolk like I did.
There's beauty hiding between that bread.
Well now... If that doesn't strike you as one of the most beautiful visions you have ever seen, head somewhere else because the rest of this post is just an excuse for gratuitous close ups.
But first. Taste. It had ALL the taste. It had everything. Perfectly fried and crispy bread encasing melted cheese infused with mayonnaise on one side. A nicely balanced hot sauce getting only slightly aggressive on the other side... When all of a sudden the greatest noise and simultaneous burst of flavour you've ever experienced inside your own head blindsides you with the first crunch of the salami. It's like meat and crisps in one. I'll repeat that, it's like meat and crisps in one fucking thing... But we don't even have time to give that the attention it deserves because the egg yolk has just ruptured... the bland egg white doesn't stand a chance.. it has to join in the party... The hot sauce is swinging from the ceiling... The room is going wild... I'm out of breath...
I think you get what I'm trying to give you. This sandwich was all kinds of right.
Of course I went for round 2. I had a little look see for some cheese slices to increase the odds a bit. I had one. It'd have to do.
I made myself a little crisp to nibble on out of some spare grated cheese until number two was ready to go... and by Christ, was it...
It gets better...
I'LL NEVER CREATE BETTER.
A cheese slice was a good move. A cheese slice is always a good move.
I've nothing more to say on the matter.
Until next time.