I spent 4th of July weekend at my friend’s house in Welfleet, MA, out almost at the end of Cape Cod. All of my friends from school were there, and let me tell you, it was quite a blast. One of my friends, who was living in the Welfleet house, is currently a student at the Johnson and Wales culinary school in Providence, RI. Needless to say, the girl can cook.
One night, we were getting ready to grill up some burgers when we realized that we were out of propane. Many delays and failures later, Molly offered to make the burgers meatloaf-style. Now I must admit, I was quite hesitant, as I am not the biggest fan of meatloaf. After the first bite, however, I was a convert. This was probably one of the most delicious burgers I have ever eaten. It was juicy and rich in a way that I have never found in a meatloaf, and it was seasoned to perfection.
Now back in California, I recently had some friends over for some BBQing and pool, and once again, one thing led to another and as it got later, the idea of getting the grill going to make burgers was becoming less appealing. I then decided to attempt Molly’s meatloaf-style burgers, since they had been such a success in Cape Cod. Unfortunately, my burgers did not turn out as well as Molly’s but I think the next try will bring much better results. Pictured above is my version of Molly’s burger, made with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and avocado.
Ultimately, this burger is a great example of how to combine cooking techniques to create a new dish. It also illustrates that even the most serious of situations, such as running out of propane, can be remedied with a little outside-the-box thinking.
I managed to get into the craft services truck on the early side today, which meant that I had more options and was therefore undecided about what i wanted to make. I am very indecisive when it comes to food, mostly because I’m generally alright with anything. Luckily, someone recommended Hawaiian bread to me, and thus a starting point was found. The roast beef is usually one of the first things to go, so I figured I would take advantage of it still being there, and obviously, cheddar is the appropriate choice for this sandwich meat.
When I make a sandwich at work, I always give half of it to Tony. This is great for me because he gives me his critique on the sandwich, and great for him because he gets half of an awesome sandwich. Even though (as previously mentioned) I am a big fan of mayo, Tony isn’t, so today I used mustard and no mayo, which meant I had yet another decision to make: what kind of mustard? The Jack Daniels southwest spicy mustard appealed to me because I felt that it went well with not only the roast beef, but also with the Hawaiian bread. This is another advantage of sharing my sandwich: it helps me understand how to make sandwiches that appeal to other people. Knowing that the condiment will be different means that the other sandwich fixings have to be compatible in a different way. On the other hand, I have a very hard time letting go of my other two favorite ingredients, lettuce and cucumber, so those were included as well.
It is this practice of substitution and experimentation that makes sandwiches so intriguing. There are an infinite number of sandwiches possible…and I want all of them.
Bay Cities Italian Deli in Santa Monica, CA makes, without a doubt, the best sandwiches I have ever tasted. Everything about these sandwiches is perfect. They are made meticulously, a quality I value quite highly, with the perfect amount of each ingredient, be it the delicious meats and cheeses, the finely shredded lettuce, or the homemade pepper salads, which is all topped off by the fact that they are made with the most amazing bread EVER. Cripsy and flaky on the outside and warm on the inside, Bay Cities churns out fresh bread all day long. It is also worth noting that these sandwiches are made in a deli that is actually a diverse and well stocked market selling high end products from all over the world. Bay Cities is such an amazing place that from the minute it becomes reasonable to start thinking about lunch until almost dinner time, the market is jam packed. At peak hours, you can wait an hour or more to order a sandwich. Bay Cities is not just a deli or a market…it is an EXPERIENCE. There is no other way to describe it.
The Godmother is the sandwich that Bay Cities is known for, but unfortunately, that post will have to come another day. Today I chose the hot pastrami, with the works (mayo, mustard, onion, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, italian dressing, hot peppers). This sandwich is melt-in-your-mouth good, with a great kick from the hot peppers. The bread sops up all the great juices from the meat, plus the mustard and mayonnaise, which is great when eaten promptly, but if eating is delayed runs the risk of going soggy, one of the most horrible things that could happen to a sandwich. Even with this peril, the sandwich is amazing and worth taking the chance.