7 Texas Chefs Share Their Favorite Sandwich Recipes – Texas Monthly

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Few issues in life are as satisfying as a wonderfully constructed sandwich. A sandwich could be a meal or a snack, appropriate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or mattress at 2 a.m. Because of its infinite vary and flexibility, there’s a sandwich to suit each palate. For some, a smear of creamy peanut butter between two slabs of brioche is sufficient to sate the urge for food, whereas others desire mounds of heat pastrami dripping with melted Swiss cheese. Whether or not you throw collectively the closest meats and cheeses or spend hours braising a brisket filling, there isn’t any fallacious method to construct a sandwich. The load of the bread in your arms, loaded with fillings of your selecting, ought to provoke pleasure—and if it doesn’t, Texas cooks are right here to assist.

2020 left many individuals to their very own gadgets within the kitchen, and many people sought solace within the meals we selected to prepare dinner. Fortunately for weary dwelling cooks, assembling a sandwich doesn’t require an intensive set of culinary expertise. Sandwiches don’t name for a bunch of fancy kitchen devices, so you may neglect a couple of sink piled with soiled dishes. Sandwiches are enjoyable. They’re simple. They don’t take themselves too critically. And above all else, sandwiches are a consolation meals. They will make you nostalgic for less complicated occasions or present a possibility for innovation.

Most of us have a number of go-to sandwich recipes (doesn’t all people have a most well-liked method to make a grilled cheese?), however typically, particularly after a 12 months of at-home lunches and anxiety-fueled midnight snacks, the repertoire wants one thing new. To raise our collective sandwich recreation, we requested seven Texas cooks from across the state to share a recipe that displays their cooking fashion. There are melted leeks atop thick slices of bacon, mangoes that mingle with peanut butter and mint, and, sure, even a tackle grilled cheese. The outcomes are private, playful, and most essential, scrumptious. Right here’s hoping they give you a style of perfection.

Catherine Downes


Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri

The old-school mixture of peanut butter and jelly has by no means appealed to Anita Jaisinghani, the chef and co-owner of Houston’s Pondicheri. “It’s too candy, and I discovered myself wanting so as to add one thing spicy to it,” she says. After taking part in round in her kitchen, the chef got here up together with her personal rendition of the traditional pairing, drawing upon the elements and spices of Indian avenue meals she makes use of at her restaurant. The result’s the PBP sandwich: heat slabs of sourdough slathered with crunchy peanut butter after which layered with sliced mango, chopped herbs (cilantro, basil, or mint, relying on what’s out there), and masala-coated Indian pickles. This sandwich is bursting with complementary flavors and textures and is far more enjoyable to eat than the brown-bag lunch staple that impressed it.

2 slices of sourdough bread
Crunchy peanut butter
Indian pickles, ideally lemon or mango
Recent herbs (mint, cilantro, or basil), coarsely chopped
1 mango, sliced

  1. Toast sourdough slices.
  2. Unfold peanut butter on prime layer of bread. Unfold Indian pickles on backside layer of bread. Stack mango and chopped herbs in between and shut.


Egg and Soy Sauce Breakfast Sandwich

Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Store

Scrambled eggs served over rice with soy sauce was a breakfast staple in Donny Sirisavath’s Laotian dwelling rising up. One morning, when the chef was round seven years outdated, he remembers scooping up the sauce-drenched eggs with two items of bread as he ran out the door to catch the bus. At the same time as a baby, he was taking inspiration from his mom’s dishes and forming them into his personal. His Dallas restaurant, Khao Noodle Store, is an homage to these early life spent within the kitchen studying her cooking methods, and this sandwich is a barely reimagined ode to these egg-filled mornings.

2 items of wheat bread
1 garlic clove, chopped
Oil of your selecting
2 eggs
1 scallion, chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Freshly floor black pepper, to style
Mayonnaise (nevertheless a lot you’d like in your sandwich)
1 lime wedge
1 or 2 slices of provolone cheese
1 or 2 slices of Vietnamese ham (common ham is okay too)
1 tomato, sliced
Handful of arugula

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Warmth garlic and a splash of oil in a pan.
  3. Whisk eggs in a bowl, then combine in scallion, soy sauce, and pepper. Add combination to the pan. Evenly scramble after which fold eggs into the form of a sq. (like a mini omelet).
  4. Combine mayonnaise in a bowl with extra black pepper and a squeeze of lime.
  5. Slather toasted bread with mayonnaise. Layer all different elements as you please.


Catherine Downes

Torta de Pollo Adobado

Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo

Iliana de la Vega grew up consuming tortas. She praises the Mexican sandwiches for his or her versatility, in addition to their portability. “Something can go inside a torta the identical method that something can go inside a taco,” she says. “They usually journey nicely—you may eat them within the streets.” Whereas the previous is true for her torta de pollo adobado, the latter is up for debate. (You may wish to have a bathtub of child wipes and a spare shirt useful in case you plan to eat this whereas strolling.) This gussied-up torta touts a piquant mix of poblano peppers, mashed avocado, refried black beans, and marinated rooster. It’s a nod to the standard Mexican fare served on the chef’s Austin restaurant. “I believe it combines a bit little bit of all the pieces we like and what folks anticipate from Mexican cooking,” she says. “It’s straightforward to make and it’s additionally tremendous scrumptious. The flavors are out of this world.”

(Makes 6)

For the rooster:

4 ancho chiles, seeds and stems eliminated

2 guajillo chiles, seeds and stems eliminated
2 medium garlic cloves
¼ small onion
2 black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
6 small rooster breasts, (deboned, skinned, and flattened)

  1. In a dry cast-iron skillet, barely roast the chiles after which soak them in ¾ cup sizzling water for roughly 90 minutes. When time is up and the chiles are tender, drain and discard the water.
  2. Switch chiles to a blender together with garlic, onion, peppercorns, marjoram, oregano, and cumin seeds. Add sufficient water to make the combination blendable. Mix and pressure.
  3. Soften the butter in a small saucepan, add the chile combination, and prepare dinner over medium warmth, stirring continuously, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegars, stir, and prepare dinner over low warmth for 20 minutes or till the sauce thickens. Season with salt to style.
  4. Permit the sauce to chill, then unfold the adobo on rooster breasts and marinate for half-hour to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the grill, oil the rooster items, and prepare dinner the marinated rooster fillets on the grill or in a sauté pan till cooked by. Maintain the rooster heat.

For the torta:

2 poblano chiles

6 bolillo or telera rolls
1 tablespoon butter
1 avocado, mashed
½ cup refried black beans
Sliced jalapeños en escabeche (elective)

  1. Peel the chiles, take away seeds and stems, and slice. Reserve.
  2. Minimize off ends of the rolls, then slice in half lengthwise. Soften the butter on a griddle set over medium-low warmth. Heat the bread reduce aspect down, then unfold every backside half with a layer of beans.
  3. Season the mashed avocado with salt to style, then unfold it on the highest halves of the bread.
  4. Divide the reserved adobado rooster among the many backside rolls, then layer with poblano chile slices and bread tops. Warm once more on the griddle if wanted. Minimize tortas in half diagonally and serve with jalapeños en escabeche on the aspect. 


Catherine Downes

Off-Season BLT

Mark Clayton, Squable

An important part of a BLT, in accordance with Houston chef Mark Clayton, is the tomatoes. However there are occasions, as an illustration in midwinter, when getting one’s arms on ripe, garden-grown beefsteaks or luscious Black Krims isn’t attainable. This sandwich, which the Houston chef describes as a “barely reimagined model of a BLT,” takes the stress off discovering the proper, plump tomato. The fruit is sliced skinny, making it appropriate for all seasons. Melted leeks, marinated tomatoes, and toasted tomato paste encompass thick cuts of crisp bacon. Whereas the sandwich is predicated on a easy traditional, the recipe requires a little bit of endurance, a smidgen of talent, and plenty of pots and pans. It’s simply the kind of elevated consolation meals you may discover on the upscale European menu at Squable, which we named one in all Texas’s finest new eating places in 2020.

For the braised bacon:

1 pound bacon, thick-sliced or slab

Leek tops (inexperienced half), washed, from 1 medium sized leek
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 massive pinch of purple chili flakes
1 small sprig of recent thyme (or a small pinch of dried thyme)
1 teaspoon white or common soy sauce
1 cup rooster inventory

  1. Preheat oven to 350 levels. Then, utilizing stovetop, sear bacon over medium warmth in an oven-safe pan with a lid that matches (you can be utilizing the identical pan to braise the bacon later).
  2. Take away bacon and set it off to the aspect on a plate. Maintain fats within the pan.
  3. Add the leek tops, garlic, bay leaves, chili flakes, and thyme to the rendered bacon fats and prepare dinner till aromatic, about 1–2 minutes. Switch aromatics into cheesecloth and tie right into a sachet.
  4. Place sachet within the pan you used to sear the bacon, and add the bacon again to the pan. Add  soy sauce and rooster inventory.
  5. Cowl pan with lid, place in oven and prepare dinner for about 2–2.5 hours, till bacon is simply tender sufficient to simply pierce with a knife. (If utilizing sliced bacon, prepare dinner time might be considerably shorter.)
  6. Cool bacon in braising liquid earlier than eradicating to slice.
  7. Take away fats from cooled braise and discard. Cut back the braising liquid right down to a salty syrup and save for later while you sear the sliced, braised bacon.

For the toasted tomato paste:

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 ½ shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon sugar (can substitute honey or agave)
½ cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons white soy sauce (can substitute common soy sauce)
⅓ teaspoon smoked paprika
⅓ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup mayonnaise 

  1. Add oil, shallots, garlic, and sugar in a sauce pot over medium warmth and prepare dinner till shallots and garlic are caramelized.
  2. Add tomato paste and prepare dinner till it’s bronzed.
  3. Add vinegar, soy sauce, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  4. Take away from warmth and mix till clean.
  5. Add tomato paste to mayonnaise to create the “tomayo.”

For the melted leeks:

3 or 4 leeks (gentle inexperienced and white half), break up lengthwise and reduce into 1/8-inch half-moons (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon floor white peppercorns
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon thyme leaves

½ teaspoon salt

  1. Place leeks and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low warmth. Season with salt.
  2. As soon as leeks start to sizzle, scale back the warmth to low and permit leeks to slowly prepare dinner with out getting any coloration.
  3. As soon as leeks are tender and translucent, take away from warmth and add white pepper, vinegar, and thyme leaves, then combine. Style the leeks, which ought to be pretty acidic. In case you get pleasure from vinegar, you may add extra to style.

For the marinated tomatoes:

¼ pound of tomatoes sliced as skinny as you may handle
1 tablespoon additional virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons purple wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon both dried thyme, dried basil, or dried oregano

  1. Organize the sliced tomatoes on a cooling rack set over a lined baking sheet.
  2. Combine oil and vinegar right into a free French dressing, then drizzle it over the tomatoes. Season tomatoes with salt, pepper, sugar, and herbs. 
  3. To partially dry the tomatoes, set within the turned-off oven with the newly braised bacon, leaving the oven door open a crack.

To assemble the sandwich:

  1. If it’s not precut, slice the braised bacon. Sear the slices in a cast-iron skillet or a nonstick pan. When completed, brush with decreased bacon braising liquid for additional taste and put aside.
  2. Toast some good sandwich bread (the chef makes use of ache de mie) in butter or oil, on only one aspect. Unfold tomayo on the untoasted sides of the bread.
  3. Organize one piece of bread toasted aspect down, and prime with romaine, butter lettuce, or no matter lettuce you may have within the fridge.
  4. Retrieve your tomatoes, which ought to be partially dried by now. Organize tomatoes on prime of the lettuce. (“Go together with a single layer right here—you don’t wish to create the dreaded tomato slide,” says Clayton.)
  5. High tomatoes with as a lot seared, braised bacon as you want. 
  6. High bacon with melted leeks.
  7. You possibly can cease right here and prime the leeks with the remaining slice of bread. Or, because the chef suggests, you may put some salt and vinegar potato chips on prime of the leeks, prime with the remaining slice of bread, and press down for a crushed chip garnish.


Catherine Downes

The Tickler

John Russ, Clementine

John Russ doesn’t fiddle with boring cheddar. Not even when he’s constructing a grilled cheese at dwelling for his spouse and youngsters. “It’s not inside the realm of what I do,” he says. And so, when a pattern of Tickler cheddar arrived at his family-owned, Southern-oriented San Antonio restaurant final 12 months, he was immediately bought on its sharpness and depth. He had a surplus of duck confit on the time, having simply taken it off the restaurant’s menu, and this sparked an thought: he would make a sandwich. “It’s simply such a enjoyable method to make the most of two merchandise that may usually not meet.” Tender shredded duck and melted cheese meld collectively on toasted sourdough bread. Russ suggests pairing it with a light-weight salad. We propose licking your fingers clear.

3 ounces Tickler cheddar cheese
3 ounces shredded duck confit (out there at positive grocery shops, or you may make your individual)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 thick slices rustic sourdough

  1. Warmth your griddle to medium-low warmth (the chef recommends 315 levels). In case you don’t have a griddle, you need to use a cast-iron skillet.
  2. Shred the cheese utilizing a large-hole grater, then toss it along with the duck confit.
  3. Evenly distribute the cheese and duck combination between the bread slices.
  4. Oil the griddle and place the constructed sandwich on it, then prime sandwich with a heavy plate or a grill weight to assist create crispy and evenly cooked toast. Flip after 4 to six minutes to make sure golden-brown toasting on reverse aspect.


Catherine Downes

Brisket and Egg on a Roll

Mark Scott, Comfort West

Mark Scott fell in love with the bodega-style egg sandwich whereas in Manhattan on a piece journey final February. After returning dwelling to Marfa, he realized there wasn’t something prefer it on the town. “If I needed it, I must make it myself,” he says. And so, he did, however with some Texas tweaks. He says he usually has additional brisket mendacity round in his fridge (should be good!), and in the future he sliced some up and added it to the sandwich. He additionally added cream cheese, sizzling sauce, and recent basil from his spouse and enterprise companion Kaki’s backyard. Being a pitmaster at a well-liked barbecue joint like Comfort West is laborious, and a few days he’s on his toes for fifteen hours with barely sufficient time to cram in a single fast meal. He’s discovered that this sandwich is substantial sufficient to carry him over whereas additionally satisfying his want for one thing scrumptious. New York bodegas bought nothing on this.

2 eggs
Sliced brisket (leftover brisket works nice)

2 tablespoons butter, divided
Shredded cheddar cheese
Cream cheese
Recent basil
Mayonnaise (ideally Duke’s)
Gentle roll (ideally Martin’s Potato Rolls)
Sizzling sauce (elective)

  1. Crack eggs into bowl and whisk till fluffy. Put aside.
  2. Convey pan to medium warmth, and sear brisket slices on either side—a couple of minutes on both sides ought to do. As soon as slices are heated, flip off the burner, leaving the brisket in pan. Put aside.
  3. In a second pan, additionally over medium warmth, soften 1 tablespoon of butter and toast roll. Take away roll and put aside.
  4. Add the second tablespoon of butter to the roll pan and let soften. Pour your eggs into the pan and sprinkle a small handful of shredded cheddar cheese excessive. Cook dinner right into a easy omelet or scramble.
  5. Smear a layer of cream cheese on the underside half of the roll, then layer on cooked brisket slices, adopted by eggs. (Now’s a good time for only a contact of salt on prime of the eggs.) Sprinkle extra cheddar cheese on prime of the eggs, add a number of basil leaves, and smear a little bit of mayo on the highest half of the roll. Add a number of dashes of your favourite sizzling sauce to kick it up a bit.


Catherine Downes

Pork Rillettes and Collard Greens

Misti Norris, Petra and the Beast

Rising up, Dallas chef Misti Norris’s favourite sandwich was American singles and turkey on white bread with mayonnaise. Now that her palate and expertise have advanced, she’s pushing the boundaries of bread and cheese. The result’s a sandwich she phrases the embodiment of solace squished between two slices of bread. “It’s only a consolation meals sort of factor,” she says. “It’s all the pieces I like.” Wealthy and fatty pork rillettes are fried and topped with collard greens, cheese, and a dill pickle emulsion, then stacked between pan de cristal, or a rustic loaf in case you desire. The dish is wealthy, acidic, and akin to the locavore fare Norris serves at her Dallas restaurant.

For the pork rillettes:

1 kilogram (simply over 2 kilos) pork shoulder

2 cloves garlic, reduce in half horizontally
4 sprigs of thyme
1 cup pork fats

Potato starch for dusting
Salt to style

  1. The day earlier than you propose to eat, set pork shoulder in a baking dish or Dutch oven and canopy with garlic and thyme. Cowl with water, and braise in oven till tender, about 2 ½ to three hours at 325 levels. Take away and let cool; as soon as it’s cool sufficient to deal with, drain, reserving cooking liquid. Add melted pork fats to cooked shoulder and shred. Add in 1 cup of cooking liquid. Mash collectively along with your arms till mixed. Line a loaf pan with parchment. Pour combination in and press down to verify there are not any air pockets. Place in fridge in a single day to set.
  2. The following day, reduce a slice about ½-inch thick. Mud with potato starch and panfry in a cast-iron skillet.

For the collards:

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup lemon juice
A giant pinch of fennel seed
4 giant bunches (about 10 cups packed) of collard greens

  1. In a medium pot, over medium warmth, add onion, garlic, butter, and fennel.
  2. Sweat till the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the collards and canopy, then flip warmth right down to low and stir each 10 minutes, till mushy. (This can take as much as 90 minutes.) Add lemon juice.
  4. Separate greens from liquid and reserve liquid.

For the dill pickle emulsion:

1 cup chopped or sliced dill pickle

2 egg yolks
1 cup jus from greens
Salt to style
2 ½ cups grapeseed oil

  1. Add all the pieces however the oil into the blender and puree till clean.
  2. Slowly stream in oil till it thickens.

To assemble the sandwich:

  1. Toast bread of your selection.
  2. Unfold dill pickle emulsion on every half, place rillettes down, add collards on prime of that, and comply with with Kentucky rose cheese, or your favourite white cheddar.


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