Sandwich Challenge The Taste ABC Anthony Bourdain Ninamarie Bojekian Beef Carpaccio Tartar Fried Green Tomatoe Nigella Lawson Episode 5

This challenge was a challenge to say the least.  Making a sandwich is a simple enough task at face value, but when you’re cooking for your life, simple isn’t simple anymore.  I must say that I have no idea how this sandwich initially evolved for me, but it did.  The second we were faced with this challenge, my mind went right to ‘fried green tomatoes’ and I have no idea why.  I never made a fried green tomato and I only ate one once before.  I loved the movie, though.

Here is how I came up with the sandwich that earned me another gold star.  Here is how I came up with the sandwich that would make Nigella Lawson very happy while drinking a cold beer.  Thank you Ms. Lawson [I'm making up for all of those gold stars I didn't get in elementary school].

Now that I decided that I must have a fried green tomato in my sandwich, I had to figure out what type of protein to serve with it.  I already did chicken and pork in my previous dishes, so those were out for me.  I wanted to expand myself and show range.  I wanted the meat in the sandwich to give the feel of ‘deli meat’—thinly sliced, moist, and layered.   So I choose to do a beef carpaccio, which would in a sense, would represent roast beef.  Roast beef always has that pink color to it, and so does freshly sliced raw beef tenderloin.

I reduced some beef stock while simmering it with a little crush garlic, sliced pepperoncinis and butter—then let it cool a bit.  Right before serving the sandwich, I tossed the sliced beef with the reduced liquid, pecorino cheese and arugula.  This method worked out perfectly because it allowed the meat to heat up just a tad without cooking it through, while marrying it will all of those great flavors.  Sort of like a French dip sandwich.

Now that I had my 2 main components in place, I had to choose what else to serve it with.  It takes constraint.  Having constraint and editing any dish is a common task for chefs.  There are thousands of flavors and ingredients I could have thrown at this, but I held back.  I wanted the other ingredients to make perfect sense, have a reason for being there, and be solid.

So I went for pickled cucumbers & a fresh aioli.  I love doing a quick pickle on some sliced cucumbers.  It’s something I picked up during my Aquavit days.  The Sweds know how to pickle.  It’s called ‘1-2-3 pickling liquid’ [1 part sugar, 2 parts white vinegar and 3 parts water].  These numbers add up to a versatile liquid that has the perfect balance for a sweet bite.

For the aioli, I went with using champagne vinegar and Dijon mustard because those are classic combos to accompany beef tartar [either mixed with the beef or in a champagne vinaigrette on the side with some greens]. I picked that up from the French.  The French know how to tartar.

I wanted to achieve a sandwich that had balance, and that would stick out from the crowd.  It had southern charm, Swedish pickles and pseudo roast beef [we’ll call it tartar for the French and carpaccio for the Italians].

Check out my winner recipe here & tell me what you think!

Follow me on twitter for live tweets during tonight’s episode @ChefNinamarie

-Ninamarie Bojekian


One Response to “The Art of the Sandwich: another Gold Star with a little Southern Charm & Beef Carpaccio”

  1. Make me one!! I am excited you shared the 1-2-3 pickling tip with us! I will now be pickling every vegetable that comes into the Cecch kitchen!


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