The Perfect Sandwich

po-boy.jpg Ask any New Orleanian where to get the best po-boy in the city and almost every single one will tell you to go to a different place. Po-Boy restaurants are as much a part of personal identity as the neighborhood you grew up in – like a family heirloom, po-boy preference is often handed down from generation to generation. And while die-hard patrons of Parasol's refuse that anywhere else makes as good of a roast beef po-boy, those who are loyal to Mother's will tell you that their roast beef debris simply can't be beat. And who could forget Ye Olde College Inn – a New Orleans staple.

There is one important thing to remember about po-boys – allegiance aside, its pretty hard to find a bad po-boy anywhere in this city and its nearly impossible not to stumble upon an amazing one (or two or three). The very essence of the sandwich is heaven, and once you try one, the hoagies, subs, phillies and other sandwiches of the world will simply never compare.

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offtcontest 

We’re very happy to announce the WINNERS of One for the Table's first-ever BEST GRILLED CHEESE RECIPE CONTEST. We know we're a bit late with the results, but there were so many great recipes it was hard to choose the winners. In fact, we got so excited about the entries that we added a fourth prize for Best Written.

Thanks to everyone who contributed. And a giant thank you to our amazing sponsor

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Grill on!


 FIRST PLACE: MACKENZIE SMITH

Grilled Mozzerella and Sopressata with Basil Honey & Red Pepper Flake Butter Sandwich

- 1 tablespoon of basil infusgrilledcheesewinnered honey
- Fresh basil leaves and tupelo honey, OF COURSE
- about 4 slices fresh mozzarella
- 2 hearty slices of a Bâtard
- 5 slices of sopressata picante
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper flaked butter

Combine 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes with one tablespoon of real salted butter, MIX.

Coat one side of the bread in basil-honey, add layer using half of the mozz, add sopressata, rest of the mozz and coat one side of the remaining slice of bread with basil honey lay on top of sandwich. Coat both of the outsider sides of bread in red pepper flake butter and grill on medium-low for a few minutes until crispy, golden, and melted. Allow to sit for a minute and serve!

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41-french-laundry.jpg frenchlaundryinside.jpgI went to the French Laundry restaurant located in the Napa region (specifically, Yountville, California) in 1996 and haven’t been able to get a reservation since – at least until a week ago.  Of course, that’s what happens when a chef later becomes tops in the U.S. and his restaurant is voted tops in the world.  But with one day’s notice, I was told my group of four were in. Pack your dinner jacket we were told.  They should’ve added cash out your 401k and clean out your savings account with a scrub brush.  The price to party was now $240 per person for a nine course tasting menu (two options: Chef’s and Vegetarian) not including wine – a decent bottle (not a case) of which will cost you $200 more.  

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pbj.jpgI have to admit – as much as I love trying new recipes – there are times when nothing quite compares to the satisfying goodness of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some days there's just no time for chopping, grilling, or baking and a classic PB & J is the perfect solution.

According to Smuckers, no one really knows when or where this sandwich was first created. Bread and jelly have been around for ages, but peanut butter wasn't invented until 1890. This spreadable creation was a hit at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, and during the 1920s and 1930s, commercial brands of peanut butter such as Peter Pan and Skippy were introduced. Around the same time, pre-sliced bread became common in the U.S. But there's no mention of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before the 1940s.

The National Peanut Board reports that the average kid eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating from high school. They're not just for kids – I've often been on airline flights, when a waft of peanut butter drifts my way, and I turn to see some business exec pull out a Ziploc bag from a briefcase and enjoy a pb & j out – much to the envy of fellow passengers. You can also take comfort in knowing you're helping to save the planet!

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hamandcheeseLunches for me have been a mixed bag of sorts, I'm never sure what to eat, and I'm not always satisfied with what I get. But the sandwich shop near my workplace always seems to have the right sandwich for me. It's my standby.

'Wichcraft, pretty much a chain restaurant in New York City, in my opinion, has the best pressed sandwiches, among them the grilled Gruyère and caramelized onions. It is just mouthwateringly good with its oozy cheese and sweet caramelized onions. Whenever I need a comfort food fix, I always seem to gravitate toward this sandwich. It's simple and it always hits the spot. I've decided to come up with my own personalized version.

My version of this popular sandwich includes ham, for extra flavor. I use a panini press to make the sandwich, but you can also use a regular skillet, and just simply weight the sandwich with a foil-wrapped brick between flips. The caramelized onions can be prepared a day in advance, making this lunch come together even faster. Use either Gruyère or Emmental cheese for the best results in both flavor and texture.

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