20 July 2016

A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches

Yes, Virginia, the cover of this cookbook is actually black & white with bits of blue on the cellophane toothpicks. That should be a hint that this not your average cookbook, though far from being an upsetting one. I think A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches should have been titled the The Super Upending Cookbook About Sandwiches. Tyler Kord really does upend the traditional notion of the sandwich. The venerable old Earl must be turning in his grave.

Tyler Kord has a few sandwich shops in NYC or perhaps "restaurants" since Bon Appétit named one of them as a top ten new restaurant in the country. What you need to know about Tyler Kord is that he is unnaturally in love with broccoli and Van's made a shoe for him. (Yes, you can buy your own pair, if you have the dough.)

As someone who has read thousands of cookbooks, I can tell you that many of those that rise from the back rooms of restaurants are pompous. Yes, chefs do "write" them on occasion, but in an attempt to describe that grand world of restaurant cooking, the voice is often pretentious or really just tool-y. Kord is not pretentious.

He understands that he is making sandwiches.  He will not be making you a BLT.  He might make you a sandwich with curry chicken salad and squid.  He might make you a sandwich with black bean hummus and ceviche.  He might make you sandwich named after a battle. As you read through the book, you will think about sandwiches differently. (Really, roasted cauliflower and a raisin scallion sauce?) You will think about food differently. (Do lychees and broccoli really go together?) You will even think about cookbooks differently. (Who chats with their editor in the middle of a cookbook?)  

Now here is where we put a recipe from the cookbook.  There are so many sandwiches, but... one of our favorite things in the world is a jar of pickled blueberries. Every year I get 10 pound boxes of blueberries from a farm in Maryland. After eating a pound right out of the box, there are jams, jellies, catsup, pies, tarts, shrubs, and finally, several jars of pickled blueberries. So herewith, Kord's recipe.

Pickled Blueberries

1 cup white vinegar, plus some more if needed
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/4 pounds blueberries
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

Combine everything in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid.  There should be enough vinegar to completely cover the berries and onions, if not, add a little more. Pretend it is those pickled red onions that you hate so much and shale vigorously.  You want to bruise the berries a little and also get out some aggression you feel toward your roommate. Why would you still have a roommate? Why do you hate pickled red  onions so much? Let sit for at least 2 hours, but preferably longer, shaking occasionally.  They will last in the refrigerator for a long time.
Kord suggests they make a fine replacement for tomatoes on your sandwich.  So make yourself a BLB while reading A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches.


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