If you've seen the movie Spanglish -- a mediocre 2004 film starring Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni and Paz Vega -- you surely remember The Sandwich. In the flick, Adam Sandler plays a critically acclaimed chef. One evening he makes an inspired sandwich that has engrained itself in my memory, even after the rest of the plot details have fled... I still yearn for It, dream about it and bring it up in random discussions. I've *got* to make this thing for myself.
Turns out, the sandwich recipe was provided by his highness, Thomas Keller. Keller personally taught Sandler the art of the sandwich, and how to make this particular one for the movie. Not that it's anything difficult, really -- It's little more than a BLT, glorified with the addition of a fried egg. A beautiful, runny, makes-everything-taste-better fried egg. But could I possibly make a version that tastes anywhere near as good as Thomas Keller's? It doesn't appear difficult, but simplicity can be daunting, my friends. It's worth a try, though, so here's my recipe.
First, cook the bacon. I like mine extra crispy. Then, toast two slices of sourdough bread -- spread one slice generously with mayonnaise and the other slice with cheese (I used provolone, but jack or muenster would be just as delicious). Stack a few pieces of bacon, several slices of fresh tomato, and a few leaves of butter lettuce on the mayo'd toast, and place the other piece in a hot oven for a minute to melt the cheese.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan (you know, the one full of bacon grease), cook an egg until the white is set... over medium. Carefully slide the egg on top of the lettuce, then gingerly top with the other slice of bread, cheese side down. Be sure to keep the egg intact. When ready to eat, firmly cut the sandwich in half, breaking the egg and releasing the yolk in a waterfall of gimme-somma-that.
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And voila, I'm done. Eager to sample my wares, I quickly dove into the creation and discovered that the Spanglish Sandwich tastes like a bear hug from an old friend: uplifting, warm and extremely comforting. And the best part is that you don't have to be a Michelin-starred chef to try it. It's quick, easy and inexpensive to make -- and it far surpasses the movie that created it. Your turn.