I know it’s almost Valentine’s Day and I know that’s not a picture of heart-shaped Scharffen Berger chocolate and Bordeaux up there. I’m dispensing with tradition again and deliberately not talking about candy and wine in the interest of…well…I don’t want to be trite, especially not this week. I don’t even want to get into the gooey romantic language, if I can help it. Hope you’re good with that.
Instead we’ll salivate over other combinations I adore,* stuff that’s not typical, starting with sandwiches. The first one, above and at the very bottom, makes an incredible lunch.
-Sweet** onion (like a Vidalia), caramelized in olive oil or butter
-Chicken, roasted (or grilled, or whatever), shredded and added to the onion
-Apple (pick anything that’s not a McIntosh because those’ll just dissolve on you), sliced, don’t bother to peel it, thrown into the pan with the onions and chicken and cooked until golden brown
-Fontina (a European, kinda nutty, kinda pungent, eminently oozeable cheese that any supermarket has)
-Ground allspice, a few shakes into the onion/chicken/apple pan
-Black pepper, coarsely ground (I like a lot in this) into the pan as well
Now. Butter and toast your bread under the broiler (I used a Cuban roll because it was all the bakery downtown had left but it was awesome), melt your cheese, then pile your stuff on top.
The next sandwich, above, makes an incredible breakfast if you’re my mom. I grew up in a house that relished the combination of sardines and raw onion on a sandwich. The above is normal to me and wildly addictive, too, actually. I hope I don’t lose subscribers over this.
-Sardines (skinless and boneless, packed in either water or olive oil)
-Red*** onion, thinly sliced
-Bread of some sort (I used a whole wheat roll from Trader Joe’s)
-Salt to taste
Add mayo to bread. Add the rest. Wipe exertion from brow.
Since many of you are already appalled, another delirious combination is tuna packed in oil into which you’ve mixed in a good amount of anchovy paste. Keep the sliced raw onion, hold the mayo, and sandwich-ify.
Other yummy food combinations:
-Almond extract, just a teaspoon or so, baked into anything that features peaches, nectarines, cherries or apricots. Almonds and all of these fruits are botanical cousins. Ever notice that the pit of a peach looks a lot like an unshelled almond? Yep. And they are lovely together.****
-Mushrooms cooked with a few splashes of chicken broth. Not cousins, to be sure, but for some reason they bring out the best in each other, like Tim Burton and Danny Elfman. Okay, mellower than the two of them, but the point stands.
*Sorry. Crap. That was quick.
*Totally not my fault. Vidalias are sweet!
***It’s a color, not a holiday.