A quick hello from me today, to share this recipe for turmeric fishcake bánh mì with lemongrass pickled fennel (as promised on Instagram).

I’m a huge fan of the bánh mì as you’ve probably gathered from the number of recipes on this site (grilled pork bánh mì; turmeric fish bánh mì; SPAM mì; crab num pang) because I think it demonstrates what a great sandwich is all about, which is lots of contrasting flavours and textures.

Here, the fishcakes are fragrant with galangal, fresh turmeric and lime leaves and the sliced beans add pops of crunch. There’s acidity from pickled vegetables, an absolute truck tonne of herbs and one of my favourite bánh mì additions: sweet chilli sauce. It’s there for sweetness – I garnish with extra chilli for actual heat.

Spicy, crunchy, fragrant, sour, sweet and just a little creamy with mayo. The bánh mì is brilliant because it’s endlessly variable, and I see it as a lifelong project.

Recipe: Turmeric Fish Cake Bánh Mì

There are quite a few ingredients here but you could easily leave something out if you can’t find it or leave a comment and I will reply with thoughts! As I said, this is a sandwich to play around with.

This makes 12-14 fish cakes, which is enough for 3-4 banh mi (depending on the size of your baguettes). 

For the fish cakes 

500g skinless white fish
40g rice flour
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic
1.5 inches fresh turmeric root, peeled and grated (or use a teaspoon of ground turmeric)
60g green beans, sliced 1cm thick
8 lime leaves, finely chopped
1 inch galangal, grated
Pinch salt
Vegetable or groundnut oil for frying

For the lemongrass pickles 

1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled and cut into fine strips or grated
200ml rice vinegar
100ml water
80g caster sugar
8g sea salt
1 star anise
1 slice galangal (or ginger if you can’t find it)
2 lemongrass stalks, outer casing removed and bashed
A few white peppercorns
A few Szechuan peppercorns (optional but good)

To make the banh mi

Baguettes
Mayonnaise
Sweet chilli sauce
Herbs (Thai basil, mint, coriander)
Cucumber
Birdseye chilli

Make the pickle by combining all the ingredients except the vegetables in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil to dissolve the sugar and salt then pour over the vegetables. Set aside.

Make the fish cakes by combining all the ingredients except the green beans and vegetable oil in a blender and blending to a fine paste. You want this mixture to appear ‘bouncy’. Stir in the beans.

Heat a frying pan and fry off a small piece of the fish cake mix to check the seasoning. If you’re happy, shape the fish cakes into balls then flatten into little cakes.

Fry the fish cakes in a couple of tablespoons of vegetable or groundnut oil – they won’t take long, a few mins each side, depending on thickness.

Assemble the bánh mì by stuffing everything into a baguette!

 

I have a confession to make today, which is that I didn’t – until approximately 1 week ago when Breville sent one – own a classic toastie maker. There’s a fancy-pants panino press in the kitchen (panini is plural, I won’t apologise), which is great for smashing too much kimchi and blue cheese into an admittedly very good and on-trend sandwich but it does feel a bit like cheating on the original.

The sealed-crust Breville is a good leveller. Everyone has a story about burning their face on a hot pocket be it cheese and onion, cheese and beans or – worst of all – cheese and tomato. Proper welt territory, that one.

The pocket is, of course, one of the key features of the classic style; the bread seals properly at the edges meaning the majority of filling is encased inside one, freshly plumped cushion. What to put inside though? Leftover curry, obviously. Any will do but I’d tried aloo gobi before and knew it to be good. A fresh coriander chutney, red onion and pickled chilli bring essential zip.

We are living in a strange time. A time that people will one day read about in history books. Cooking and eating are all I really have to keep me going right now, and I know it’s the same for many of you. May I suggest that a nostalgic toastie making sesh may lift your spirits? Just steer clear of that sliced tomato.

Aloo Gobi Toastie Recipe

This recipe for aloo gobi makes enough to feed 4-6 people for dinner, so it’s obviously way more than you’ll need for a toastie. I’m assuming you’ll save some and enjoy it the next day. It’s not a very spicy version as I add chilli to the toastie later. If you’re just making this for dinner, then up the chilli.

To make aloo gobi

300g waxy potatoes, cut into small dice (about 2cm)
1 cauliflower, cut into florets (keep them larger than the potato pieces)
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tin tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted in a dry pan then crushed or ground
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 green chilli, split lengthways
2 teaspoons garam masala
100ml water
Juice of 1/2 lime
Oil, for cooking

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large, lidded pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they start to spit and crackle, add the potatoes. Cook over a medium heat, stirring until they begin to turn golden at the edges. Set them aside. Add the cauliflower and cook until it’s coated in the oil and spice too and just starting to take colour. Set aside.

Add a splash more oil, then cook the onion until golden, stirring often. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes, again stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the turmeric, coriander seeds and the green chilli and cook, stirring all the time for a minute or two. If it starts to catch you can add a splash of water.

Add the tomatoes and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add back the vegetables with some salt and the water. Stir well. Don’t worry that the water doesn’t seem like enough, it will cook well with the lid on. Put the lid on and leave for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir it regularly and mush up the cauli a little bit smaller once it starts to soften.

Once cooked, stir in the garam masala and add the lime juice and some more salt if needed. I left mine overnight before making the toastie as the curry tastes even better the next day.

To make the toastie

Sliced white bread
Leftover aloo gobi
Cheese (I used a mixture of what I had but Cheddar is fine – anything that melts nicely)
Sliced red onion
Coriander chutney (see below)
Pickled red chillies (see below)
Melted butter or mayonnaise

Coriander chutney recipe

Blend 1 large bunch of coriander (stalks and leaves) with 1 green chilli, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, a large pinch of salt and 2 pinches of sugar.

Pickled chillies recipe

Combine 2 sliced red chillies with 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 large pinches sugar, 2 pinches salt and a splash of water. Set aside for 20 minutes or so.

Heat the Breville toastie maker. While this is happening, brush the outside of each piece of bread with either melted butter or mayonnaise.

Turn the pieces of bread over and spread one side of each sandwich with coriander chutney. Add a spoonful of aloo gobi and top with a handful of cheese. Add sliced red onion and pickled red chillies. Top with the other slices of bread (buttered/mayonnaised side facing upwards). Toast!

Long-time readers (hello, and thank you) will remember my phase of Project Sandwiches – those which took time and effort but meant I could happily spend the day baking bread and pickling vegetables then sit down with a brilliant sandwich at the end of it.

I made huge meatballs subs; chicken sandwiches which involved roasting a whole chicken with 40 cloves of garlic then making mayonnaise with its fat; salt beef (and corned beef); banh mi; burgers; sabich and, of course, po’boys.

This fried mussel po’boy is a variation on the classic shrimp filling. Mussels are cheap and sustainably farmed so I’m making an effort to eat more. Is it a faff deep-frying mussels? Absolutely yes. We had to steam them open, pluck them from their shells, coat them in cornmeal then fry them but they did make an excellent filling once tossed with Old Bay seasoning. I suffer for my art.

We piled them into sub rolls with homemade garlic and gherkin mayo which I finished with a bit of smoked olive oil, a spicy pickled salad of finely diced sweet white onion, bell pepper and celery, lots of shredded lettuce, some celery leaves and Peckham Smoker hot sauce. It was memorable: mussels hot from the fryer, rich smoky mayo, piquant salad and pops of searing chilli heat.

If you ever make this I must warn you that your kitchen will smell like fried mussels for at least two days. We opened all the windows and sat shivering for an hour in front of Masterchef, The Professionals which took the edge off a little bit but it really was quite the funk. Have I put you off making this sandwich yet? If I have then I’m sorry – project sandwiches are best suited to the truly dedicated.

Fried Mussel Po’Boy Recipe

(makes 4)

1 kg live mussels
4 white sub rolls (or baguette)
Iceberg lettuce
2 eggs lightly beaten
Plain flour
Coarse polenta
Old Bay seasoning

For the pickled salad

1.5 sweet white onions, finely diced (these are smaller and sweeter than regular brown-skinned onions – just use a small regular one if you can’t find any/can’t be bothered)
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
2 green chillies or jalapenos, finely sliced
2 ribs celery, finely sliced
120ml white wine vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon caster sugar
2 large pinches salt

For the mayonnaise

2 egg yolks
100ml flavourless oil
30ml smoked olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 gherkins, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Begin by making the salad. Mix everything together well. Set aside and give it a stir now and then while you make the other elements.

Make the mayonnaise. I find this easiest in an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks then slowly begin adding the flavourless oil drip by drip, then in a thin stream. When it’s all incorporated add the lemon juice, mustard and garlic and whisk in. Slowly add the smoked olive oil. Tip into a bowl then season with salt and add the gherkins.

Clean the mussels by pulling off any beards. Give any that are open a sharp tap on the work surface – if they don’t close they are dead – chuck those ones away.

Heat a few splashes of water in a large pan. Once hot add the mussels and put the lid on until they open. Remove them from their shells, chucking any which haven’t opened (dead).

Get three plates or shallow bowls ready – one covered with flour seasoned with salt and pepper, one with the beaten eggs and one covered in polenta. Coat the mussels first in flour, then in egg, then in polenta. It’s easier if you use one hand for dry stuff and one hand for the egg.

Heat a large pan or fryer with vegetable oil to 180C. Fry the mussels in batches until golden brown (a few minutes). Drain on kitchen paper and put in a very low oven or under a low grill to keep warm while you fry the rest.

To make the sandwiches split the sub rolls, add mayonnaise, salad, lettuce and loads of mussels. Top with extra Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce. Congratulations, you have made a Project Sandwich.

People get worked up about bánh mi, don’t they? All spittle-mouthed and red around their Pob-like cheeks. A major point of contention is the bread because the bánh mi is a product of French colonial rule in Vietnam, when the baguette was adopted but made lighter, somehow, with a famous, crackly crust and aerated crumb. People argue about how this baguette is made.

Some say lightness comes from the use of rice flour, but many argue this is rubbish because hardly any Vietnamese recipes contain rice flour and those that do never work. Also there’s the question of humidity, with many claiming the bread gets its texture due to high atmospheric humidity (and goodness knows it IS humid there, I have frizzy hair photos to prove it) but really, it’s more likely down to humidity levels in the oven during baking.

I say this as someone who isn’t a baker, so what the hell do I know anyway? I also didn’t eat any bánh mi when I was in Vietnam, because a) I was only there for 24 hours, and b) I was at the wrong end of the country (it’s a Southern thing) and my guide told me the bánh mi in Hanoi are ‘all shit and just for tourists, so don’t bother’.

What I do know about bánh mi, is that they’re a lesson in the perfect sandwich. There’s something crunchy, something soft, something pickled, something creamy or fatty… there’s heat and herbs and it’s all brilliant, providing you don’t expect it to blow your mind, in which case it will definitely blow your mind. In any case, it’s just a freakin’ sandwich. Here are three bánh mi experiences I can remember as I write this:

Best Bánh Mi Experience: Banh Mi Hoi An in Hackney. This place sells some of the best bánh mi in London and trust me, I have put the work in. Get the pork special or whatever it’s actually called. You’ll know when you get there. There isn’t really any seating and it’s cramped (unless it goes downstairs? I can’t remember) so be prepared for a takeaway situation.

Worst Bánh Mi Experience: Somewhere in the Vietnamese bit of Melbourne. Someone told me about this incredible bánh mi I just had to have so I did another ‘mad sandwich dash before the airport’ thing and by sheer brutal bad luck got a taxi driver who was total clown shoes. He got lost three times and chucked me out on a massive freeway after we had a disagreement. Anyway, I found it, ordered it, ate it, and it was shit. Then I couldn’t get a taxi back because it was a weird area and so I had to walk for two miles and got vicious sunburn.

Best ‘Bad but Good’ Bánh Mi Experience: Viet Café, Camberwell. You just know I go back for this all the time and I don’t even care who knows. The bánh mi is objectively Not Good with its pappy, part-baked baguette, overcooked pucks of ‘chicken satay’ and – wait for it – sweet chilli sauce but damn, does it hit the spot. The sweet chilli sauce makes the whole thing work, it’s sweet-hot gloopiness both lubing the dry chicken and bringing its own special brushstroke of filth.

Arguments aside, the bánh mi is quite simple, really, and anyway, if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to make a good sandwich. I made this as backup when a mate came around for lunch and I was recipe testing something else I knew wasn’t going work (but had to be done that way anyway for completeness) and he liked it, so I made it again, but better. This would be fantastic with fresh turmeric which is usually available EVEN IN MORRISSON’S in south London but did they have it this time? Of course they didn’t. Still, that makes the recipe a bit more accessible, I guess. Just use the ingredients you have to hand, guys; that’s what the Vietnamese did.

Turmeric Fish Banh Mi

This makes 3 sandwiches, or I guess one massive baguette which you could portion up. You want to find a light baguette for this, so leave sourdough out of it, because that won’t work at all (if you’re local, I bought these at Ayre’s Bakery in Nunhead). Also, it’s best if you cut the veg into thin sticks by hand – I have used a fancy julienne peeler in the past and it makes the strips too thin so they just flop in the pickling liquid and lose their crunch.

For the pickled vegetables

1 large carrot, cut into thin sticks
1/4 daikon, cut into thin sticks
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Large pinch salt

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar over heat and pour over the vegetables in a shallow dish. Leave while you make everything else, stirring occasionally.

For the fish

300g firm white fish, cubed (I used haddock). Don’t be an arse – make sure it’s sustainably sourced.
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (grating leaves behind the nasty fibrous bits)
3-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (yup, much more towards the 5 end of the scale myself)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (I used Three Crabs brand)
Zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons turmeric powder

Mix the ginger, garlic, fish sauce, turmeric and lime zest and smother all over the fish. Leave for 20 minutes or so. Brush off any excess marinade, thread onto skewers then cook under a moderate grill for a few minutes each side (this depends on the size of your chunks, obviously).

For the sandwiches

3 small, soft, white ‘torpedo’ baguettes
1/2 cucumber, deseeded and cut into long strips
1 red chilli, finely sliced
Coriander leaves
Mint leaves
Mayonnaise

Assemble by splitting the baguettes and pulling out some of the crumb (yes, I forgot), spreading with mayo, adding pickled veg, herbs, chilli, cucumber. Add the fish by putting the whole skewer into the sandwich, clutching the bread, then removing the skewer. You may want a squeeze of lime juice, but see how you go.

I first tasted sabich in Tel Aviv a couple of years ago. I’d become so obsessed with the idea of tasting one, in fact, I made a point of seeking out as many as possible, managing just three. That number looks a bit more impressive when you consider that I went on a mad dash around the city in the few hours I should’ve spent packing for the airport, and I was eating sabich right up until I buckled into my seat.
The sandwich starts with a soft, round proper Israeli pita, not those cardboard slippers we get in the supermarkets, which is warmed (not toasted), and split for filling. Inside you’ll find sliced potato, hard-boiled egg, fried aubergine, pickles, salads and sauces, including amba. That’s a sweet and tart sauce consisting of mangoes and spices and it basically makes the sandwich.

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to make one, and I think part of it was the fear of cooking from increasingly distant memories. The amba is sweet, sharp and vaguely musty, and the zhoug a lightning bolt of green, all zippy herbs and chilli heat.

I’d love to go back to Tel Aviv one day, a thrilling city with incredible food. These sandwiches are a glimmer of that sun-soaked city on a freezing afternoon in South London, and for now, that’ll do me just fine. For now.

Sabich Recipe

Makes 6 pitas with leftover amba and zhoug (a very good thing)

For the amba

Amba is a sweet and sour mango sauce which probably arrived in Israel with the Iraqi Jews and is a common topping on sabich and falafel. It really makes this sandwich.

2 unripe (green) mangoes (you should have no trouble finding these in the supermarket…), peeled and diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
1 heaped teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large pinch turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vegetable or groundnut oil, for frying

In a small saucepan, gently heat the sugar with the lemon juice and vinegar, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the mango pieces along with 200ml water and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the pieces are very soft (you will blend the sauce). In a separate, small frying pan or saucepan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the garlic and cook very briefly, stirring, for 30 seconds or so. Add the turmeric, cumin, fenugreek and some salt and mix well. Transfer to a blender and whizz until smooth. Set aside to cool.

For the zhoug

Zhoug is a Yemenite chilli sauce which is fantastic with pretty much everything, including grilled meat and fish.

Large bunch of coriander and stalks
Slightly smaller bunch of parsley and stalks
5-10 green chillies (depending on their heat and your tolerance)
8 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
2 large pinches of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a pestle and mortar, crush the cumin and caraway seeds. Add the salt and crush the garlic too. Transfer to a food processer with the herbs, lemon juice and chillies and blend to a paste. Add the oil and blend again. Check for seasoning.

For the sandwiches

1 aubergine
3 potatoes
6 small, round, soft pita
3 eggs
1/2 small white cabbage, finely shredded
1 carrot, grated or cut into very fine strips
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Vegetable or groundnut oil, for frying

First, cook the aubergines by cutting into 1 cm slices, then frying in oil. I used a cast iron skillet for this, with oil to a depth of 1cm. Remove the slices when they are golden on each side and rest on kitchen paper.

Cook the potatoes in salted water. Drain, cool a bit and slice.

Cook the eggs by covering them with cold water. As soon as they start to boil, time them for 5-6 minutes (small-large), then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Peel and cut in half or slice.

Make a salad by mixing the cabbage, carrot, onion, olive oil, vinegar and some salt and pepper.

To assemble the sandwiches

Warm the pittas, but don’t toast them – they should be soft and pliable. Cut the top off and stuff with the ingredients and sauces. Direct into mouth.

Spam Mi (Banh mi with Spam)

Maybe you are turning up your nose right now, before wistfully reminiscing about the sophisticated little you tugging on your granny’s starched apron strings while she whisked resplendent glossy meringues and taught you all the secrets of perfect pickles. Well while you did that, I was eating SPAM (actually, my nan made stellar pickles and my parents are great cooks but that’s not the point); for me and my childish palate, highlights were salty chopped pig from a tin, and Mr. Brain’s faggots.

As I got older I turned my back on SPAM, deciding I’d grown out of it; I was embarrassed to admit it had ever passed my lips. It was like ditching an old mate because you moved up to big school and decided they’re not good enough to fit in with the cool kids. Harsh. It’s only in recent years I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s OK to eat something and damn well enjoy it once in a while, even if you know deep down it’s pretty wrong.

SPAM is meat in a can; let’s think about what that means. I’m aware that it doesn’t contain the finest cuts of rare breed swine with a royal bloodline and that what it does contain is salty as hell, conceals a significant proportion of your daily fat intake and slides out of the can with an alarming jelly-lubed slurp. There’s no denying though, that on certain days in certain ways, I’ll chomp my way down memory lane and like it.

And you know what? It’s amazing how many people share in my occasional appreciation. Simon Majumdar for example, revelled in his opportunity to judge at the SPAM cook of the year awards, while my good friend Lizzie introduced me to one of her family’s favourite ways to eat it. Su-Lin serves up a classic SPAM, egg and rice, Sunflower makes some stonking Chinese pancakes and the Hawaiians are mad for SPAM Musubi.

When the people at SPAM offered to send me a cooking set, I accepted with the enthusiasm of the ten year old me. In it were such treasures as a SPAM apron; a SPAM oven glove; two pens (appropriately embellished, obviously); a cook book; a spatula and of course, a tin of SPAM. In return for this gift, the official people have asked me to come up with a recipe. I thought about the best way to use it. It’s a luncheon meat and the only really acceptable time to eat luncheon meat for me is in either something Chinese-style or in a dish similarly spiced, funked and/or pickled…

Enter the SPAM mi (that’s a bánh mì using – you’ve guessed it – SPAM). I smothered slices with a mixture of crushed garlic, black pepper, fish sauce and sesame oil before frying until crisp and stuffing into warmed baguette piled high with familiar bánh mì garnishes. It really hit the spot.

The taste and smell of the pink fried slices transported me back in time almost instantly, but my own personal history with the mystery meat is minuscule compared to the bigger picture. World War II troops practically lived on the stuff and in Hawaii, they still do the same today, feeling sufficiently passionate to celebrate it with the annual Waikiki SPAM Jam festival. It’s even on the menu at Maccy D’s. There’s a fan club, an outrageously famous comedy sketch, a cook book and a museum. While I probably limit my own consumption to a couple of tins per year, it’s a guilty pleasure that I’m happy to embrace because let’s face it, sometimes only the saline whack of a low budget cured pork product will do.

SPAM Mi

340g SPAM (can size), cut into 1cm slices
2 tablespoons coarse, crushed black pepper
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large clove crushed garlic

Garnish

Coriander leaves
Mint leaves
Sliced red chilli
Thinly sliced red onion or spring onion
Mayonnaise
Thin, de-seeded cucumber slices
Carrot and daikon pickle (there are loads of recipes out there – it’s really about adjusting to taste. Here’s one from Viet World Kitchen).

Baguette (to stuff it all into. Apparently the best ones are made from rice flour but I’ve never found one so I just use a normal one and scoop out a bit of the insides if it’s really dense).

For the SPAM, mix the pepper, fish sauce, sesame oil and garlic together well then rub over the SPAM slices and allow to marinate for an hour. After this time, fry the slices in a small amount of vegetable oil until golden and crisp on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper.

To build, lightly warm your baguette in the oven and then smear on the mayo, add the SPAM and all your other ingredients as desired.

The Best Chicken Sandwich

…FACT.

I was more excited about this sandwich than I was about the dish that made it happen – chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. That’s the kind of tunnel vision you find yourself dealing with when you’re a sandwich obsessive; always focused on where the next fix is coming from. It wasn’t just the leftover chicken that got me thinking so much as all that remaining oil – 200ml of the stuff. It struck me that this precious garlic, herb and chicken infused oil would make possibly the best garlicky mayonnaise I’d ever tasted. It did.

I’ve never mixed mayonnaise so carefully, such was the strength of my opinion that this oil was the most exquisite leftover to pass my way in a very long time. The result was a wobbly pot of  yellow goo which had ‘stick me in your face or stick your face in me right now’ written all over it. I mixed it with chunks of the leftover white and dark chicken meat and of course, lots of crispy skin bits.

It was time for The Build. This starts with the best bread you can find – I chose a classic white bloomer from the German bakery Luca’s in East Dulwich. It ain’t cheap but the bread is worth it; dense crumb, real flavour, perfect crust. Chicken-mayo mix heaps generously on one side of the sandwich and I smeared a few of those sweet roasted cloves onto the other.

With richness of course must come balance and the bitter leaves of a curly endive mixed with lemon juice and generous amounts of salt and pepper did the job perfectly.

All that could be heard for a full five minutes was chewing, interspersed by me spluttering, “best…chomp chomp…chicken…chomp…sandwich” – pieces of stray endive dropping on to my top and blobs of mayonnaise on my chin. It wasn’t pretty; I was out of control. Such is the power of a good sandwich.

My Ultimate Chicken Sandwich

First, you need to improve your quality of life considerably by treating yourself to this dish. Then you’re set to take the highway straight to leftover heaven central.

First, make your mayo. Put two large egg yolks in a clean bowl and whisk them together. Begin adding the oil a few drops at a time, whisking as you do so and making sure each bit of oil is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you whisk more oil in and the mayo starts to thicken, you can start adding the oil in slightly larger quantities until you are steadily adding it in a thin stream. The key with mayo is to be cautious with the oil until you get a feel for making it. If you add too much at once, it will split. If this happens, don’t despair. Take a fresh egg yolk in a clean bowl and begin adding the split mixture into it, very slowly, just as if it were the oil. This should bring it back.

Stop when the mayo reaches the desired thickness. Add lemon juice and seasoning to taste.

(This, by the way, is why I didn’t use extra fruity olive oil when I made my chicken, as the flavour would have been too strong for the mayo. The leftover oil is also great for roasting vegetables – particularly broccoli, and in salad dressings).

Mix the mayo with your leftover meat and heap onto one piece of bread. Spread some leftover garlic cloves on the other piece. Add some curly endive or other bitter salad leaves mixed with a generous amount of lemon juice and seasoning. Sandwich together. Eat and forget your troubles ever existed.