Sandwiched: Fried Tomatillo and Spicy Mayo


The greatest column since sliced bread.


[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]



Tips and tricks for making the best sandwiches at home.

Salty, spicy, briny, pickled, hot, sour; lately all I want to do is eat foods that are intensely savory. Just last night I was saying that everything I had tasted throughout a recent meal needed salt or a hit of acid, readily admitting that if I could drink condiments I would (actually, I had a martini with pickle brine at Kinshop recently which was pretty close to heaven).

This recipe came out of my craving for a sandwich that would pack multiple flavors and textures in a single bite. I use tangy, sour-sweet tomatillos for salsas verdes on a regular basis, but lately have been enjoying them fresh, tossed with Maldon salt, pepper, and chilled watermelon. I thought their fruity acidity would make an interesting contrast with coarse yellow cornmeal, which, when fried, smells just like campfire popcorn.

The crisp, golden cornmeal crust encases the tomatillo, which turns tender and soft during cooking. To add a smoky, crunchy layer to the sandwich, strips of bacon hide underneath the tomatillos. Spicy mayo laced with Asian ingredients like fish sauce and Sriracha add a creamy, bold accent, while peppery radish, vibrant cilantro, and licorice-scented basil contribute a refreshing element that ties everything together.

Hands down my favorite sandwich in the past few weeks. Sorry, Elvis.