Tyler Kord, the chef/owner of No. 7 Restaurant and multiple No. 7 Sub Shops in New York City, does not make emotionally neutral sandwiches, generally speaking. The recipes in his new book, A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches, will make you feel, heal, and be a more nuanced and sated person. Plus they just taste madly good. Perhaps you can convince your insurance company to cover the cost of a copy.
Sometimes I wake up feeling like the worst person in the world. More often I go to bed feeling like the worst person in the world. Look, I know that you’re not my therapist. In fact, you are essentially paying me to write this, so if anything, it’s more like I should be your therapist, and in that regard I guess I’m not doing a great job. And with this newfound understanding of my role in your universe, let me prescribe this sandwich the next time you are about to go to bed feeling like the worst person ever. It’s spicy and meaty and delicious, and it always makes me feel better about things. It helps if you look up at the stars while you eat this sandwich and think about how unfathomably large the universe is and how small your problems must be in the history of the entire, potentially limitless and timeless universe, and then remember that everybody will eventually forget whatever it is that you’re stressed out about. Unless you killed a bunch of people on purpose, because they will probably remember that.
- Yields: Makes 4 breakfast sandwiches that you can eat at any time of the day if you don’t have anything better to do
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Stop. This is spicy, and eating spicy foods before bed makes my dreams super crazy. Either way, go for it, but when you get in bed, after you turn off the light, think really hard about my face while you fall asleep. Then, in the morning, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what I did in your dream. I bet it was awesome!!! (Part of being a good therapist is dream analysis.)
Lay the English muffins, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Put the chorizo on the bottom halves and the Swiss cheese on the tops. Fold in the corners of the cheese so that they don’t melt and drip off the English muffin top, or you will have a more difficult time cleaning your baking sheet.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, the chorizo is hot, and most importantly, the English muffins are well toasted. Undertoasted English muffins are not nearly as good as perfectly toasted English muffins. (Please put that on my gravestone if I am not actually immortal.)
This should take about 7 to 10 minutes (the English muffins, not dealing with my death, which should take a very, very long time). Pull the baking sheet out of the oven and top the chorizo with the scrambled eggs and some pickled jalapeños. Sweet dreams!
For the photo, Maggie Ruggiero, my out-of-my-league food stylist, crumbled the chorizo, mixed it with the scrambled eggs and pickled jalapeños, put it on the English muffin, and topped with cheese before toasting. She is one of the best people that I know, so I accepted this. And now I don’t really like to eat food unless Maggie has styled it first, which is weird and makes mealtimes very difficult.
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
Crack the eggs into a blender and puree on the lowest setting until the eggs are totally uniform. This is the only “secret” to making scrambled eggs. I am too stupid to know why, but for some reason, when the whites and yolks are completely mixed together, your scrambled eggs will taste better than if they are only partially mixed with a fork. I think it’s that the uniformity in protein composition allows the eggs to cook more evenly and gives you a much smoother texture or some other stupid thing like that. They are so delicious, people will ask if you put milk or cheese in them, and you will say, “No,” and they will respect you for it but will still be a little dubious.
Sort-of Mexican Chorizo
I love fresh Mexican chorizo. It is one of the best sausages, and if you’ve never had it, don’t make this version. Go ahead and get Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking & Curing and make that version because it is perfect and delicious. Don’t get me wrong, this sausage is also delicious, but it’s like putting bacon on your first hamburger or pepperoni on your first pizza. Those things taste so different from their original forms, and you should know what the perfect originals taste like. To be honest, I don’t understand why anybody would ever put bacon on a hamburger unless they hate the taste of hamburgers and are trying to mask the hamburger with the most aggressive non-hamburger flavor of all time. Francis, agree or disagree? [L L L —Ed.] I sent this recipe to my mom for testing purposes, and she commented that maybe this makes it sound like you shouldn’t make this sausage because it’s not as good as the Ruhlman one. Betty Kord’s words cut like a knife.
- Yields: Makes about 1½ pounds, enough sausage for all of the people who want fresh chorizo, which is not that many because everybody likes the dry-cured stuff, even though it tastes like messed-up pepperoni.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a blender, combine the chipotles, garlic, salt, white vinegar, elderflower liqueur, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon, and puree until smooth.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, pureed sauce, chile powder, and sesame oil, and mix aggressively until totally combined.
Spread the pork mixture out on a 13 × 18-inch rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until firm to the touch and cooked through. Once the chorizo is cooled, you can cut this sheet of sausage into shapes appropriate for your sandwich. For the subs that we serve, we cut them into rectangular planks.
Pickled jalapeños are so stupid and delicious and easy that you should make them all of the time! And I’m not even talking about making a brine or anything; I’m talking about soaking jalapeños in vinegar and putting them on things. They’ll add a pop to anything that needs a pop! I know a dude who needs a pop. He is a restaurant owner, and he is super nice to my face but apparently can’t stop the flow of hate when my back is turned. I suspect it is because he has some issues, but I can’t imagine that it’s jealousy, as his restaurants are very successful and he’s clearly very talented. Anyway, he said some horrible things about me to the ex-boyfriend of a girl that I was seriously in love with. We were dating until ex-boyfriend related the information to her. We got back together later, but that’s another story entirely that we can talk about in some other cookbook, because this book is about sandwiches, so back to the topic at hand. See, restaurant-owner dude took everything out of context and made me look like a colossal jerk. I have been guilty of being a jerk, but really not this time. Anyway, sometimes I want to give him a pop of jalapeño juice in the eyes because he could at least have said what he had to say to my face. I even gave him a chance! I called him to say that I was super sorry if I had ever done anything to offend him, and he just acted like everything was cool! I don’t understand people like that. (For the record, I wrote that intro in 2012 when I was pitching this book around. I’ll leave it there for posterity’s sake, but for the record, I am totally over that whole situation. I so totally don’t even think about it anymore. Like ever.)
- Yields: Makes enough for 8 to 12 sandwiches
Slice the jalapeños into 1/8-inch disks, on a mandoline if you have one. Otherwise do it carefully by hand.
Put them in a small container and pour in the vinegar.
Seal the container and put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to party or have the urge to throw spicy vinegar in someone’s eyes. This will keep for the rest of time.
Courtesy of Clarkson Potter. Cover photo copyright © 2016 by Noah Fecks
Reprinted from A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches. Copyright © 2016 by Tyler Kord. Photos copyright © 2016 by Noah Fecks. Artwork copyright © 2016 by William Wegman. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.