"Basically, the idea of this sandwich was a souped-up grilled cheese,” explains Ayesha Nurdjaja, executive chef at Hundred Acres in Manhattan. But her Madame Porkesa is so much more than that. “The idea behind the Madame Porkesa was actually the weekend of Thanksgiving," she says, though now the sandwich is served with pork instead of turkey. “It’s an expert hangover food." When the Madame Porkesa comes out of the kitchen, it looks like it's about to topple over, there are so many different layers. But it's a balanced dish, at least when it comes to flavors.
You've got the sweet cranberry sauce layered on the buttery bread with the creamy bechamel sauce drizzled on top. There's also the salt from the pork, and the hint of acidity from the lemon zest that's grated on top of a pile of fresh spinach. Nurdjaja noted that it's important not to skimp on the mustard; it adds a nice brightness that cuts through the melted cheddar cheese and the yolky eggs. As with many dishes inspired by leftovers, this sandwich isn't always on the menu at Hundred Acres, but when it is, you should order it immediately. And sure, it's a little messy, but it's totally worth it.