Anthony Bourdain’s 5-Ingredient Sandwich Is My Favorite—It’s So Delicious

Anthony Bourdain's 5-Ingredient Sandwich Is My Favorite—It's So Delicious

Finding delights was Anthony Bourdain's life's work. During his travels around the world, he savored gastronomy as much as simple foods.

I'll never forget the first time I heard Bourdain recall one of his favorite foods, a fried mortadella sandwich. Talk about simple but delicious! In his book Appetites: a recipe book, he called it a “beloved heap of oozing wonder.” So of course I had to try it.

What is mortadella?

Mortadella is bologna's adult cousin. It's a lot like bologna but has more texture thanks to the large chunks of fat marbled into the meat. It's usually sliced ​​thin and makes a perfect addition to sandwiches.

Normally you wouldn't cook mortadella, you use it more like cold cuts. This sandwich adds a little spice to Italian meat with very delicious results. Cooking mortadella melts large chunks of fat from the meat, allowing the edges to become crispy.

The key ingredients

Because this recipe East so simple (just five ingredients), it's especially important to use high-quality ingredients. This is what makes the sandwich truly special.

  • To roll: You need good bread to hold these tasty sandwich fillings. A high quality Kaiser roll or something similar is excellent. I like to lightly toast the roll inside just to make it a little crispy.
  • Mortadella: This is the key ingredient in this sandwich. Look for really good meat sliced ​​to order, ideally from a good Italian market. You will need about 6 slices per sandwich (sliced ​​very thinly).
  • Provolone cheese: Accept no substitutes! Use the best Italian provolone available, sliced. The great thing about provolone is that it melts well and any extra melty bits will get crispy in the pan.
  • Mayonnaise and mustard: I like to mix classic condiments for a simple sauce. I use a 2:1 ratio for my sauce (mayo to mustard).

Simply Recipes / Photo illustration by Wanda Abraham / Laurel Randolph

How to Make Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Sandwich

It's pretty simple and any home cook can make this sandwich in minutes. To prepare a sandwich you will need:

  • 1 sandwich roll, split
  • 6 thin slices of mortadella
  • 2 thin slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Start by lightly toasting the roll. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the mortadella slices in two piles. You want the mortadella in a messy pile, not a clean pile. This means more edges and more crispiness.

Fry the mortadella until golden brown on the bottom, about two minutes. Turn the piles of mortadella with a spatula. Add the cheese to the top of both piles and cook for a few more minutes until the bottom is crisp and the cheese is melted.

Coat your roll with mayonnaise and mustard. Stack the piles of cheese mortadella and add them to the roll. Eat this sandwich right away while it's still crispy and tender. I devoured mine and it's safe to say that Anthony Bourdain's favorite sandwich is also my favorite sandwich.


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