World’s greatest sandwich?

When I first saw “Spanglish” a few years ago, the scene in which Adam Sandler’s character makes a sandwich caught my attention. His character, a chef, is making himself a late-night snack. He takes his time crafting exactly what he wants to eat — frying the egg, cooking the bacon, broiling the cheese on the bread. After a long day, it’s his reward for himself.

I tried to make a version of it at the time and remember it being delicious. I recently found myself thinking about that sandwich again, but couldn’t remember everything that was on it, so I turned to the Internet to see if I could find it anywhere.

I found a DVD extra, titled “The World’s Greatest Sandwich,” on YouTube. It turns out the movie producers called Thomas Keller, chef and owner of The French Laundry, in to make what a chef would want as a late-night snack. He said he enjoys something salty with a beer, and the sandwich is what he came up with for Sandler’s character.

The result really hits the spot. I don’t know about it being the world’s greatest sandwich, but it’s pretty damn good.

Late-night BLT sandwich with fried egg and cheese
3 to 4 thick slices of bacon
2 slices Monterey Jack cheese
2 slices pain de campagne (rustic country loaf), whole-grain bread or sourdough bread, toasted
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 slices tomato
2 leaves butter lettuce
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg

Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Place the slices of cheese on one slice of the toasted bread and place in a toaster oven or under a broiler to melt the cheese.

Spread the other slice of toast with the mayonnaise, top with the cooked bacon, the sliced tomato and the lettuce.

In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Fry the egg, turning over briefly when the bottom is set (keep the yolk runny).

Slide the finished egg on top of the lettuce. Top with the other slice of toast, melted cheese side down. Place the sandwich on a plate and slice in half, letting the yolk run down the sandwich.

Makes one late-night sandwich.

BLT Linguine

I was feeling ambitious last weekend. I had already decided to make BLT Linguine for dinner but, when I went to check to see whether I had all the ingredients, I noticed I didn’t have any linguine. I considered going to the store, but then decided I was up to the challenge of making linguine from scratch. In “High Flavor, Low Labor,” Associated Press Food Editor J.M. Hirsch says pasta is easy to make. I decided to see if he was right. It turns out making the pasta dough is easy, but the shaping process is challenging if you’re doing it by hand.

The second batch of pasta

The first batch I made turned out way too thick after it was boiled. I thought I had rolled it out thin enough, but it bulked up considerably during the cooking process. It was unpleasant to eat and I ended up throwing it out. The second time around, I cut the dough into larger sections after rolling it out, rolled out each section, then cut each section into strips and rolled the strips out. It was a lot of work and the pasta still ended up slightly thicker than I wanted it to be, but this batch was much better than the first. I have a tall kitchen table, and I’m an average height, but even kneeling on one of the chairs didn’t give me enough leverage to roll the dough out as thin as it should have been.

I’ve only made pasta one other time, and that was a few years ago when I made gnocchi, which is a long process, but completely worth it. For this recipe, making pasta by hand was more trouble than it was worth. Unless you have a pasta maker, I’d recommend using store-bought pasta. However, if you’re feeling ambitious, I’ve included the instructions to make linguine.

BLT Linguine is easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Instead of sauce, it calls for cream cheese, which might be off-putting to some, but it works. For a lower-fat version of this recipe, Hirsch recommends substituting Greek-style yogurt for the cream cheese and prosciutto for the bacon.

10 slices smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, whites and light green sections, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 12-ounce package fresh linguine, or one recipe linguine (below)
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small chunks
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. While the water heats, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the scallions and tomatoes, then sauté for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mixture to a bowl, draining any excess fat.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1⁄4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the saucepan.

Add the cream cheese and half of the reserved cooking water to the pasta. Toss until the cheese is melted and forms a creamy sauce.

Add three-quarters of the bacon and tomato mixture, then toss again. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more of the reserved cooking water. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta among four plates, then top each serving with some of the remaining bacon and tomato mixture.

2 cups flour
3 eggs

Knead eggs into flour until ball of dough forms. Put bowl over ball of dough and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll dough into a thin sheet and cut into strips. Put strips of pasta into a pot of salted, boiling water.