Monday, July 05, 2010

Pastrami on Rye

"New Yooooooooooooooooooork, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do..." ~Alicia Keys (Empire State of Mind).

Wherever you live, you have to admit: one city in the world has an  allure like no other. New York. The city that never sleeps, rich with culture, diverse with people and attitudes. The city seems to crackle with possibility and and I don't think there is a person out there who doesn't find the thought of living there - or at the very least visiting it - extremely appealing.

So, is it any wonder then that it wasn't the variety of personas Ruth Reichl morphed into or the detailed descriptions of the meals she enjoyed at the various restaurants, but the locale of her book, Garlic & Sapphires, that inspired me most? The street scenes, the buzz of the city and its hidden treasures all come to life in Ruth's account of her time spent as the New York Times' restaurant critic. I wanted to inhale the very essence of the city whilst reading and in fact, I could almost smell the Manhattan air as I did so.

Something quintessentially New York was therefore the no-brainer choice for my first This Book Makes Me Cook challenge. Cheesecake, bagels, lox and cream cheese were all contenders for the crown, but the winner was  a NY classic - pastrami on rye. Soft, fresh rye bread, paired with a dab of mayonnaise, a couple of slices pastrami, nutty emmenthal and sour pickles and garnished with dribbles of coarse grainy mustard.

The perfect portable meal for the get-up-and-go lifestyle of the locals. And if you haven't read the book in question, I can think of no better partner for this sandwich.
PS: Doesn't this excerpt from the book just encapsulate the very essence of the joy of cooking?

"... while cooking demands your entire attention, it also rewards you with endlessly sensual pleasures. The sound of water skittering across leaves of lettuce. The thump of the knife against watermelon... The seductive softness of chocolate beginning to melt from solid to liquid. The tug of sauce against the spoon when it thickens in the pan, and the lovely lightness of Parmesan drifting from the grater in gossamer flakes. Time slows down in the kitchen, offering up an entire universe of small satisfactions." ~ From Garlic & Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

Pastrami on Rye 
Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices of rye bread
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 slices of beef pastrami
2 or 3 slices emmenthal
1 dill pickle, sliced
2 tsp grainy mustard

1. Lightly spread both bread slices with mayonnaise. 
2. Layer the pastrami, emmenthal and pickle onto one of the bread slices.
3. Add dollops of mustard here and there and top with the other slice of bread.

Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 360.2, Total fat 15.5 g, Saturated fat 3.5 g, Polyunsaturated fat 0.7 g, Monounsaturated fat 2.0 g, Cholesterol 42.4 mg, Sodium 2,067.5 mg, Potassium 316.2 mg, Total carbohydrate 33.6 g, Dietary fiber 4.8 g, Sugars 3.1 g, Protein 18.3 g

Good source of: Selenium 42.6 %, Manganese 28.2 %, Niacin 24.4 %, Zinc 24.2 %, Thiamin 21.5 %, Iron 19.2 %


nina on July 05, 2010 9:32 am said...

Foodporn first thing on a Monday morning is not a good thing...or is it???? Fab photos and Divine sandwich!!!

Michael Olivier on July 05, 2010 10:06 am said...

Luv this post - PRETTY PRETTY pics too.

Luv luv Michael

Marisa on July 05, 2010 11:42 am said...

Nina - as the reigning queen of foodporn, you should know it is *always* a good thing. ;-)

Michael - thanks! This is my new favourite sandwhich.

Joanne on July 05, 2010 2:08 pm said...

Well, I don't know if you really want to SMELL the streets of Manhattan, but you certainly do want to taste the food here! Pastrami on rye is classic New York. This looks fantastic.

If you ever come visit, you'd better let me know because then we have a date at Katz's Deli...the ultimate stop for some really good Pastrami in NYC.

Koek! on July 05, 2010 2:19 pm said...

That Pastrami on Rye looks good enough to eat! (wait, hang on...)
Wish I'd had that for lunch instead of a dodgy lasagna I bought from Melissa's.

Marisa on July 05, 2010 2:43 pm said...

Joanne - Katz is definitely on my to-visit list for one day; seems the place is quite legendary.

Koek - I wish I had this for lunch too! But alas, no more pastrami. Strange about Melissa's though - their food is normally quite good quality.

Heather S-G on July 05, 2010 3:40 pm said...

:P""""" that's gorgeous! I can almost taste it from here...wishful thinking. Wow, you have a delicious spot here...I must go explore! And I LOVED Garlic & Sapphires...all of Reichl's books, actually. YUM!

Umm Mymoonah on July 05, 2010 3:51 pm said...

Wow! Lipsmacking bread with pickle, pastrami and cheese, i can have it all day. Great looking pictures too, following you:-)

Marisa on July 05, 2010 4:04 pm said...

Girlichef - Thanks for stopping by. Haven't read any of Reichl's other books, think I should look them up in the library!

Umm Mymoonah - I repeated these sandwiches about two days afterwards, so much did I enjoy them.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy on July 05, 2010 4:26 pm said...

I LOVE pastrami! The husband is the rye fan though, this looks awesome, thanks!

Anonymous said...

There's something about your pickles in that first photo that gets me excited.
Also, that mustard taunts me from an ad on a bus shelter by here every day of my life. How good is it?
All in all, a very delectable choice ;).

~Kurious Kitteh

Simply Life on July 06, 2010 2:14 am said...

oh wow, that looks so good!

polkadotcupcake on July 06, 2010 9:01 am said...

This looks divine! Make me one and deliver, please? I have no lunch today!

Bombay Foodie on July 06, 2010 8:50 pm said...

That's as perfect an inspiration from the book as I can think of. Welcome to the club :)

s on July 08, 2010 6:15 am said...

beautiful post...

Marisa on July 08, 2010 8:10 am said...

Debbi - This is the perfect combo for you & hubby then. :-)

Kurioskitteh - I'll be honest, this coarse grained mustard is the only one I'll eat. I hate the smooth stuff!

Simply Life - Thank you!

Polkadotcupcake - We'll have to do lunch someday and I'll make these, mkay?

Simran - Thanks Simran, awesome to be a part of it.

S - Thank you. :-)

Homemade Heaven on July 08, 2010 11:49 am said...

As a New York Bagel addict for the last 15 years, this is something I can eat ANYTIME. I love to make my own and the family get just as excited when I do.
Served with coleslaw - even better!

Marisa on July 08, 2010 12:55 pm said...

Rose - I almost made bagels. That's next on my list of things to make.

Desisoccermom on July 16, 2010 8:47 am said...

Lovely review and a great sandwich.I have never had pastrami on Rye but I am waiting to visit NY and Katz to have the ultimate!!
Welcome to the book club. :) Off to check out Mesir Wat.

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