When one of my favorite blogs, The Chickenless Kitchen, announced a cooking challenge to come up with a 30 Rock-themed recipe, I immediately thought, That's crazy! But then I heard Tracy Morgan/Tracy Jordan's high-functioning alcoholic voice exclaim: Who's crazier? Me or Anne Curry?! Short of hearing the voice of God or seeing a burning bush, I felt like my questionable mental stability must be issuing an edict to make this challenge happen! So with the help of Mr. Wasabi, who is a huge 30 Rock fan, we came up with something as disturbing and indulgent as the show is. We like to call this little beastmaster, The Dealbreaker.
|There's a sandwich under there, I swear! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Much like the confused look of terror that's probably on your face right now, there's just no easy way of explaining this. It's a bit like walking in on a crime being committed. The foodie foundation of The Dealbreaker is a Croque Monsieur, which is French for the sandwich that will surely end you -- the meaning loses a bit in translation, trust me. A grilled ham and cheese sandwich wasn't enough, no sir, this one had to be smothered in a beer cheddar sauce. Main character Liz Lemon's favorite thing is a sandwich, because it's a perfect meal placed between two slices of bread, and one of her absolute favorite foods is cheese -- any and all of it. Much like this meal, Liz is a big hot mess, as shown by this ample collection of quotes and gags.
The name, Dealbreaker, refers to a catch phrase from a self-help character Liz creates for her skit comedy show that's full of quotable relationship advice like, "Long distance is the wrong distance - shut it down!" The radioactive colored crumbles over the top are a nod to Sabor de Soledad, The Taste of Solitude, or generic offbrand Cheetos, as Liz calls them. Alec Baldwin's awesomely offensive network exec, Jack Donaghy, discovers there is an actor who looks like him, playing a villain called the Generalissimo on a Telemundo soap opera. Donaghy's trying to win over his girlfriend's mother who hates the Generalissimo, so he plots to have the character killed off on the series, so his face isn't associated with someone she hates. Here is a clip that mentions Sabor de Soledad, and also happens to be awesome:
I'd like to believe this is a Liz Lemon-worthy meal, as it's designed for an indulgent serving of one, enjoyed in the comfort of one's home at some late night hour on a Saturday night, watching the Generalissimo on TV, curled up under a Slanket.
2 slices of bread
4 thin slices of ham
slices of gruyere cheese - enough to cover one side of the bread
1 tbsp butter (for grilling sandwich and spreading on bread)
6 oz beer, preferably an ale (just drink the rest, I did)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste
For garnish: 1/4 cup crushed Sabor de Soledad (or Cheetos, whatever)
Make sauce first: on a burner set to medium, place a small saucepot and melt the butter and sprinkle in flour. Incorporate the ingredients untilthe paste is slightly browned and slowly add the beer, mixing or whisking constantly to remove lumps. Reduce burner temperature to low. When sauce is smooth, slowly add in handfuls of the shredded cheddar until it's melted and a creamy sauce has formed. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
For the sandwich: smear the butter on both sides of the inside surface of the bread and lay down a layer of gruyere and ham. Place a skillet on the stove and turn on burner to medium. Melt a pat of butter in skillet and grill the sandwich on both sides, pressing to ensure inside is melted and fused together.
Plate the grilled sandwich and pour sauce over the top. Sprinkle over bits of Sabor de Soledad and shout to the world, THAT'S A DEALBREAKER, LADIES!
Special Wasabi thanks to local bakery, Macrina, who provided a loaf of their amazing Pane Francese, a bread developed from grape yeast from Hightower Cellars. It's a really hearty and flavorful bread which stood up to all this 30 Rock silliness. I'm fairly sure Liz Lemon would wrestle the Pane Francese from my hands in the street to make a sandwich out of it... but not without a fight, Ms. Lemon!
|Let's make a Deal(breaker) with the help of Macrina Bakery - Photos by Wasabi Prime|