In a pastrami pickle

I just got back from a  few days to New York where I visited the famous Katz Deli, you’ll probably know it from *that* scene in When Harry Met Sally. The sandwiches are piled high with meat and the queues crazy to even get in the door. I managed to get a few bites of a sandwich and left with a hunger for more.

So when Haywards got in touch to offer us a taster of their pickles, I knew exactly what I wanted to make: New York deli sammies. If you’re going to host a  4th of July party for your favourite American ex-pats, then you can’t go wrong with plenty of meat, cheese and the sharp, tangy crunch of pickles.

For our first effort, I assembled salt beef, Jarlsberg cheese and Haywards sweet piccalilli on rye. My boyfriend wasn’t convinced as, being American, he’d never actually had piccalilli. They  tend to have their pickles straight up. Or served with a shot of whiskey, if you’re feeling saucy.

Once assembled, it was time to get some heat up in there. Straight onto a hot pan and give it a good squish down so that it doesn’t all fall apart when you are eating it.

The result: it might be sacrilege to say but I actually preferred my version to Katz’s. Theirs may have authenticity but I found the beef quite dry and in mine, the sweet and crunchy taste of the piccalilli added a much richer  flavour to the meat.

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Next up: the classic cheese and pastrami sandwich with gherkins served with a dollop of Dijon and silverskin onions. My boyfriend loved this one, especially with the pickles inside. Traditionally you always get a pickle on the side of your sandwich plate when eating in the states but I much prefer them inside the sandwich.

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With all the cheese and meat in these beasts, some greens are definitely in order. Try this beet salad with feta and caramelised walnuts. Beets have some fantastic health qualities so you can feel genuinely virtuous with a spoon of this on the side of your sandwich.

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Now I’ve mastered how to make my own deli specials, we’ve got some interesting variations on the go for our next version, but I’m interested to hear what would be in *your* 4th July sandwich? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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