Monday, April 20, 2015

Jake's Sandwich (w/ Lobster Soul) from "Adventure Time"

          Oh my glob, you guys, this has been a long time coming. I've had this on my List ever since the "Time Sandwich" episode aired but was saving it for (possibly) the podcast, whenever we get around to doing an "Adventure Time" episode, but since we haven't yet, I wanted to just get this bad boy out there! It's sooo tasty. I made two, one for me and one for B, and he gobbled his up so fast and praised it up and down, deciding this is what he wants for his birthday (though that recently passed, so I'm gonna go with Father's Day).

          We know Jake the Dog loves his food (bacon pancakes, everything burrito, etc), but in this episode of "Adventure Time" we get a long scene devoted solely to Jake creating an amazing sandwich including a specific list of ingredients and even the temperature for the meat!


          This is where I first learned of the sous-vide method of cooking steak and boy is it delicious. Whereas Jake uses a large pot and thermometer, and there are specific sous-vide water ovens available, I chose to go the rice cooker route as described by RocketNews24 to keep an even temperature so I wouldn't need to keep fiddling with the stove (I don't own a sous-vide pot), and, well, because I have a rice cooker. So the method described in the recipe below is my adapted, rice cooker version.

          Most of Jake's ingredients are totally doable–even salty tears, though a simple sprinkling of salt works just as well, and I recommend chicken breast instead of a random bird from your window–but one item required a little bit of creativity to pull off; the lobster soul. Now, you can translate this to real life how you will, but for the recipe below, because this is a sandwich, I decided to create a lobster aioli spread. It includes the same ingredients I used for the Fitzsandwich aioli, but instead of using pesto, I used lobster. I considered doing something with lobster plus sole (the fish) as a play on words, but didn't want to get too crazy spending money, and I'm not that into seafood anyway so...if you'd like to add in some cooked sole, go right ahead. Or make little sole and lobster wraps and plop them on the sandwich, whatever floats your boat, but this is what worked for me and I hope you enjoy it!

Jake: It's amazing! Ohhh, this is the greatest sandwich I've ever made!

Finn: Is it glowing?

Jake: You guys want some?

Finn: It's cool, man. I know you want to eat the whole thing, and I'm cool with that.
–"Adventure Time", S.5 Ep.33, "Time Sandwich"

Note: As Jake builds the sandwich, he lays each level of ingredients in a single row, but for the stability of the sandwich and to increase bite/ingredient ratio, I recommend laying a few items, such as the egg slices & cucumbers, into two parallel rows. Probably not necessary to mention, but thought I'd share. You know, logistical stuff.


Jake's (Greatest) Sandwich

Ingredients:
Sub Roll, sliced lengthwise & insides toasted over open flame)
Cream Cheese, softened
Long, Sandwich Sliced Pickles, patted with paper towels (I used dill. If you can find an "artisanal" pickle, go for it)
Fresh Dill
2 Hardboiled Eggs, sliced into circles (cooking tips here)
1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
Common Cucumber, thinly sliced into circles
1-2 Roma Tomatoes, thinly sliced into circles
Small Sweet Yellow Onion, thinly sliced into circles
Sprinkling of Salt
3-5 Pieces of Bacon, pre-cooked
Lobster Aioli 
~1/3 Cup Cooked Lobster (I used lobster tail, boiled, & removed the meat from the shell.)
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
2 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/4 Cup Olive Oil (or Canola oil is fine)
Fresh Dill (optional)
Sous-Vide
1 Long, Thin Steak (I used Rouladen which is a very thin cut, about 1/8"-1/4", because it's sandwich length, thickness, & cooks quickly, but you can use a beef round & follow the directions here & simply slice it thinly.)
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme

Important Items:
Blender or Food Processor
1 Gallon Freezer Bag
Food thermometer (I used a candy thermometer)
Rice Cooker

Directions:
1. Moderately sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt & then wrap in a few paper towels. Let it sit on a plate for about 30 minutes so the towels can soak up some of the juices.
2. Lobster Aioli (AKA Lobster Soul): Put all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender & pulse until fully combined, smooth, & creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Slice your sub roll in half lengthwise. If you have an electric stove, place the 2 halves face up on a baking sheet & broil for about a minute or until the tops are toasted. If you have a gas stove, skewer the slices with a fork, one at a time, & toast the cut sides over an open flame (be careful!). This is all in lieu of having a kitchen torch, so if you have one of those, go for it.
4. Chicken (AKA Bird from the Window): Slice your chicken breast in half lengthwise so you have 2 thin pieces. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper or a seasoning of your choice & cook via the method you prefer; sauté with a little oil, about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side, bake at 375ºF for about 10 minutes, or I used our little George Forman grill & cooked it for about 2-3 minutes (1 piece at a time). Once finished, set aside on a plate.
5. Sous-vide: Unwrap the steak & place it in a large freezer bag. Place a sprig of rosemary & a sprig of thyme on both sides of the meat & then seal the bag, leaving a small opening. Suck as much air out of the bag as you can (don't pass out!) & quickly seal it. Fill your rice cooker a little over half full with very hot water & then turn it on to the cook setting. Lower the bag of meat into the water, keeping the top of the bag out of the water as well as you can. Put the thermometer into the water & read the temperature. Once the temperature reaches 135ºF remove the thermometer, close the lid, & turn the cook setting to "keep warm" or whatever the equivalent is on your cooker. If using rouladen, let sit for 6 minutes if it's an 1/8" thickness, or 8 minutes if it's 1/4" thickness. Once the time is up, remove the bag from the water (careful, it's hot!) & pull out the steak. If you'd like to sear it, put a little oil in a pan over high heat, & once it sizzles, cook the meat for about 20-30 seconds per side. Place the steak with the chicken until ready to use.
6. Building the Sandwich: Lay your sub roll halves face/toasted side up & spread with soft cream cheese. On the half that will be the top, sprinkle several pieces of fresh dill. On the other half, lay 3 pickle slices diagonally (or however many cover the bread). On top of the pickles lay the sliced eggs in 2 parallel rows. Place one of the chicken breasts on top of the eggs & then cut the other breast to into pieces that will fit & cover the rest of the length of the sandwich. Next, place the cucumber slices in 2 parallel rows, topped next by 2 rows of tomato slices. Top the tomatoes with 3 or so round slices of onion & then sprinkle on a little salt. Lay the steak on next, & then place the bacon pieces on longways, over lapping them. Lastly, generously spoon on some of the aioli & spread it out just a little bit. Close the sandwich & marvel at its awesomeness, but eat it quick before Magic Man gets his hands on it!
Serving Suggestion: Skewer with 2 little bamboo skewers to help keep it all together. If serving to friends, tape a little Jake print out/cut out onto the skewer! If serving at a party, make several sandwiches & cut them into 1 1/2-2" wide pieces, skewer with Jake skewers, & then arrange on a platter.

* For more sandwiches from fiction, try the FitzsandwichThe Sandwich of Death,
& the Grilled Cheese Deluxe*

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