New Yorker Onion Sandwich

IMG_1334.JPGThe Quote “Cooking is like love — it should be entered into with abandon or not at all” has uncertain origins, but who ever originally said it was wise indeed. Always true, however more so during holiday times when we gather together to celebrate with family and friends. Food is history and when it comes to holidays, a very special gift we share… a gift of love.

This recipe is not a family recipe but it has become a bit of a tradition for my family. In the 1960s my mom became a fan of Graham Kerr, the charismatic, British TV Chef better known as The Galloping Gourmet. Known for his use of clarified butter, he charmed the housewives of America, wine glass in hand, each weekday afternoon. I inherited one of his cookbooks from my mom, and in it is the New Year’s Eve tradition, the New Yorker Onion Sandwich. These tasty treats sat beside the biscuit wrapped wieners and the good luck herring, ready to help usher in the New Year every year since he entered our living room.

Now, as is my own personal tradition, I can never leave a recipe alone, and so I have tweaked the GG’s original and have created a few variations. Those are what I share with you here.

These are the basic components, onions, tomatoes, bread and parsley. The rest is up for interpretation, like the way I substitute creamy garlic dressing for the straight mayo. 

The original recipe called for rounds of pumpernickel bread, cut with a biscuit cutter. Or you can use cocktail bread or you can use whole slices cut into quarters, square or triangles, or you can use other shaped cutters. See where I’m going here? The sky’s the limit. Same with the type of bread, pumpernickel, rye and marble are my favorites because of their distinctive flavor and more dense texture to hold it all together. You could use any bread you like as long as it is firm.

It should be sliced thin, no Texas Toast here. The other detail, trim the crusts off… you see why.

Now for the onions, the original recipe just called for onions sliced very thin. No particular type. It is clear that I get my inventive gene from my mother because she always used red onions because they are pretty. I agree and do the same, but changing it up with a nice sweet Vidalia creates a whole new product. But you can use your favorite onion just slice it very thin, a mandolin is very helpful to keep your slices uniformly thin. 

Tomatoes should be sweet and ripe, sometimes not so easy in the winter but possible. I tend to use tomatoes on the vine just because they seem to always be the ripest available.

Fresh parsley chopped fine is the finishing touch on the sandwich. Its fresh taste brings all the flavors together and helps keep the onion odor at bay on your breath. Now a nice change up would be cilantro or even basil, again chopped fine, either would be a nice compliment.

GG used mayonnaise to dress this sandwich which is wonderful and neutral. Alternatives would be ranch dressing (a thicker type), or maybe bleu cheese dressing, but my favorite is my homemade creamy garlic dressing. Again, experiment with your favorite tastes.

Here’s the process:
• Cut your bread into the desired shape and line up on a cookie sheet.
• Spread lightly with choice of dressing
• Place a slice of onion on the bread
• Place a slice of tomato on top of the onion
• Lightly salt and pepper if using just mayo
• Top with a slice of bread
• Coat the edge of each sandwich with dressing and dip in chopped parsley

Full recipe courtesy of the Galloping Gormet below. Have fun, create with wild abandon and enjoy your holidays with those you love!! 
- Diana

IMG_1157.JPGNew Yorker Onion Sandwich

4 slices brown bread (or 2 large slices)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 slices onions, sliced thinly
salt and black pepper
2 slices tomatoes (Try Scholl Orchards)
minced parsley, to garnish

Cut rounds from brown bread (big enough around to hold your tomato and onion slices), or use party rye-sized pumpernickel bread with crusts trimmed (and smaller tomato and onion slices). Place onion slices on one slice of bread and season with salt and pepper. Sandwich bread together. Spread edges of bread with mayonnaise then roll the edges in minced parsley. Garnish with a slice of tomato and sprig of parsley if you like.

Diana’s Creamy Garlic Dressing

Equal parts of sour cream and mayonnaise garlic powder to taste

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