From hash browns to french fries to french fries, what sort of potato for every sandwich
A chip butty is always an option. Photo: D. Pimborough (Shutterstock)
The show 30 Rock has grabbed a lot of food jokes over the years, but “Put potato chips on a sandwich!Is not one; It’s just good sense. The thin, crispy slices of fried potatoes add textural contrast, lots of salt and sometimes more, depending on the flavor of your chip. (I’m a simple girl from Lay myself.)
But potato chips aren’t the only form of spud that goes between two slices of bread. Each potato configuration has something unique to offer, and while I believe there are no “wrong” answers when it comes to putting spuds in a sandwich, I have some preferences, thoughts, and suggestions.
For the breakfast sandwich: hash browns and waffles
An elongated hash brown patty to stick in a McMuffin is a real breakfast hackBut there’s no need to involve McDonald’s for a stronger breakfast. Large boxes of frozen breakfast potato pucks can be bought from your local restaurant specialty store, but pretty much every grocery store (even Trader Joe’s) has them in smaller quantities at pretty affordable prices.
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These crispy patties keep your breakfast sandwich from being plain-textured while also soaking up egg yolks, a double service that may seem contradictory at first but just works. If you don’t have patties, you can Waffle a couple of frozen tater tots together to create one that is exactly the size and shape of your bread.
For meaty, fatty matters: French fries or tater tots
I’ve never been to Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh, but that’s just because I’ve never been to Pittsburgh. Someday I’ll go and I’ll do Beth Take me to get one of them French fries filled sandwiches. By that fine day, I’ll resign myself to putting french fries in every cheesy, grilled meat-based sandwich I make at home.
Aside from the sheer decadence of the whole, the fries act as a kind of binding material that unites the melted cheese and the fatty meat into a delicious mass. They also soak up sauces, vinegars and dressings, and make sure the flavor stays in the sandwich until it hits your mouth. Frankly, we owe so much fries.
Tater tots can do similar jobs, especially on sandwiches that already have spherical fillings, such as B. a meatball sub, falafel pita or saj. Tater tots may not be traditional in these settings, but you can’t claim they are bad.
For cold cuts and deli sandwiches: Lay’s and Doritos
I’m not a big turkey sandwich eater, but the combination of thinly sliced roast turkey, mayo, shredded lettuce, some sort of vinegar dressing, and lay’s is transcendent. Some people prefer a heavier chip cooked with a kettle, but I like the way the thinner ones mash and crumble as you squeeze the bread while still retaining some of their texture. (Pringles can be a fun choice too.)
I like to keep it simple and salty, although there are moments when a flavored chip is the right call. I’m a huge fan of Doritos (both Nacho and Cooler Ranch) on a tuna salad sandwich – the MSG really makes this deli classic sing.
For sandwiches: mashed potatoes
Bread, hot shaved meat, mashed potatoes, and loads of gravy make a heavenly configuration, no matter what you call it. (There are many regional versions of this dish, and all of them are valuable in my eyes.)
In fact, I’d say that this is one of the best things you can do with any type of fried meat and mashed potatoes. Just make sure you use mushy white bread. It may not be structurally solid enough to take off the plate and eat as a sandwich, but this dish is best when it’s convenient and comforting.
What we can learn from the Chip Butty
The first time I had a Chip Butty (a British sandwich filled with thick British-style fries – also known as “chips”) I was a little disappointed. Even though it came with a couple of packets of HP sauce, the first bites were damn dry. (You need to add lots of seasoning.) The concept is pretty solid though: there’s no reason a potato can’t be the main filling for any type of sandwich, especially if you’re looking to cut down on the meat. (Update: I’ve since been informed by someone who lives in the UK that HP sauce is not the right sauce for the chip butty and that it should have plenty of butter and ketchup. Honestly, that sounds great.)
A Tater Tot Held with lots of melted cheese and grilled onions would be delicious, as would a hash brown club with avocado, bacon, and tomato. One of the nice things about potatoes is how well they get on with everything. If you were to put it on a sandwich, you can put it on a potato, and then you can put that potato in a sandwich.
Updated 1/25/21 at 5:35 PM EST for information on how to properly dress a Chip Butty. I apologize for any crime. Please do not send me mean emails about the Chip Butty.