Peanut butter and jelly is a classic – innocent and inoffensive. Equally at home in the hands of a messy toddler and a stodgy federal prosecutor. It can be enjoyed cold, room temperature, or after sitting for hours in a hot car. Any way you slice it, PB&J is A-OK!
But what if it could be even better? What if your PB&J was occasionally an over-the-top indulgence, the highlight of your week’s lunches? We think it’s possible, and we’re going to show you how.
The ideal PB&J starts here. Selecting a bread can be a very personal decision. You may prefer gluten-free, wholegrain, or something with nuts. We’ll leave this up to you. But we highly suggest, if at all possible, you go with old-fashioned white bread. This classic peanut butter and jelly delivery system has the right thickness, an unobtrusive flavor profile, and a familiar consistency. You might also consider toasting your bread on the inside before assembly. This step will help prevent sogginess while adding another exciting texture to the overall experience.
The Peanut Butter
This is where things really start to get interesting. Not long ago, you were very limited in your choices. Basically, crunchy or smooth. Nowadays, you have a plethora of options, from Justin’s Cinnamon Almond Butter and Fix & Fogg Cashew & Maple Almond Butter to Onnit Snickerdoodle Fatbutter, The Nutty Gourmet Sea Salt Walnut Butter, and so many more – all available at Sprouts Farmers Market on Hebron Parkway. For our sandwich, we’re going with Healthy Crunch Salted Caramel Sunseed Butter. But you do you!
The third – and only other – ingredient, jam plays an important role, offsetting your nut butter’s saltiness with gooey, sugary sweetness. Here, you’re a little more limited in your options. There are only so many fruits. And it’s not like you’re going to use apricot – we’re not savages, after all. Really, your options here are strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry, or maybe Tabasco Spicy Pepper Jelly, if you’re a weirdo. We’re going blueberry!
Put It All Together
Once you’ve spread your nut butter on one slice of bread and your jelly on the other, carefully – carefully! – lay the nut butter slice atop the jelly-covered slice, with the fillings facing each other. Never, ever lay the jelly slice atop the nut butter slice. This reversal can have catastrophic consequences.
Push It Over the Top
Now, this normally would be when you’d call your sandwich done. But we’re not normal! We are going to keep going until this sandwich is something truly special, a sight to behold. There are a couple of options for what to do at this point.
French Toastify It
This delicate operation requires the utmost concentration. Start by cracking one egg into a bowl. Whisk, then mix in 3 oz of 2% milk and a pinch of salt. Then dip your sandwich in the mixture. In a pan, melt some butter over medium-high heat, and toss your sandwich in. Fry till it’s golden brown. Presto! Delicious.
Monte Cristo it
Take the fried sando concept to the extreme with this deep-fried monstrosity. Begin by assembling your sandwich as described above. Again, we cannot stress enough, always lay the nut butter slice atop the jelly-covered slice, not vice versa. (We can’t believe we even have to say this.)
Now, when every element of your sandwich is where it should be, place it in the refrigerator and chill it for a few hours to cool down the filling. This will help keep your sandwich from falling apart during the frying process. As you near go time, bust open a box of Krusteaz pancake batter and follow the included instructions. Heat approximately four inches of oil in a deep pot or deep-fryer, to between 325 and 350 degrees. Remove your sandwich from the fridge, completely coat with pancake batter, and use tongs to submerge it in the oil. Fry until golden brown. Perfection!
And that’s it. Your sandwich game will never be the same. Sorry if we ruined the classic for you, but that game needed changing. For more tips on disrupting sandwich standards, make your way to the Lux on Main blog.