About 5pm today I got an IM from L that the New York Philharmonic Orchestra was playing in Central Park at 8pm. Given the amazing weather today I decided to run home and pack a picnic dinner that we could eat in the park. I just happened to pick up a baguette at the farmers market today and I had leftover pulled pork so I figured I'd make some Asian sandwiches.
The great thing about making a ton of roast anything is that there are million things you can do with the leftovers. This spicy asian sub came together with some left over green tea pulled pork (and the spicy BBQ sauce that went along with it), some summer squash I had pickled with mint a few weeks ago and a few sprigs of fresh mint. It all came together in a matter of minutes and I even had some time to blanch some incredible green beans I found at the farmers market and marinate them in olive oil and 12 year balsamic vinegar.
We got to the park a full hour before the concert started, but as I suspected the Great Lawn was already blanketed (literally) with people. For whatever reason (probably because New Yorkers are allergic to dirt) no one was sitting on the baseball diamond. We staked out our spot right in the center.
As I listened to the music while munching away I realized that a good sandwich (or any food for that matter) should be constructed like a good orchestra. In this case, the rich earthy pulled pork laid a solid base like a tuba or cello; the tart pickles were like the trumpets and trombones adding emphasis and texture; the bbq sauce added bursts of sweetness and spice like a percussion section; the thin layer of Kewpie mayo reminded me of the smooth french horns; the mint added a breath of freshness into the sandwich like the woodwinds, and of course the bread was the conductor that brought it all together.
As you can tell from the photos below, night-time photography is not my strong suit. I brought my brightest lens with me, but it's fixed focal length and the uneven lighting made it quite a challenge. The first one is looking south across a sea of New Yorkers (you can see the Time Warner Center in the back). The second one is of when a glowing alien beamed onto the stage and took over the orchestra (well not really). The last one I took on the run as we tried to evade the mass exodus towards the subways.
So what makes a perfect sandwich for you?