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Midnight Snack

Closing Time—four top chefs share what satisfies their late night cravings.

Jodi Elliott | Foreign & Domestic

French Fries & Ice Cream

I love the combination of salty and sweet! After being on my feet and in a kitchen all day and night, I crave comfort food. For me it usually involves something fried. As a kid I would dip french fries in my ice cream—the cold and warm—crispy and soft—salty and sweet—it’s the perfect, most satisfying duet! It makes total sense and once you try it you’ll be hooked!

French Fries

  • 7 or 8 russet potatoes, cut into 5” x 2/3” strips
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Sea salt

Soak potato strips in water with lemon until the starch runs red, between 2 and 4 days. Drain well on paper towels.

Heat oil to 300ºF. Blanch the potatoes in the oil for 7 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels; allow to cool completely.

At this point you can divide the potatoes into 8-ounce portions and freeze.

From the freezer, fry at 375ºF until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt.

Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 12 1/2 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups cream
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 egg yolks

Place the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl.

Heat cream, milk and 1 cup sugar in a large saucepan over low heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining sugar. Add egg mixture to milk mixture. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Strain the mixture over the chocolate. Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Cool in the refrigerator over an ice bath until fully chilled. Pour into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Once the ice cream is made, I like to drizzle with dulce de leche or chocolate sauce, or add toasted nuts, dried fruit, more chocolate, etc. I also sometimes dip the fries alternately in ice cream and a Tabasco-ketchup mix.

Drew Curren | Arro

Grilled Cheese and Champagne

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My favorite way to end the day is with a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of crisp champagne. The perfect grilled cheese incorporates artisan bread (I like sourdough or levain), cultured high-fat butter, a duo of cheeses that melt well (I used Comté for its acidity and Livarot for its “funk”) and an additional ingredient or two to add some variety. We’ve spent the last six months perfecting the Parisian ham for Arro’s croque monsieur, so I have a lot of it in my fridge right now! The bubbles cut the richness of the cheese while accentuating the saltiness of the ham.

  • Easy Tiger Sourdough, sliced
  • French Breakfast Radishes, sliced
  • Cured Parisian Ham, sliced
  • Antonelli’s French Cheeses, sliced: Livarot (cow’s milk from Normandy) and Comté (cow’s milk)

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a non-stick sauté pan.

Place two slices of bread side by side on work surface.

Spread a layer of grated Comté on one of the pieces of bread. Lay sliced radishes and sliced ham on top of the grated cheese.

Add two or three slices of the Livarot on the radishes and ham.

Place second slice of bread on top.

Press down on the sandwich to “smash” the ingredients together.

Transfer sandwich to the hot sauté pan, and cook for three to five minutes.

Flip the sandwich, add 2 more teaspoons of butter, and allow second side to brown.

Remove from pan and let rest for two to three minutes before cutting.

Rene Ortiz | La Condesa and Sway

Fried-Egg Sandwich

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Enjoy this sandwich! This version was made in a small Brooklyn apartment in 1997 with a few Cuban and Chilean friends and has been a staple of our house ever since! I will always remember you, Diego Barrona, for making this sandwich and forever changing my path with food. Adjust the amounts depending on how many friends come to the house for food after drinking and having fun!

  • 1 short loaf multigrain bread, sliced
  • Mina Harissa Spicy Moroccan Red Pepper Sauce
  • Kensington & Sons Classic Mayonnaise
  • 1 avocado, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dry cheese, shaved with a peeler
  • 1/2 pound Hamon Serrano “Spanish,” thin sliced
  • butter
  • 6 farm eggs
  • greens, whatever is in the house
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Toast bread and set aside in pairs. Spread one slice of each pair with harissa and the other slice with mayo. Spread the crushed avocado on the mayo slice and finish with shaved dry cheese and salt and pepper. Place the Hamon Serrano on the harissa slice of toast.

Now, this part is important and can be easy or hard at times. In a skillet place a nob of butter on low heat and allow the butter to melt fully before adding the egg. Once the butter is melted, crack the egg into the pan and cook with a cover to allow the steam to baste the egg. At this point, use your best judgment and cook the egg till it’s how you like it. Finish the egg with salt and pepper. Dress the greens with lemon juice and olive oil.

David Bull | Congress and Second Bar + Kitchen

Pork Belly Fried Rice, Over-easy Eggs, Green Beans, Nam Pla

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This dish represents everything you need for a late-night snack. It’s a spicy, comforting rice bowl with protein-packed eggs and a refreshing herb salad. This hits all the notes I crave after a hard day at work or a late night of cocktails. The rice is filling, the eggs help to form a delicious sauce, and the salad is crisp and tasty. And the final note of the nam pla brings the whole dish together with just the right amount of savory goodness.

Serves 4

  • 4 cups Pork Belly Fried Rice (recipe to follow)
  • 8 Eggs, over easy
  • 1 cup Herb Salad (recipe to follow)

To assemble:

Divide the pork belly fried rice among four large bowls. Place the over-easy eggs directly on top of the rice. Garnish with herb salad and serve immediately.

For the Pork Belly Fried Rice:

  • 1 ounce pork belly drippings, or bacon fat
  • 6 ounces pork belly
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Fresno chiles, sliced
  • 1 cup blanched green beans, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro, chiffonaded
  • 1/2 cup nam pla (recipe to follow)

In a large sauté pan over medium heat cook pork belly in pork belly drippings until crisp. Add jasmine rice and toast for one or two minutes. Add garlic, shallot, and ginger and sauté for one or two minutes, or until fragrant. Add chiles, green beans, and cilantro and heat through. Deglaze with the nam pla and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and reserve hot for assembly.

For the Nam Pla:

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

In a small saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for five minutes. Chill completely and reserve cold for assembly.

For the Herb Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon shiso leaves, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, chiffonaded
  • 2 tablespoons mung bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt to taste

In a mixing bowl combine the herbs and mung bean sprouts. Add lime juice and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt.

Credits

Photography by Kate LeSueur

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