I should rewind.
Last week I said, “Hey, you should eat this sandwich.”
And many of you did. Between Twitter and Facebook I stopped counting at 50 attempts by folks to make and enjoy the sandwich, and countable on one hand were those who didn’t actually like it. Those who did like it have joined me at my new cult compound, where we eat the holy sandwich — now dubbed THE WENDIGO, by the way — and we play cornhole (tee-hee) and sing camp songs and go canoeing and also sacrifice the unrighteous to the Antediluvian Sandwich Gods that live underneath the compound and who have been recently awakened by the glory of so many Sanctified Sandwich Eaters having been summoned by the tasty, tasty Wendigo. Or something. I ate some more yard mushrooms so a lot of this might not be real?
Again, to remind you, the now-official Wendigo Sandwich is this:
Peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, but not sweetened, and not too goopy-oily)
Mayonnaise (Duke’s is king, don’t @ me)
Pickles (sweet or dill, your call).
Put it on the bread of your choice (I like sourdough).
BUT OF COURSE, a cult is nothing without its DELICIOUS SCHISMS and SCRUMPTIOUS HERESIES, and in this cult, we welcome such deviations, because we are a cult of deviants. And so, I offer the following Wendigo Configurations, and please feel free to make and try your own, popping them into the comments below. (Sidenote: The Wendigo Configurations is my favorite Robert Ludlum thriller and also the best Mumford & Sons album.)
The sandwich is close to being vegan as-is —
Pickles? Easy vegan.
Mayo? Not vegan, but use vegan mayo (Just Mayo).
Peanut butter? Easy vegan.
Bread? I say try it with Dave’s Killer White Bread.
And bacon is already vegan, so there you go.
Apparently bacon is not vegan? AGREE TO DISAGREE.
But okay fine, use tempeh bacon or, for bonus XP, try shiitake bacon.
The When Duck Go
Not a fan of pork?
The cult has you covered.
Use duck bacon.
Because duck bacon is fucking nomworthy, y’all.
I use D’Artagnan brand when I’m not near a fancy farmer’s market.
This is the sandwich, only, spicy.
How you make it spicy is up to you, but here’s my preferred way to kick it the fuck up and make it perform excellent BDSM with your mouth:
Mayo, same. Bread, same. Bacon, same.
Peanut butter? Okay, spicy peanut butters do exist, but you’re gonna just go ahead and make your own — take a couple tablespoons of peanut butter and whisk into it a teaspoon of chili oil and a teaspoon of gochujang. Whisk that shit together.
Feel free to up the spice quantity for, well, a spicier peanut sauce.
Then, the pickles.
Trust me on this one.
Replace bacon with Spam. Make the Spam extra crispy, which I did not do at first, as you can see here in this photo:
Which means yeah, you gotta fry that business. Thin slice. Fry till crisp.
And don’t bring your SPAM SHAME to me — Spam is delicious, and your noxious nose-pinching when I talk about it is classist and you should be ashamed. Not to say you need to like it! But if you’re all elite about it, yeah, you can stow that. Spam is great when fried.
The Spicy Spamdigo
Same thing as above, but dip it in gochujang as you eat it.
Just do it.
Ditch the bread, stick it all in a burrito, instead.
Take all of it and put it in a high-test blender and make a smoothie okay ha ha ha Jesus Christ don’t do this this might be a bridge too far even for me.
The Drunken Wendigo: Cocktail Edition
Can we make a cocktail out of this thing? Probably not, but by golly, let’s try.
For bread, we want rye whiskey.
For peanut butter, we shall infuse the rye with peanuts. Let’s go with honey roasted peanuts, for the sweetness. You can also make them yourself, by the way. Then take a cup of them and put them in, I dunno, eight ounces of rye. Or sixteen? I dunno, whatever, we’re making this up as we go and you’re not going to do it anyway. Let it sit for as long as you can muster, maybe 24 hours, then strain a couple times (cheesecloth is your pal).
So, let’s go with 2 oz of whiskey? Maybe 1.5?
For mayo, we’ll do an egg white and lemon juice. (The logic being, mayo is an aioli, and your basic aioli contains egg and lemon.)
Well, okay, if we’re being authentic, you probably want a shot of pickle juice in there. And pickle juice cocktails are actually a thing, soooo. I’d keep the quantity of it low — a half-ounce, maybe. I’ve had pickling juice in a martini and it was way too intense. If you wanna go with just vinegar, instead, you could use apple cider vinegar or aged balsamic vinegar for its sweetness.
You’re basically making a weird whiskey sour.
My guess is you’d put all this shit in a shaker — 1.5 oz of your peanut-infused whiskey, a half ounce of pickle juice or vinegar, the white from one egg, half ounce of lemon juice, and if you didn’t use honey-roasted peanuts in the whiskey then add a bit of sweetness (in the form of honey or maple syrup). Shake shake shake, Senora, shake it all the time. With ice. When cold, pour into a glass. Then you… drink it? I guess?
This started as a joke but it could maybe work…
Testing is required, I think.
Your Turn, Cultist
Got a variant on The Wendigo? Pop it in the comments below. Note that for it to be a proper variant it must still ultimately look like the sandwich — you can’t say, “My variant is tuna, ketchup, Havarti cheese, and bees,” because that’s a whole different sandwich. You’re looking to take one, maybe two of the ingredients, and tweak them by a degree or two — so it resembles the original without being the original.
GET TO WORK, MY CULINARY CULTISTS