The Wendigo Configuration: Eat The Sandwich, Join The Cult

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?

WHATEVER.

Again, to remind you, the now-official Wendigo Sandwich is this:

The Wendigo

Bacon

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 Vegandigo

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.

*receives note*

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.

The Boot-Up-Your-Back-Endigo

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.

Wickles pickles.

Trust me on this one.

The Spamdigo

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.

The Scalzwendigo

Ditch the bread, stick it all in a burrito, instead.

The Blendigo

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.)

For pickles…

*deep breath*

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

44 comments

  • (Oooh, it occurs to me the cocktail variant has no bacon component. Hmm. How to do that? A little liquid smoke sounds gross, but a Laphroaig rinse in the glass could work…)

  • There is a tin of sardines in the pantry begging to be added to this sandwich. I’ll report back later.

  • Don’t use bacon vodka. Vodka is an evil but tasteless demon from hell—the Jay Gatsby of alcohol. You could smoke your alcohol. No, not in your bong. Actually infuse it with smoke. Some folk are doing that with absinthe. Heathens. And then use a sugar-roasted bacon slice and a dill pickle as garnish.

  • Crunchy Vegan Wendigo – If you want to make it vegan and still awesome, just sub stale potato chips (preferably the bottom ‘o the bag crumbs–because you might as well) for the bacon. PB & potato chips is awesome all by itself. The rest of the accouterments are sure to take it to the next level.

  • I have a pizza crust in my fridge that will go bad if I don’t use it soon…let me see what can be done with it…

  • OK. So I read about this last week and had to give it a shot. I didn’t have any bacon on hand, and the mayo seemed like a little much. So the first try was wheat bread, PB, dill pickles and salami. Not bad, but would not recommend.

    Over the weekend the we had friends over for brunch so the wife whipped up a few variants: all had Dave’s Killer Powerseed (?), bacon and avocado. Then we tested dill vs spicy and PB vs almond butter. They were all delicious. My favorite was the one with PB and spicy pickles.

    All praise the Wendigo!

  • I have yet to try the Wendigo although it is very much on my gastric to do list. I’m also considering a Southern variation with fried baloney instead of bacon. What say you??

  • I can say everything bad I want to about Spam and there’s no “classism” or “elitism” involved. I had to eat that shit at least one meal every day in the Navy, and when I got out I promised myself “No more, ever again.” A promise kept. 🙂

  • May 15, 2018 at 12:05 PM // Reply

    Not that I’m saying I’d try this, but the Wendikosher ought to be pretty straightforward. None of the items other than bacon are (or need to be) dairy, so no problem there. Substitute kosher beef or lamb bacon, and you’re good to go…

    • May 15, 2018 at 2:53 PM // Reply

      Let me correct that – the bacon is meat, which can’t be combined with anything dairy if you keep kosher. But none of the other items are (or need to be) dairy…

    • The When Duck Go would be kosher, so long as the duck is K-certified & the bread is dairy-free.

      I don’t keep kosher, but I can’t eat pork because it makes me ill, so I’ll be making a When Duck Go (with cashew butter because peanut allergy) when my duck bacon arrives from Maple Leaf Farms. SO EXCITED.

  • Another vegan: peanut butter, hummus, dill pickles, tomato and mustard
    Like it spicy? Substitute hot pickled jalapenos for the cucumber pickles

  • May 15, 2018 at 12:10 PM // Reply

    Let me correct that – the bacon is meat, which can’t be combined with anything dairy if you keep kosher. But none of the other items are (or need to be) dairy…

  • Peanut butter and Mayo? Ew. No. No. No. That’s just… no. I’m sorry Chuckie, I can’t do that. I know it’s popular in Alabama, however. So you could start your cult down there.

  • Peanut butter and Mayo is awesome – what’s the problem?

    Seriously, I’m offering the Wensleydaligo, with what else but Wensleydale cheese instead of the bacon. Gives you the veggie version. Yum.

  • Tried and enjoyed the Wendigo with turkey bacon and it was scrumptious! I’m making the following variation:

    THE JERSEYGO
    Peanut butter, sweet pickles, pork roll, mayo, on a bagel. Consume with an eggcream and shout at passing traffic.

  • The Wendigo that won’t kill me, which is a funny thing to say about a Wendigo really:

    Cashew butter, dill pickles, mayo, and bacon on sourdough.

    I think the dill pickles might be necessary ‘cos cashews are sweeter than peanuts. Alternately, the dill pickles are necessary because dude, dill pickles.

  • My family has been eating this since my grandma was a little kid (so….since the 1920’s). But the only acceptable version is with no mayo, and instead of bacon, use hotdogs. Hot (temp) is best. The original version had jelly too (pb&j sandwiches were repurposed as hotdog buns at a last minute school bbq, or so the story goes), but that’s just gross.

  • Okay, I opened this on my shopping day.. so … now, adding on… pickles and not-bacon to my list… there done! I have the other things. My mayo is home made from a family recipe my nanna handed down from her nanna and her nanna… well you get idea… and I’ve got crunchy peanut butter. 😀

    I’ll let you know how it goes! 😀

    • Bugger! there’s no not-bacon in any stores I’ve gone to… pickles – check, mayo – check – peanut butter – check… hmmm…. now, what can I use instead of bacon? I’m not sure… I was going to use something else, I’ll have to rethink this – maybe not-chicken? I’ll get back to you, okay?

  • I didn’t have all of your preferred ingredients when I tried it, so my version was just peanut butter with my cousin’s home-canned bread & butter summer squash on Pepperidge Farm’s limited edition strawberry swirl bread. It was… interesting… but I think I’m going to try again this afternoon with some leftover bacon, a more savory bread (or a hot dog bun – I really don’t keep much bread in the house), and my own pickles. I have both sweet and spicy dill – which is best?

    • Forget I asked – I tried both and I think I prefer keeping it 100% savory. I even think it’s great without the bacon. By the way, the main character in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series loves peanut butter and olive sandwiches. That might be something to try next.

  • I made a variation of the Wendigo. I had toasted sourdough bread, peanut butter, and bread and butter pickles but instead of mayo I used spicy brown mustard. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bacon on hand. But the creation I made was fantastic and I can’t wait to introduce bacon to the mix

    Chuck, you mad genius. I can’t believe you convinced me to try this sandwich. But I’m now hooked

  • The Wennoodledigo: Soba noodles in peanut sauce, tossed with diced dill pickles and bacon crumbles, garnished with a drizzle of aioli (or wasabi aioli, for the spicy version).

    I know it isn’t technically a sammich, but neither is the frick-fracking Blendigo.

  • Oh! Oh! Oh! I found vegan bbq sausages! cook, cut length-ways… will it work, won’t it work? I’ll keep you posted Chuck! I’ll be making it on Friday – tomorrow is a busy day… and well, I’ll be out for lunch. 😀

  • I’m allergic to cucumbers, but I didn’t let that stand in the way between me and the delights of a Wendigo. My Mitteleuropean ancestors called forth to me and reminded me: “what’s the perfect side for pork?”

    So I just substituted pickled red cabbage (Garner’s, I’m in England) for the pickle, and – lo and behold! The Mittelwendigo! Joy!

Speak Your Mind, Word-Nerds