Quarantine has been a strange time for all of us.
Despite many businesses and people moving to regular operations, especially as some people have been able to receive a vaccine, I still consider myself in quarantine.
Joey and I have a very small group of people in our “COVID bubble,” and socializing has been relegated to either those few, select souls or electronic means. I can’t imagine I’m the only one feeling a bit stir crazy and craving more interactions.
That’s probably why I did something weird this week: I made a sandwich from a podcast I listen to, and I decided to share it with you.
The podcast, “The Complete Guide to Everything,” is the brainchild of New Yorkers Tim Daniels and Tom Reynolds. Every week, they riff on a new topic, and I find the two of them and their dynamic hilarious. Back on Jan. 3, Tim announced that he wanted to use his New Year’s resolution to create a legacy for himself by getting a sandwich named after him. He described his prototype and said it was called the “Timbo.”
Now, over a month later, fans of the podcast have been posting photos of the Timbo online and talking about the creation. It’s a little silly. It’s a little weird. But it’s a way to reach out and interact with someone and something new.
So, this week, I’m sharing the Timbo with you, both to help a long-distance friend I’ve never met cement his legacy and to give you something new to try, too.
You can listen to the explanation of this sandwich on “The Complete Guide to Everything” website at tcgte.com. The episode is entitled “Hot Beverages.” I chose not to tweak the recipe this time, outside of adding some amounts and directions, since I figured it should remain the way Tim envisioned it.
The Timbo Sandwich
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 2 slices potato bread
- 1-2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- 3 slices American cheese
- 1/4-1/3 cup Mexican blend cheese shredded
- 6-8 pickled jalapeno slices
- In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and stir to coat them in the oil. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are completely caramelized to a nice, deep brown. (This could take quite awhile, so be patient.)
- Once the onions are done, remove them from the heat and set aside.
- Lightly spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat.
- While the skillet warms, thoroughly butter one side of each slice of bread.
- Once the skillet is hot, add the first slice of bread, butter side down, and spread a thin layer of spicy brown mustard on it. Place one and one-half slices of American cheese on the bread next, followed by the jalapeno slices, as many caramelized onions as desired and shredded cheese. Add the final slice and a half of American cheese, and complete the sandwich by lightly spreading mustard on the non-buttered side of the remaining piece of bread, before placing it on top of the sandwich, butter side up.
- Let the sandwich toast for a couple minutes, flipping the entire thing over when the bread on the bottom reaches your desired level of toastiness.
- Once you flip the sandwich, press it down firmly with your spatula to compress it. Let the sandwich toast for another couple of minutes until the bread has reached your desired level of toastiness. Remove it from the skillet and serve.
This was actually really delicious, especially if you like things that are just a touch spicy. The flavors melded well, and while it does seem like a lot of work to caramelize onions just for a sandwich, it was worth it, and now I have leftover onions to toss into something else, too.
Joey thought I was absolutely nuts while I was tossing the ingredients for this into the cart on our last shopping trip, but he did have to concede that making a sandwich from a podcast is not even close to the weirdest recipe I’ve tried over the years while writing this column.
Plus, if (and when) the Timbo really does become a worldwide sensation, we can all say we got in on the ground floor of history.
This piece first appeared in print on Feb. 25, 2021.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.