Toast 2 slices of thick-cut sourdough or wheat sandwich bread. Spread 1 piece with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, then layer on a few thick-cut tomato slices and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with a couple of slices of crisped bacon and a large piece of leaf lettuce. Close with the other piece of bread, slice in half, and serve.
A good Reuben sandwich is a perfect balance of flavors and textures, and this one delivers. Good rye bread, crisped in butter, holds generous layers of Thousand Island dressing, rich corned beef or pastrami, crunchy sauerkraut, and nutty, melty Gruyère or Swiss cheese that oozes beautifully into the other ingredients.
This is a classic cheesecake: smooth, tangy, lightly sweetened cream cheese filling nestled in an easy press-in crust of graham cracker or vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, whichever you prefer. This genius method saves you the trouble of baking the cake in a water bath, too, but still yields a beautiful texture.
Classic Steak Tartare
If you can get impeccable beef tenderloin, why not showcase it by serving it as the Parisian bistro classic, steak tartare? An assertive sauce of mashed anchovies (which are optional), capers, Dijon mustard, egg yolks, red onion, and parsley complements the rich mineral flavor of the meat.
Classic Tomato Soup
This comforting tomato soup is super easy and super delicious. Canned San Marzano tomatoes marry with soft, sautéed onions and garlic, a pinch of red pepper, and chicken broth to create a soothing, savory bowl. Finished with a bit of cream, this is begging for a grilled cheese sandwich on the side. But really, it tastes great with lots of things, as well as on its own (though a basil and Parmesan garnish doesn't hurt).