I Can't Resist Andrew Zimmern's Favorite 3-Ingredient Midnight Snack

It’s super savory and totally satisfying.

<p>Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Getty Images

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed a midnight snack, which in Cantonese we call siu yeh (宵夜). I've had my fair share of nights when midnight cravings strike, and I've always been fascinated by what people have for midnight snacks. For a quick fix, I usually reach for instant ramen mixed with peanut butter, a bag of chips, or a Chinese pastry meant for breakfast.

Ever since I almost signed (twice) with Andrew Zimmern’s team at Intuitive Content to produce a show together, I've been a fan of the chef. I've learned so many new things about him, like how he’s never eaten McDonald’s chicken nuggets and that he makes the best pasta carbonara with rigatoni. But what about his go-to midnight snack? Zimmern revealed to Eden Eats that it’s either cold, leftover Chinese food, or grilled toast with anchovies and butter.

As a Chinese American, I just can’t endorse eating cold leftover Chinese food. With some exceptions, like chicken feet, pig’s ear, and some veggie and cold-cut meat dishes, Chinese food, especially leftovers, should always be enjoyed hot. However, I can definitely jibe with Zimmern’s grilled toast with butter and anchovies.

This is a winning combination of buttery, crispy toast and savory, umami-rich anchovies. However, I know that people either love anchovies or want to run away from them. I've been an anchovy fan for over a decade, ever since I had a fresh Caesar salad mixed up in front of me in a now-closed restaurant in Old Town, Alexandria, where the server added exactly two flavor-packed anchovies.

Those anchovies made that salad unforgettable, and adding exactly two anchovies to your grilled toast is a safe place to start. This is a good rule, especially if the anchovies you usually buy run overly brackish or salty. However, if you can get your hands on mild-flavor anchovies that don’t taste like a mouthful of salt, like the ones from Ortiz or Merro, add more than two anchovies to your buttery grilled toast.

<p>Simply Recipes / Kat Lieu</p>

Simply Recipes / Kat Lieu

How To Make My Version of Andrew Zimmern’s Grilled Toast with Butter and Anchovies

I recommend using sourdough bread to make this midnight snack. The tang in sourdough can help enhance the flavor of the anchovies and mask some of the fishiness, similar to how lemon enhances fish and seafood dishes.

In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of softened, unsalted butter. Lately, I’ve been a fan of unsalted Plugrà Premium Butter, which has less water content (82% butterfat) and hence an overall more buttery flavor compared to other brands.

Use a fork to mash two anchovies and about a teaspoon of the anchovy oil into the butter. Spread the flavorful anchovy butter over a slice of sourdough bread, then top with another slice to form a sandwich. Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and anchovy oil. Once the oil and butter turn light brown, three to five minutes, add the anchovy butter sandwich and pan-fry until both sides are crispy and golden brown, about two minutes for each side.

Tips for Making Grilled Toast with Butter and Anchovies

If you have mild-flavored anchovies, try using whole anchovies in your grilled toast. Start by spreading a little butter over a slice of sourdough bread. Add a layer of anchovies (three to four) and then sandwich it with another slice of bread. Pan-fry the sandwich following the instructions above to create a delicious butter and anchovy grilled toast. If you have a toaster oven or air fryer, you can toast or air fry the grilled toast. Any way you cook it, I'm sure it’ll make Zimmern proud and hungry.

Quick to whip up and deeply satisfying, it's a snack or even a meal that, once you try and like it, you'll become a forever fan.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.