Robin’s Kitchen: My take on a New York Chopped Cheese
New York City bodega food made at home
A few years ago, I visited New York City for a short getaway before heading back home from my year abroad. Back then, I had never visited a Bodega, even though it had been on my list.
If I had have visited one, I would probably have had a New York Chopped Cheese, or a simple Grays Papaya Hot Dog.
But what even is a Chopped Cheese?
The Background of the New York Chopped Cheese
Some would compare the chopped cheese sandwich with a Philly Cheese Steak. But if you ask any New Yorker, they will tell you it is completely different. And it is.
Instead of cutting up a perfectly good steak, adding cheese and maybe onions to make an iconic dish, you chop up a simple cheeseburger. All the other ingredients are still there.
Usually, all that would be placed on a New York Hero Roll toasted in a Panini Press, topped with Iceberg Lettuce, Tomatoes, Ketchup and Mayo.
It sounds delicious, and so I had to attempt to make my own version.
With Hot Sauce.
My Attempt at a New York Chopped Cheese
Today, I tried to make my own version of this iconic bodega staple. I did not have access to any American Cheese, or a New York Hero roll, but I think I made do with a Farmers Twist (the roll), and some Irish Cheddar.
For my Sandwich Filling, I used some nice Ground Beef that I cooked into a nice Burger Patty that I then completely obliterated with my Spatula. At that point, I added my Onions, and a bit later all six Slices of my Cheddar Cheese.
To help it along, I put a lid on my Pan and let the Cheese melt deep into the Meat. It went very well. My Chopped up Cheeseburger turned out very cheesy indeed.
A Bottle of Hot Sauce.
To add some heat into my sandwich, I substituted the required Ketchup with Sriracha Sauce. I also did not have any plain Mayo, and so I used some Remoulade. That was a good choice. Remoulade just adds so much more depth than Mayo could ever hope to achieve.
The only thing I did not have was Iceberg Lettuce, and I would not have used Tomatoes anyhow.
If I would ask a real New Yorker, they would probably scoff at my feeble Attempt to recreate a Chopped Cheese. I did not have some Ingredients and substituted some with what I had at hand.
Personally, I still think that I did an okay job given my obvious limitations. And the Sandwich was absolutely delicious and very much sloppy – both characteristics of the real deal.
In the end, that is all I care about.