Inspiration: Murray’s Cheese Shop
If you truly are what you eat, I’d wager a guess that Brian and I are each about 50% cheese. And I blame Murray’s. Murray’s is arguably the best cheese store in New York City, and it just happens to be located between my office and the station where I catch the subway home each night. I used to try to avoid stopping in more than, oh, two times a week, because I worried about spending too much money on six-dollars-per-pound artisanal pasta and consuming too many calories in the form of curdled milk products. But the allure of this brightly lit shop, with its underground caves that you can view from the sidewalk and its promises of luscious Tallegio, tongue-tingling Cabrales, made-that-day Mozzarella, and salty, complex cured meats is just too great. Now I just try to escape for under $20. (Thankfully, I’ve come to realize the six-dollars-per-pound pasta isn’t better enough than the $1.29-per-pound pasta to justify the difference.)
Did I mention Murray’s does lunch? Oh yes. Oh yes, indeed. These sandwiches are not your run-of-the-mill sawdust-esque turkey and flabby roast beef. No, these bready masterpieces are a cut of well-sliced salumi above. Like the Iberian, featuring Iberian ham and rich La Serena cheese. Murray’s also sells a BLT with a twist—rather than mayo, this one uses Burrata, an Italian cheese that’s basically Mozzarella wrapped around an oozy cream center. The first time I’d even heard of Burrata was last year on one of Lidia Bastianich’s cooking shows. Now, not only does Murray’s sell it, but I’ve seen it on restaurant menus, too. And it’s really no wonder the stuff is catching on—it is soft, creamy, and decadent. Traditionally, Burrata is served with broccoli rabe; the vegetable’s bitterness is a fantastic complement to the cheese’s milky sweetness. For my home version of Murray’s indulgent sandwich, I used peppery arugula and sun-dried tomatoes—though when summer comes around, I’ll probably swap in fresh ones.
Arugula washed and dried
Good-quality sun-dried tomatoes in oil, sliced
Fresh Burrata, sliced
Rustic country bread
Layer ingredients on bread. Proportions are up to you, but be careful to not use too much cheese (or it will ooze all over the press). Grill in a panini press.
Murray’s Cheese Shop
254 Bleeker Street
New York, NY 10014