OCTOBER 1, 2012

MEET THE SOUS CHEF

SCOTT GALLEGOS, CHEF DE CUISINE, MUSE AT THE CORCORAN

When asked about his favorite food, Scott Gallegos, chef de cuisine at Muse at the Corcoran in Washington, D.C., is quick to respond. "Good old-fashioned buttermilk fried chicken," he says. Despite being raised in a food-centric family, he can’t help but admit a weakness for Southern specialties.

That doesn't mean he overlooks his roots, though. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in December 2010, he decamped to Tuscany for four months, teaching at a cooking school there. He returned to the States and joined the team at Muse, where he has worked since.

"I almost never cook at home," he admits. But the sandwich he shared with Sous Chef Series, a winning combination of peanut butter, jelly and crisp bacon, is something he and his culinary school classmates used to make in their off-hours. "Ironically, though we were in culinary school, we never had any food around at home," he says. "I guess you could say this sandwich was born out of necessity."

TRACK THIS CHEF

Scott Gallegos':
See Recipe See the recipe for Scott Gallegos' Grilled Bacon, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

DAY IN THE LIFE

TIPS & TECHNIQUES

A Sweet-Savory Sandwich

Hardly the fanciest recipe in his repertoire, this peanut butter, jelly and bacon sandwich is a satisfying late-night snack. Gallegos claims he's not that fussy about the bacon, though he prefers to use an applewood-smoked variety.

Iron Clad

Gallegos's must-have piece of kitchen equipment is a cast-iron skillet. "It's one of the most versatile pieces," he says. We agree. You can use it to make a pie, fry chicken or sauté mushrooms.

MAKE THE
Grilled Bacon, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

YIELD

1 sandwich

INGREDIENTS

Thick-cut bacon, 3 strips (halved crosswise)

Rustic white bread, 2 slices

Creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons

Strawberry jam, 2 tablespoons

EQUIPMENT

Cutting board

Chef’s knife

Medium skillet

Metal spatula

Paper towels

Plate

Small bowl

Knife

Pastry brush or silicone brush

Grill pan or a panini-style sandwich press

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat a grill pan or medium skillet set over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the

  • Halved bacon strips

Cook slowly until the bacon is crisp around the edges and browned, about 4 minutes. Use the metal spatula to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Turn off the heat and pour the bacon fat into the small bowl.

2. On the cutting board, place the

  • Rustic white bread slices

Use a knife to spread one slice with the

  • Peanut butter

Spread the other slice with the

  • Jam

Place the bacon on top of the peanut butter half and set the other slice of bread on top so the bacon is sandwiched between the peanut butter and the jam. Use the pastry brush to coat the top slice of bread with bacon fat from the bowl.

3. Set the grill pan over medium-high heat until it starts to smoke, about 2 minutes. Place the sandwich in the pan, bacon fat-side down. Brush the top side of the bread with more bacon fat. Use the metal spatula to press down on the bread until the bottom side has grill marks, about 2 minutes. Flip the sandwich over, pressing until the other slice has grill marks and the peanut butter starts to melt, about 2 minutes more (if using a panini-style sandwich press, follow the manufacturers’ instructions for grilling the sandwich). Transfer to the cutting board, halve and serve.

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