6 Surprising Things I Learned From Molly Baz's New Podcast
Molly Baz is quickly taking the food world by storm. After rising to popularity at Bon Appétit, Baz has since carved out a name for herself with the release of her iconic debut cookbook, Cook This Book (to learn more about her cookbook, check out our interview with her). In the wake of her successful book (buy it: $19.50, Amazon,com), Baz is keeping busy with several other endeavors, including her Patreon where she sends weekly recipes, a video series with Crate & Barrel and guest appearances everywhere from the Drew Barrymore show to Good Morning America.
That said, I think one of her most exciting new undertakings is a podcast called Sandwich Universe (perfect for all you fellow sandwich lovers). You can listen to it on Apple and Spotify as well. Each week Baz and co-host Declan Bond, her longtime friend and former restaurant coworker, do a deep dive of an iconic sandwich, ranging from the BLT to a grilled cheese. They talk through the integral components of each sandwich, their personal preferences and answer questions from listeners. When it's all said and done, they devise their perfect sandwich, which Baz goes on to cook for them so they can try their masterpiece.
The podcast debuted on August 3rd, and a new episode is released each Tuesday. While I was a little late to the listening party, I quickly caught up by binging all three available episodes in a row (and I highly suggest you do the same). But if you don't have time to listen, here are six surprising (and helpful) things I've learned from Baz's new podcast.
1. Use a vegetable peeler for cheese
In the most recent episode of the podcast, Baz and Bond talk through the nuances of the beloved grilled cheese sandwich. While there were many golden nuggets in this 30 minute episode, there was one moment where I thought, "Why haven't I always been doing that?". I'm talking about when Baz is making their ultimate grilled cheese and advises to use a vegetable peeler to cut thin strips of cheese that are perfect for melting. This helps the cheese melt more evenly and quickly than standard slices. Talk about a lightbulb moment.
2. Season your lettuce
If you've followed along with Baz's cooking at all, it's no secret that she loves salt. If there was any doubt, she literally sells shirts with "I Love Salt" printed across the front (buy it: $35, ShopMollyBaz.com). In the inaugural podcast about BLT sandwiches, Baz urges people to not only season their tomatoes before making the sandwich, but also to season the lettuce. She elaborates that this helps draw out excess water and keeps the lettuce from making your sandwich watery.
3. Add nuts to a PB&J
This tip feels more like a revelation: if you want an extra crunch, add more chopped nuts to crunchy peanut butter. For a PB&J sandwich, this helps add some interest and levels of texture to what is typically soft and mushy. Bond goes on to suggest even adding spiced nuts to peanut butter to achieve more of the savory flavor he loves in a traditionally sweet sandwich. I will absolutely be trying this soon with some of our Chile-Lime Peanuts or Curried Cashews.
4. Make your own mayo
Sure, the "best" brand of mayonnaise is a hotly debated topic, especially for BLT lovers. But Baz has another idea. Making your own mayonnaise from scratch is surprisingly easy (Baz literally does it in minutes during the podcast) and delivers impressive results. Not to mention, you can add spices, herbs and aromatics to further boost the flavor of your sandwich without paying the premiums for flavored mayo at the store.
5. Always add acidity
There are five main flavors our taste buds can decipher: salty, sweet, bitter, umami and acid. Baz states in basically every episode that one flavor profile that should not be overlooked in sandwiches is acidity. Even in a PB&J, she opts for cherry jam because of its tart notes as well as its sweetness. In other sandwiches, ingredients like tomatoes, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, condiments and more can add a burst of brightness to make your sandwich more interesting and well-rounded.
6. Don't forget the condiments
Condiments are a vital part of any sandwich. Just think, what is a BLT without mayo? Or an Italian sub without mustard? Baz and Bond have many strong feelings about condiments and how they can elevate the simplest of sandwiches, too. They both are adamant that a grilled cheese should be kept simple with minimal ingredients outside of, well, cheese added to it. To give it some variety, Baz suggests having a "tray of condiments" to choose from so every bite can be a little bit different. The bottom line is basically get creative with it!