Sam Sifton’s bloody mary spiedies, grilled cheese and peanut butter sandwiches

If you’re running out of things to make for lunch, consider these easy and delicious recipes from Sam Sifton.

The New York Times Food editor whose latest cookbook “No Recipe Recipes” hit shelves Tuesday, shared how to make bloody mary spiedies and a peanut butter sandwich with Sriracha and pickles.

“You don’t need a recipe, but you do need a pantry,” Sifton told “GMA.” “It’s all about bringing big flavor to your cooking.”

"No-Recipe Recipes" by Sam Sifton.

Sifton also shared an updated spin on a classic grilled cheese sandwich with jalapeños, tomato and a fried egg.

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Peanut butter sandwich with Sriracha and pickles

Sam Sifton's peanut butter sandwich with sriracha and pickles recipe.



Peanut butter


Soy sauce



Toast the bread before spreading it with peanut butter.

Add a zigzag of sriracha for warmth, a tiny drizzle of soy sauce and sliced pickles for crunch.


Swap sambal oelek for the Sriracha or chili crisp!

Bloody mary spiedies

PHOTO: Sam Sifton's Bloody Mary Spiedies.

“Perhaps the most amazing spiedies are marinated in a bloody mary of tomato juice, vodka, salt and pepper, loads of hot sauce, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce,” Sifton said. “Some people will like a punch of garlic, onion powder and celery in their bloody mary, while others will prefer a bloody mary mix. Regardless, I demand a big hit of horseradish whisked with olive oil.”

A big bloody mary
Olive oil
Italian bread

Slide some cubed meat — beef, pork, chicken, lamb venison into bloody mary and let it sit for a day
Thread cubes onto skewers and broil, turning often to crisp and cook through.
Serve with grocery store Italian bread, warmed and buttered.

At some point someone is going to give you a house gift of bloody mary mix. This is what you’re going to do with it. If you can add some freshly grated horseradish, rather than jarred, to the bloody mary, it will be so much better.

Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno, Tomato and a Fried Egg

Sam Sifton's Grlled Cheese recipe with jalapeno, tomato and fried egg.


Slice some mild cheddar.
Get decent bread, a sliced jalapeño and the tail end of a beefsteak tomato.
Assemble the sandwich while some butter starts to foam in a pan.
Swipe the outside of the bread with mayo to encourage a golden crust.
Make a sunny side up fried egg then sizzle, sizzle, flip, flip the sandwich in the pan and top with the fried egg.
It’s the simplest kind of cooking, and on some nights that’s exactly what most of us need. Make grilled cheese!

Instead of egg, use some reheated leftover chicken, pork or steak. Spoon out a little ketchup or gochujang as a dip.

Reprinted from The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipe. Text copyright © 2021 by Sam Sifton and The New York Times Company. Photographs copyright © 2021 by David Malosh and Food Styling by Simon Andrews. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.

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