The name came first: The Black Velvet Elvis.
I saw it in a flash: it would be a riff on the concoction — peanut butter, banana, and bacon (with or without mayonnaise, with or without honey) on white bread grilled in butter — reputed to be Elvis Presley’s favorite. That sandwich itself is a riff on the Fool’s Gold Loaf, the grand sandwich that remains Elvis’ most famous midnight snack.
I knew immediately what belonged in the Black Velvet Elvis, what was dark and rich and luxurious enough to earn that name.
For a day or two, I reveled in my cleverness, before I learned that I’ve been beaten to the pun: I never knew until today that many, many people know the original sandwich as as a Velvet Elvis. Many.
Well, hell, little lady, it’s still a great sandwich!
Thank you! Thank you very much!
Spread two slices of firm bread (I’m using a dark multi-grain from a local bakery) thickly with Nutella. On a whim, I added a light sprinkling of coarse salt. (You can see a too-fuzzy photo of that, and the whole black velvet Elvis photo set, by clicking through the above photo to my Flickr stream.) Cover one with a layer of sliced banana and top with the second slice of bread.
Heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat just until the foam subsides, and lay the sandwich gently down and cook until golden brown. Now gently flip it — careful, that hot Nutella is slippery! — and brown the other side.
Remove to a plate and slice. Let it cool a moment while you prepare your accompaniments; in my case, that’s an iced Americano and a dish of pineapple chunks.
The Black Velvet Elvis is a sensation: rich, gooey filling under a crispy crust, and the dusting of salt zings against the creamy chocolate. The salt, that afterthought ingredient, is essential; it pulls the whole mess together and gives it an almost sophisticated edge.
Doggone it. That’s a sandwich that’s fit for the King. And I wouldn’t blush serving it to Elvis Costello, either.