The Super Simple Tip For Better Fried Bologna

fried bologna sandwich with chips
fried bologna sandwich with chips - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

There are some days when you want to take the time to make chimichurri pork shoulder steaks, followed by a Reese's inspired peanut butter cup pie for dessert. There are days for red wine beef short ribs with balcony collard greens on the side. But there are also those times when you're looking for something fast, easy, and delicious. If that's the case, you might think nothing would hit the spot quite like a fried bologna sandwich.

You're not alone: Fried bologna sandwiches are a massively popular comfort food, particularly for the Gen X and Millennial crowd that grew up making these old-school sandwiches for lunch, dinner, or a quick after-school snack. Bologna has been around for a long time — it's generally thought to have been introduced to Americans by German immigrants — and given that it was widely available and affordable, it was a staple through the Great Depression and during wartime rationing. Bologna sandwiches have been there through it all, especially when large groups of people needed feeding on a budget.

While countless fried bologna sandwich aficionados have their preferred methods of making this long-time favorite, there's one simple thing you can do to make your bologna sandwich even better: Just notch the edges of your bologna before you fry it.

Read more: 11 Things You Didn't Know You Should Be Doing With Bacon

Notching The Edges Will Keep Bologna From Curling

sliced bologna with cut edges
sliced bologna with cut edges - Philoglesby/Shutterstock

There's nothing quite like the smell of frying bologna, but whether you prefer it only lightly fried or charred, it's no secret that bologna tends to curl as it cooks. In some cases, you might want to lean into that: Back in the 1960s, potato-filled bologna cups were served in Southern schools. If you're going the sandwich route, however, those curled edges can be a pain. But they are easy to fix.

Before putting them in the skillet, cut four notches around the edges of your bologna and one "X" in the center. They don't have to be huge; an inch-deep cut will allow slices to expand and stay flat instead of curling up. Easy, right? That's the quick fix if you're reaching for the pre-sliced, packaged kind of bologna, but there's another option, too.

If you plan on giving your childhood staple a serious upgrade, head to the meat counter or your favorite butcher and ask them to slice bologna for you. Thicker slices will be less likely to curl, and let's be honest: Not all bologna is created equal. Experiment with different brands; you might be surprised how steering clear of the packaged bologna of your youth changes this sandwich. There are some amazing options out there, including Lebanon bologna, a unique type of bologna from a rural town in Pennsylvania, which is different because it uses beef instead of pork.

There Are Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Bologna Sandwiches

fried bologna sandwich bap
fried bologna sandwich bap - /Getty Images

Fried bologna sandwiches have been a staple for many years, particularly in the American South. That doesn't mean they have to be boring, though, and there are plenty of things you can add to give these old favorites a serious upgrade. Let's start by honoring their Southern roots and say that pimento cheese on a fried bologna sandwich is almost shockingly delicious.

It doesn't stop there because fried bologna sandwiches are also the perfect salty, meaty vehicle for fried eggs, caramelized onions, and sauerkraut. Fried bologna is also a great breakfast sandwich or addition to your go-to grilled cheese. If you're looking for cold toppings, try spicy mayo and a simple drizzle of salt and vinegar. And, on that note, you should definitely try adding potato chips.

Fried bologna sandwiches are great with some upgraded bread, too. Reach for a pita or a wrap, some lettuce, and tahini sauce for a unique spin on the idea, or turn thick slices of your favorite loaf into garlic bread and use that. Try a ciabatta, or serve an open-faced sourdough sandwich with your favorite toppings. Who says bologna has to be old-school?

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.