A celebratory sandwich

For the Boy-O-Matic Eating Machine’s 17th birthday dinner the other night I offered to cook whatever he wanted.

“Prime rib?” I asked.

“Ham melts,” he replied.

“With mashed potatoes?”

“With cheese.”

“And Yorkshire pudding?”

“And onions.”

Ham melts it was. Favourite meals, It seems, don’t have to be elaborate.

If, like my son, you love sandwiches then you’ll love this new slide-show of the 101 best sandwiches in New York. There are some stunning creations, some with equally outrageous names. My favourite, Number 86 – The Pig’s Ass Sandwich. If your still not sated,  there are  more inspiring photos of great sandwiches here.

Simple ham melt

Serves 4 adults (or two teenagers)

1 baguette, sliced horizontally

1 to 1-1/2 lbs cooked ham, sliced fairly thickly

1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1 large onion, sliced

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set the oven on broil and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this gets messy)

While the oven is getting hot, add the oil to a sauté pan on medium heat and add the onion and a little salt and pepper, turning the onion slices so they are well coated with oil. Cook, stirring frequently until onion is  caramelized (about 15-20 minutes). Set onions aside.

Place the bottom half of the baguette on the parchment paper-covered pan and place under broiler until toasted. Remove and coat very lightly with Dijon mustard.

Place hot ham (you can heat it up by steaming it for a few minutes) on bottom half of baguette. Top with onions and shredded cheese.  Place the top half of the baguette (cut side facing up) on the parchment paper and put the baking sheet back in the oven. Broil until cheese is melted and top half of baguette is lightly toasted (about a minute). Grind a little pepper on top. Place the top on the sandwich and cut into servings. Serve with lots of napkins.

Try this: Grilled Cheddar, apple and bacon sandwich

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