I spent good chunks of the first two weekends of January working, which, in this economy, is not really something to complain about. So I won’t gripe about the work. Instead, I’ll whine about the lunch. Because I was otherwise occupied, most of the lunches were delivered. And while you can’t beat the convenience of sandwich delivery on a subzero Chicago Saturday, I swear to you: the order was never right. My reactions ranged from unattractive gagging noises when I discovered a sandwich slopped with mayo, something akin to a temper tantrum when another sandwich came with coleslaw instead of chips, tears when I opened a sack to find a white bread-ed sandwich when I’d ordered multigrain, to (worst of all) oh-no-they-didn’t-forget-my-pickle.
So last weekend, when I did not one minute of work (ahhh), I decided that when it came to lunch, I’d do it myself. Thankyouverymuch. I started out with beautiful, fresh ingredients: slices from a loaf of burnished whole wheat sourdough; folds of black forest ham the light pink color of a flush cheek; slices of havarti, as lacey as a delicate doiley; peppery leaves of baby arugula; spicy Dijon mustard; kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper; thin slices of juicy bosc pear:
I piled it all together into a sandwich that I dare say even Dagwood would admire:
We grilled the sandwiches quickly, just long enough for the havarti to go soft and gooey and for the pears and ham to warm through. It was perfect. Not that I’m hard to please or anything …
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Pear
Yield: 2 sandwiches
4 slices good bread
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 slices havarti cheese
1/4 pound black forest ham
1/2 cup baby arugula
1/2 Bosc pear, thinly sliced
Kosher or sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
Divide the mustard, cheese, ham, arugula and pear between two slices of the bread. Sprinkle each sandwich with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining two slices of bread. Grill in a preheated grill pan for two to three minutes per side. Serve warm.