Monday, January 26, 2009

My (current) Favorite Sandwich: French-Style Ham and Cheese

Aubrey and I tested our travel legs in 2005 with a month long European Adventure and we returned to Paris in 2006 for our Honeymoon. However, it wasn't until our return in 2008 that we met the greatest sandwhich known to man. How we ever managed to miss this is beyond me. Granted, the two previous times I was having a love affair with a different assembly of meat and bread ( Doner Kabob...mmm...) but that would mean I'd have to start explaining the fact that I have 500 favorites of everything. Let's just say, this sandwich is pretty amazing.

It's simple and straightforward: French Baguette, say hello to slice of ham, aged swiss and a layer of cold butter. That's it. Primarily served chilled, this sandwich is to France as the cheeseburger is to America. It's the ultimate fast food. Aubrey and I couldn't get enough of these babies... I think we ate about 15 of them in two weeks.

(I was trying to use the self timer to take a photo on a picturesque road - see above- and Aubrey wouldn't stop eating the sandwich for even 5 seconds.)
Since worthy baguettes are hard to come by in my part of the world, I'm forced to get what I can in Tulsa and freeze it to maintain freshness between trips to the mainland. I'm partial to the Rustic Baguette at Farrell Family Organic Bread at 81st and Yale.

Since, I have to thaw now ( and if I'm thinking about this sandwich I must have it RIGHT NOW), I usually pop a piece in the microwave. This equals sogginess.

Since my bread is soggy, I have to crisp it up. So, one day, I was out of swiss and only had gruyere... ( like this was some sacrifice.) I buttered up one side of the sandwich, and put ham and grated gruyere on the other side, broiled until browned and bubbly and.... PERFECTION. My new favorite sandwich! It's not like the ones in Paris but it will definitely do...especially if eaten with classic Dijon mustard and cheese souffle! Behold:

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