Monday, December 12, 2011

A Good Sandwich is Hard to Find

Sundays are my only day off and our only day to lounge around together, and so it was yesterday. We were just starting to get going around 11 or 11:30 in the morning and trying to figure out what we were going to do. Ann said, "Let's work backwards. What's for dinner?" After a bit of discussion about comfort foods (it was 24 degrees outside), we settled on a batch of Tuscan white beans, cannellini beans and mirepoix flavored with sage and rosemary.

That settled, we both realized that without any breakfast on board, we were starving. And starving is a good feeling for Ann who has been ill since Thanksgiving. Our fooding and drinking have been on hold since then. And since we had to go out to the restaurant to pick up some things for our beans for dinner, I thought we might grab a bite while we were out, always a challenge in this food-deprived town.

I wasn't really up for brunch or brunch food, but had a fleeting image of a really good sandwich running through my brain when I asked Ann what she wanted for lunch. "A sandwich. A really good sandwich." Great minds think alike! Already knowing the answer, I asked her (rhetorically because I wasn't expecting an answer), "Where are we going to get a good sandwich?"

Isn't it sad that in a county that has roughly 100,000 people, that there is not one good sandwich shop or a great deli? Napoli's (now closed) tried for a while and their sandwiches were pretty good, though the bread didn't hold up to the fillings. And César at Sweet Sunset Bakery (now also closed) made a great Cuban, but one sandwich does not a sandwich shop make. And The Launching Pad (also closed) did an OK job as well, but the ingredients were never top notch. So, there isn't any place you can go to get a great sandwich. And knowing that, we resigned to make our own.

I let Ann dictate the sandwich—I'll pretty much eat anything save for egg salad; not a fan for a lot of reasons, none of which need elaboration at this moment—and she chose prosciutto, roasted red pepper, and fresh mozzarella. So, off to the grocery store where we were able to score fresh mozz (not fresh like we make at home and at the restaurant during the summer, but not horrible either) and some capocollo/coppa, not a bad score for our local grocery store. And thence, by way of the Food Maxx international grocery store, to the restaurant where we were able to get some really good focaccia, prosciutto, and roasted piquillo peppers, perhaps the world's finest red peppers. From our fridge at home, we got some pesto and a casalingo salame. You see the makings below:


And what wine to choose? I had in mind a great Chianti from Castello dei Rampolla, but happened across a bottle of Linden Avenius Red 2007 in the upstairs cooler.


And here you see the finished product in all its glory.


While I was making the sandwiches, Ann was putting together a shopping list of ingredients for her holiday baking while enjoying the wine, our first since she became ill at Thanksgiving. It took a while to toast the bread all the way around and to melt the cheese on hers and to warm her sandwich once assembled. Me, I don't like my cold cut sandwich warmed; if they are cold cuts, why the hell should you warm them? ;) And I put thinly sliced raw onion on my sandwich because I love it. Ann, not today.

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