I’ll Do it Myself

January 26, 2009


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.

29 Responses to “I’ll Do it Myself”

  1. Jackie Says:

    Mmmm mmmm! This sounds like the perfect sandwich right now. I love that you thought to add pear.

    I had a truly disappointing sandwich at my co.’s cafeteria today — surprise to no one. Thanks for the inspiration to make my own!

  2. Lee Says:

    Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering so much right now, you have no idea.

  3. Fabulous looking sandwich. Seriously, I want one now.

    It is a bummer when your takeout isn’t how you want it. At least you are working on winter weekends and not on beautiful summer days 🙂 Good to know that you are busy and billing away too:P

  4. Monica h Says:

    I can’t tell you how much I love a good sandwich. Seriously. Next to breakfast, it’s my favorite and this sandwich looks amazing.

  5. culinography Says:

    That is quite possibly one of the most beautiful sandwiches I’ve ever seen. I need a midnight snack!

  6. amylouwho Says:

    OH how I love a good sandwich. I must try this.

  7. trudy Says:

    looks define. Remember working overtime in NY for a company that paid for sandwich delivery. I always ordered the hamburger and pickle on the side with NY bread.So good.

  8. sue bette Says:

    beautiful & lovely grill marks – which I think send a grilled sandwich over the top. Love the pics! Best wishes on some work-free weekends in the future!

  9. eggsonsunday Says:

    What a great looking sandwich – SO much better than anything you could order out! Hope you don’t have to make a habit of working on the weekends. 🙂 -amy

  10. Donna Says:

    Wow! Looks absolutely delicious. Right out of a magazine. Great flavor combinations.

  11. Ali Says:

    I love a sammy more than most… And this one looks delicious!!! Next time you will have to use that delivery boy you live with…

  12. Chuck Says:

    I could order me one of those right now. It looks delicious!

  13. MMMMmmm. . . looks yummy. Really digging the pear. I’ll have to remember that in the future.

  14. duodishes Says:

    The arugula, havarti and dijon sealed the sandwich deal.

  15. mindy Says:


    I know this has nothing to do with the sandwich above (which does look great), but I’m not sure if you saw the news. I know you’re a huge fan of Terragusto (we still haven’t tried it, even though we live within walking distance) is opening a second location starting tonight. It might be more convenient from your place:

    After hearing about your blog from Seth, and what an amazing cook you are I read it all the time. Love it, and all the recipes I’ve tried.

    Mindy (Seth’s sister)

  16. mindy Says:

    D’oh, should’ve checked the date on the article before posting that. Apparently it opened over the weekend.

  17. Jen Says:

    VERY similar to a sandwich I recently made:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenschneider/3182996877/

    Sooooooooo GOOD!!

  18. radish Says:

    Yum, this looks fabulous – and I totally agree with you on making sandwiches yourself if you want it done right. The pear looks fantastic – I love fruit in my sandwiches.

  19. Hillary Says:

    That is one nice looking sandwich!

  20. carolina Says:

    These pictures are gorgeous. The sandwich looks wonderfully fresh. And, I love Havarti cheese. It is my favorite for sandwiches.

  21. Karen Says:

    Ohhh, I’m considering hanging a picture of that sandwich over my desk… reminder of the good things in life! Yum! 🙂

  22. Kevin Says:

    Nice looking sandwich!

  23. Dakota Says:

    Oh my goodness that looks good. I’ve been playing around with the idea of making a warmed/grilled sandwich with tandoori chicken (recipe in the last CI magazine), some sort of white cheese, baby greens, and a japanese mayo/wasabi sauce (they serve it at the local sushi shop and it’s delicious). This recipe however, is edging that idea out of the top spot in the running.

  24. PaniniKathy Says:

    You’re not difficult to please – you just have sandwich standards! As should we all 🙂

  25. Mindy Says:

    I’m totally making this! It looks so good…

  26. Terri Says:

    Perfect! Altho delivery in subzero is great……

  27. Melissa Says:

    I’m with you and some of the other folks – I make sandwiches myself because only I can make them right for me. 🙂

    Nice job satiating your own craving!

  28. Thanks, everyone! You all like your sandwiches just as much as I do, it seems.

    Mindy: I saw that! I do think it’s a bit closer to us, but it’s not BYO. We’ll see how that balance plays out. Thanks for commenting!

    Jen: Looks fantastic!

  29. manuel Says:

    I am definitely craving one of these now! I love pears on sandwiches! This one would be good with brie also!

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