Brian came home from work the other day raving about the super delicious sammy he experienced over the lunch hour. I believe he expressed to me several times during the evening that it was “probably the best sandwich [he’d] ever had…pretty much the best thing ever!”
Well, of course, feeling a bit hurt and offended, as I’m super sensitive and SUPER competitive in the kitchen, as we all know… I retorted, “well, you’ve never had one of MY sammies!”
Bring it on!
He described the lunchmeat concoction in as much detail as he could. Let’s face it, the depths of descriptive capacity when it comes to food is truly a gift that only a few of us have the ability to share (sorry, honey). Luckily for me, I was able to grill him with question after question in order to obtain the details that I needed to not only recreate “the best thing ever,” but to far outdo his modest expectations.
Here we go…
Sweet Onion Jam
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3-4 spins of fresh thyme
1/4 cup raw Turbinado sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Tie the bay leaf and thyme together with kitchen twine. Add the herb bundle to the diced onions and cook over low heat, stirring a few times, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and cook, without stirring, until the sugar melts, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until an amber-brown caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and simmer over low heat, stirring a few times, until the jam is thick, about 5 minutes. Discard the herb bundle. Season the jam with salt and let cool to warm.
And now for the sammy:
1 small crusty ciabatta roll or demi baguette, sliced
1 Tbs. mayo, divided between the two sides of the sliced bread roll
sea salt and pepper
1/4 lb. thinly sliced roast beef
2 thick slices of heirloom tomato
2 slices white cheddar cheese
2 Tbs. Sweet onion jam
Assemble just as imagined: slather the two sammy sides with mayo and a little bit of salt and pepper. Layer on the roast beef and cheese, as well as the tomato, not neglecting to salt that puppy. Wherever applicable, generously spoon on large, delectable portions of the amazing sweet onion jam.
Remember, this truly is, “pretty much the best thing ever!” Yes, Ma’am!