Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I strive for balance and equilibrium. Combining things that oppose each other make for stability of flavors when cooking. They're like food friends.

Salty ham + sweet pear + buttery brie = campadres

I was about to make a salad out of these three homies but then was like cuss it I wanna sam-ich. Since moving to Chicago I constantly struggle to find a good sandwich, which I simply cannot wrap my head around. Beside the fact that a decent slice of pizza doesn't exist here (hey Chicago, 3-inches of coagulated cheese is NOT pizza), a good deli is hard to find. I grew up with Jewish and Italian deli's on every other block. A good sandwich is a daily convenience that I was apparently spoiled by. Good golly I miss piled high pastrami on rye with grainy mustard or an old-school Italian Combo with Oil and Vinegar. Quality meat, classic combinations and a few off-beat specialties along with a staff of characters. Chicago needs to step up their deli game.

Of the off-beat deli specialties -- I do love some fruit in between my bread. Whether it's a marmalade or slices of produce, fruit tends to add great sweetness and texture that won't overwhelm. I was real happy with the pear against the ham and brie. I used 12-grain bread with mayo and country style mustard along with baby spinach.

The next day I only had the bread ends and made this treat into a panini. If you've never had warm brie you're really missing out. I'll go so far as to say you haven't lived.

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