Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ham and provolone with savory spiced pears reduced in clarified honey butter.

I hope you'll forgive me for my absence. Mommyhood was calling and I had to heed the call. This weekend was meant to be a catch up on my blogging and cooking, etc. Well Ally put a big kaboosh on these plans. She is having some really bad stomach pain as of late and so bad that I had to take her into the ER. I have next weekend to myself so I am def planning on catching up!

I do have a lovely Key Lime Pie baking in the oven as I type. That will be up tomorrow, the time depends on if I am able to make the whipped cream in time before classes.

This sandwich was a pure experiment, I had no idea how it'd turn out and I was surprised at how good it was and how the flavor melded so well. I knew that citrus pairs well with ham but I felt that in a sandwich it would over power the ham. Apples seemed to be an easy pair and I didn't want easy. Ha! So I picked out a lovely D'Janour pear. When it was nearly ripped and softened, I thought about how I was going to meld the ham and pears together. I got to thinking about what spices were typically used with ham and baked pears, they had a common thread. Spices. Cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon! I felt that these were key to this sandwich but I knew it'd be missing something, a slight sweetness to pair with the salty-ness of the ham. Brown sugar and white sugars, too sweet. Honey! Perfect. I melted some pre-made clarified butter (look in the Indian section of your store) and it lead to this spectacular arrangement of flavors!

Sliced ham lunch meat. Don't skimp, get the good stuff.
Provolone cheese. Only get the good stuff.
1 tsp honey
1 tsp water
1 tsp of clarified butter
1/8 ground cloves
1/8 ground nutmeg
1/8 ground cinnamon
1/2 of a palm sized nearly ripe pear, peeled and sliced.
Vienna bread

1- In a small frying pan, melt butter and add in honey, water and spices, let this cook for about five minutes. Making sure not to burn your spices. Let mixture reduce and thicken. Shouldn't take very long.

2- Add in pears and cook until still slightly firm, you do not want to cook for too long or you will have mushed pears instead of sliced pears. Remove from heat and allow to thicken some.

3- Slice your bread about an inch thick(thicker = less soggy bread) with a serrated knife and butter your slices on one side. Place into another pan. As the bread is browning and toasting, take your ham and place it in the pan to warm up. This allows some of the fluids in the ham to cook off and helps speed up the cheese melting process.

4- Take the ham and place it on top of your bread. Followed by a couple slices of pears (make sure most of the liquids are drained off) and then top with a slice provolone, top with remaining slice of buttered bread and flip.

5- Allow to stand for a minute or two and then cut and serve!

6- Enjoy!

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