Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lunch Bell

I haven't been eating very well. I haven't been working out. I've been ill far longer than I have ever been ill before in the past. Changes must be made. Today seemed like a good day for that.

Whole Foods is a 10-15 minute walk from my office. In the past, I used to walk all the way over there, spend over a $100 to make ONE dinner for someone who probably would have been happier eating out of a can of Chef Boyardee , and then hauled those ridiculously heavy reusable tote bags three blocks back to the subway to ride it all the way back to Queens. All my exes have their lists of my horrible attributes, but I have my charms as a girlfriend. I learned my lesson to quit that nonsense the last time around. Men just don't appreciate that kind of effort. And we can go back and forth about that all day long! That's not the point of my post.

A few weeks ago, my coworker went there, bought some bread and some salami and made a sandwich for her and myself. I tried to pay her, but she insisted it costs her less than $5.00 for everything. No kidding?

Well, I went there and ended up spending no less than $27. Granted, I bought greens, condiments and a box of waffles to boot. I also splurged on two bottles of unsweetened iced tea that were on sale. Instead of a simple loaf of plain bread, I bought an onion pocket and two rolls; a kalamata olive roll and a pretzel roll, which I admit was probably more than I really needed. I also went balls to the wall and opted for a 1/4 pound of prosciutto di parma. The good stuff! At $22 a pound, my coworker paid less for a half pound of salami than I did for 1/4 lb of this stuff. Sliced paper-thin and separated between sheets of butchers paper so they would not stick to one another, this order was prepared with all the bells and whistles that $22 a lb will buy you! I also broke down and spent another $5.00 on a wedge of good brie. It was a strange combination, but I like brie and I love arugula. I'd know soon enough how all these flavors fair with one another. By the time I was done walking back to the office, my groceries were pretty damn heavy, I was out of breath (because I'm still wheezing and coughing), and I was all sweaty in my oversized sweater and jacket. (It was cold when I left the house this morning!)

Ok, so here's we go with the sandwich making...

 Ingredients: Baby arugula, brie, onion pocket roll, prosciutto di parma and horseradish sauce. I know the horseradish sauce seems out of place, but I was debating between buying some salad dressing or good olive oil and balsamic- my usual. What I don't like about Whole Foods is that everything is ridiculously overpriced. I can't justify paying $5 for salad dressing. Although I know good olive oil and balsamic isn't cheap, I didn't want to spend all that money for it. I settled on the horseradish sauce to add a little moisture and flavor to my sandwich since mayo dare come near my food. 

Step one was the brie. I'm not a huge fan of the white chalky rind surrounding the brie. I usually eat the creamy goodness out of the middle and leave the rind behind. Since serious cheeseheads scoff at that and since this is a big sandwich with a lot of flavors battling, I decided to leave it on and see what happens.The other side is slathered with some horseradish sauce. A very thin layer, I want to stress. A little goes a long way with that stuff.

The second step was the meat. Not too much. Not too little. There's nothing worse than a sandwich with not enough meat. On the flip side, I had the most fantastic prosciutto sandwich in Auburndale once. My friend and I were on a munchie hunt late one night and we walked over to his favorite Italian deli. He ordered a turkey on whole wheat. I went for a prosciutto/cappicola/arugula sandwich with provolone cheese and a splash of good balsamic vinegar. He put so much meat in this thing, I could barely wrap my mouth around it to take a bite. The most awesome part? He only charged me $3.50 for the whole thing! I think he was happy I asked for real cured meats rather than the regular American crap. He was also happily tossing me pieces to taste, as well as a nice slice of buffalo mozzarella. My friend and I hardly needed our sandwiches by the time this guy was done feeding us from the counter. It also helps that my friend spoke fluent Sicilian. Those talent tend to come in handy!

Okay, so one side is meat and cheese. The other side is arugula and horseradish. I also want to make a point that before piling on the greens, I zapped my little sandwich in the microwave for 45 seconds. I don't like cold lunches. I don't like cold sandwiches. I like my food hot or warm. I feel like it enhances the flavors.

Finished! Manga!

So, how was it? The horseradish was barely tasted. I didn't put enough. The brie was very strong and overpowering, and I think I should have bought some provolone or another mild cheese instead. The onion loaf was tasty but would have been put to better use with a less flavorful meat like roast beef or turkey. The arugula was not as delicate as other baby arugula that I've had. It was strong and more bitter like fully grown arugula.

I was still hungry when I was done so I made a smaller sandwich with the kalamata roll. Thick slather of horseradish sauce, two good ribbons of prosciutto, and a handful of arugula. No brie. Well, this time around, the horseradish was too overwhelming. The arugula was still rough and bitter.

Lesson learned? When combining such a fine meat like this fantastic prosciutto di parma, it's best to keep the components simple and less combative of the star of the show. I think a plain roll, a couple of slices of tomato and some green lettuce, and a splash of good balsamic and olive oil probably would have made my sandwich foodgasm-worthy, but the temptation of too many options at Whole Foods steered me away from the most basic of culinary rules: When your ingredients are the best of the best- leave it alone and just eat it! 


  1. good times, good times! I still can't believe you ate that whole damn sandwich. Elastic Belly!

    how you feeling sweety? Still sick? Keep taking the medicine and just accept that even supergirl needs to fill a prescription every so often.

    I'm coming into town memorial day weekend. let's hook up and find some trouble to get into. Game?

    The first pic looks a little off-color. Did you use your new Thunderbolt to take these? How do you like it?

  2. BALLS! Your timing is always so off. I won't be around. Sorry man. Just stay down here that week. I'm crazy busy but I'll shift things around if you'll be here. That weekend is no good, though. Where are you staying?

    If memory serves me right, I offered to share with you but you wanted that boring, dry white-boy turkey sandwich. lol All that fluent Italian and you order a turkey sandwich. Shame on you! You should have your red, white & green card revoked.

    I'm recovering. I'm still having problems breathing, but my dr. doesn't want to baby me. He wants me back in the gym huffing and puffing. So much for some TLC!

    The Thunderbolt is crazy fast. I'm exploring it. I'm so tempted to root the hell out of it, but I don't want to void the warranty till I know it inside out. The camera focuses a lot faster than the Incredible though. Thanks so much for the hook up! I can't believe you saved me $200! Do you know how much fondant I can buy with $200?!?! This is the 2nd time I lucked out with a smartphone. Last year, my Incredible only cost me $25. =)

    Elastic belly? Pick another word, please. Seriously, dude.

  3. Root that mother fucker like a prag's ass in Rikers. Only idiots with too much money pay full price for a phone. There's always a way to get a deal w/ a little bit of homework. You're welcome. Glad I could help.

    If you still can't breathe and your chest hurts when you do like- ANYTHING- wtf is your doc pushing you like you're the mfing bionic woman? Maybe you tore something inside? Maybe there's something wrong with your lungs. Maybe your ribs are f'd up. I think he's too relaxed regarding your care. Consider a new doc.

    Don't knock the turkey. I was watching my weight back then. I'm Italian where it counts! FUUUUUUUCK YEAHHHHH!

    I'm driving my buddy down there. He got a job and he's moving into his new place that weekend. I'm helping him out and staying w/ him in Frost Hills by the NYSC on QB. I can't stay the week cuz I gotta get back to work. And I dn't wanna pull you away from your work. Don't stress moving stuff around. Just do your cakes and come up here and visit me when you get some free time. Your room is waiting......STILL!!!!

    Even better- my buddy is small town and new to the big city. Would you keep an eye on him and take him under your social wing? He's an extreme geek hipster-like code monkey. Kinda like me but not as awesome....maybe he'll achieve such greatness one day. Today is not that day. You two can compare your Chuck collection. Seriously- he's a great guy. Good looking. Good heart. Good soul. Maybe good for you? >;-) Above all else- a gentleman who will NOT take you for granted; friendship or otherwise....if things are agreeable.

    We'll talk more when you read your phone's manual and figure out how to ANSWER your phone or TEXT me back. Your highness- THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!!

    BTW- got a hold of some of that wheelchair and HOLY SHIT. holy shit dude holy shit

  4. I figured you were pretty toasted when you wrote this. You never write this much and you're dropping f-bombs left and right. How did you find the wheelchair where you are?

    Sure, I'll help your friend out, but don't try setting me up. I have a very specific plan in place right now and I don't want another wasted year or two with stupid distractions. We all know how that ended up. Frost Hills? Was that a typo? Please tell me you're not talking about the NYSC on 67th Ave. I'll do my best to come visit this summer but every penny is accounted for right now. I'm not going to promise, but I will give you my word that I'll try my best to come see you.

    It's not that I'm avoiding your calls. I can't pick up when I'm teaching a class. You know that, and I know you're usually dead to the world after 1am, and that's what time I get in. Tonight...I SWEAR!!!

    On a side note- I'm so tickled that you're still reading my blog! Even my craft blog!! You make a girl feel all special and shit...=P