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?
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.
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!