My parents and grandparents have always told me of how well I like to treat myself. I often go the extra length to cut mangos (which they see as a hassle) or make fruit smoothies or spend time juicing oranges or apples and carrots. So yes, I do like to eat good food and it does not hurt one bit.
For lunch today, I decided to treat myself to a ham and cheese sandwich. It’s not the typical oscar mayer ham and kraft cheddar cheese kind of sandwich. Rather, I am talking about the thinly sliced honey maple ham and grated emmental cheese with chives smashed in between two slices of french loaf bread that has been brushed with olive oil and lightly smeared with garlic, kind of sandwich.
I was finally able to make a trip to the nearest Whole Foods Market here, all the way in Huntington Beach. I have been so spoiled by the Whole Foods back at home, only 10 min away and is absolutely ginormous. It used to be a car dealership and they turned it into goodness. I have always been a fan of their products and always leave happy!
I bought ham, cheese, and bread, and for such quality good ingredients, the breakdown of cost is not bad at all. I asked for eight slices of ham to be sliced at their thinnest setting, and the smallest chunk of emmantal cheese I could find. The ham was $1.65 and the cheese was $5.60, but I still have half of the cheese wedge left to be used (so let’s just say $2.80?). The loaf of organic french bread was $2.99 but I only used 4 slices out of the 8 ($1.50). The chives I already had and only used two tablespoons of them chopped and one clove of garlic. So if you ask me, I spoiled myself with an amazing lunch for $5.95. Cheaper than Panera and uses good quality ingredients.
Do I know how to spoil myself? Yes I do, and I enjoy every bite doing so.
Honey Ham and Emmental Cheese Panini
makes two sandwiches
4 slices of french loaf bread
1 c grated emmental cheese
2 Tbsp chives
1 garlic clove
Heat a medium skillet on medium high heat.
Brush one side of each bread slice completely with olive oil. Slice the garlic clove in half and using the open cut side, rub it against the oil on bread until the bread faintly smells of garlic. This is optional but the subtle garlic adds to the flavor in each bite. With the garlic oil side down, take 1/4 c cheese and spread it around. Sprinkle some chives on, then layer 3 slices of ham. Cover the ham in another 1/4 c cheese and chives. Place the bread slice on top, oil side up. Repeat with the other two slices of bread.
Place the two sandwiches on the skillet and place a cast iron pan directly on top of the breads to weigh them down. Once the first side is golden, flip and place the cast iron pan back on top. Once the other side is golden brown, they are done. Slice each sandwich in half and enjoy!