Saturday, October 06, 2012

Believe It -- Or Don't

Few people know that "ham & cheese sandwhich" is a misnomer, and the original version contained no ham at all: a hundred years and more ago, cafes in Hammond, Indiana served simple, delicious sandwiches of a local Swiss-style cheese on rye with a little brown mustard as "Hammond Cheese Sandwiches." Ham was only added later by mistake, when travelers from Northern Indiana asked restaurants elsewhere to make the familiar treat.  The combination tasted so good, it superseded the original!

     Or not.*

     Be that as it may, I was without rye bread, but I did have some "hearty Italian" bread, a little Colby Jack (and a tiny bit of "shredded Mexican cheese," though shredded Mexicans are, to my relief, not anywhere listed in the ingredients) and some nice thin-sliced uncured ham (one presumes it never fell ill to begin with).  If you heat up three slices of the ham in a skillet while the bread is toasting, then stack it up ham - half a cheese slice - ham - other half of cheese slice - ham, with some of the shredded stuff in the corners (round ham, rectangular cheese, Archimedes nowhere in sight) 'til the cheese melts, load up the toast with that stack of goodness and cook each side briefly, you get a nice hot sammich in a hardly more time than it takes to make the toast.

     I didn't even bother with mustard or horseradish.
* 'Cos I  just made it up.


TommyG said...

You ever try throwing a hand full of shredded cheese in the skillet and the putting your sandwich in on top of it and toasting till the cheese is crunchy? It's very good that way.

Bruce H. said...

Well drat. That first sentence led me expect another one of your vile puns.

DJ said...

I'm a bit of a purist; "uncured ham" is "pork butt". It is "cure", i.e. sodium nitrite, which turns pork butt into ham (regardless of whether and/or how it's smoked or otherwise flavored) and which turns it pink instead of gray it's when cooked.

I've been learning about such things. I now make my own summer sausage from venison and elk. Yes, it's cured, hickory smoked, and quite tasty.

MSgt B said...

That was cheesy

Anonymous said...


Hah, nearly got me again but I'm smart enough to be able to make a fool of myself without help from you young lady (OK I may have mentioned it to a lady at the local shop - she wants to know did the Ham and Egg pie, an English delicacy [probably known as the Finnish pie there] come from there too?)

Oh, and I find chunks of ham somehow more satisfying than shredded, but Horseradish? Do you have NO taste? It's Worcestershire sauce or nothing (philistine ;-p ). Then when you almost run out of bread you only use one slice and can call it Welsh Rabbit (another one for your international cuisine dictionary).

Roberta X said...

Yes, of course, Able -- they make delicious egg pies up Hammond way, just like apple pie only with hard-cooked eggs instead of apples. Hammond Egg Pie: I believe it's what your people know as "spanners."

If it's got a lattice crust with the eggs sliced longways and looking like eyes looking out, it's "stargazy spanners," innit?


og said...

What is known as "Mexican Cheese" is certainly not made from grated Mexicans, it is usually a variation of Chihuahua cheese.

Me, I find it amazing that it's so popular, as well as inexpensive, considering how difficult it is to milk those yappy little f***ers

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to try a grilled charlie: butter inside, cheese outside, peanut butter inside, chocolate outside...on white, of course

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to try a grilled charlie: butter inside, cheese outside, peanut butter inside, chocolate outside...on white, of course