December 9, 2009

Birthday sandwich (ham, pear, caramelized onion, and brie)

I started a food blog this past summer on a different site and have decided that I'm going to give this one a try instead... I'm going to be moving over some of my posts from that blog as I get this one started.

I made these sandwiches for my husband-to-be (at the time - now he's my husband) for his birthday back in August. I asked him to pick ANYTHING that he wanted for his birthday dinner and out of the infinite possibilities, he chose this sandwich. This sandwich is one I made after having something fairly similar when we were in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and it’s been one of his (and, admittedly, my) favorites even since. I just made these sandwiches again this past weekend as part of a birthday dinner for my mom, too. So, I've now deemed them "birthday sandwiches".

Birthday sandwiches (makes 4)
about 3/4 lb sliced ham off the bone
a good-sized wedge (depends how much cheese you like) of medium brie
1 large onion (or two medium) - any kind, thinly sliced
1 large bosc pear, thinly sliced lengthwise
4 croissants from your favorite bakery
butter and olive oil
sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper

The only real cooking involved here is caramelizing the onions. Remove the skin from the onion and slice it thinly. Heat about a tablespoon of butter with a splash of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over low-medium heat. When warm, add the onions. To caramelize properly, you must cook the onions low and slow until they turn a golden brown and sweet. Stir them occasionally and add a dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper about halfway through the cooking process.

While the onions caramelize, you can assemble the rest of the sandwich. Slice the croissants in half and place a few pieces of brie on each side. I like to warm them up on a toaster oven to melt the brie a bit, but that’s optional. Slice the pear thinly (I leave on the skin for texture and color – make sure to remove any core and seeds). Once the onions are fully caramelized, add the ham, onions, and pears to your croissants in any order. Eat and enjoy!

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