Some days are just non-stop, aren’t they? Oden’s been keeping us on our toes since the day we brought him home, but he’s mobile now. Hello, game-changer! It’s amazing how much time and energy I expend just chasing that toddling, giggling nugget around. Gone are the days of letting him safely play with some toys within view while I prep dinner or wash dishes. In a flash, he’s out of sight and very likely into something he shouldn’t be. Lately, it feels like it’s all I can do to keep the house sort of tidy and that glass of wine at 5:30 is a serious treat. (Mamas know exactly what I’m talking about!)
You certainly don’t have to be a busy mother of a rambunctious 1-year-old to appreciate a meal that’s delicious and also super easy. We’re big fans of sandwiches in this household; we’ve even had little competitions to see who can come up with the best one! Recently, I picked up a ham sandwich (along with my giant iced coffee) at a local coffee shop. It was so unique and tasty that I decided I needed to recreate it at home.
So the thing that sets this ham sandwich apart is the spicy jam inside. The combo of sweet jam, tangy mustard, salty ham, and the heat from the peppers in the jam is delectable! I found this “sweet heat” jalapeño jelly at Whole Foods and have seen plenty of spicy jams in every grocery store. I guess it’s a thing these days, and I’m into it! I tasted the jelly on a cracker. It’s really good and pretty darn spicy- just how we like it around here.
I started by very lightly toasting some soft rolls in the toaster oven. Meanwhile, I sliced some brie cheese (while it was still chilled- so much easier to cut). On one half of the warm buns, I spread spicy mustard. On the other half, I slathered plenty of hot jam. I added good ham I got sliced at the deli and the brie cheese. Back into the toaster oven the sammies went, under the broiler to heat the meat and melt the cheese.
When I could see the brie starting to bubble, I took out the sandwiches and added spinach before putting the halves together. That’s it. Dinner is served!
The brie immediately started to ooze from the side of the sandwiches, which is obviously what you want to see. Just the sight of the melting cheese made my mouth water! The bun was toasted on the outside but still soft on the inside, treating you to that satisfying crunch when you bite into it. With that first bite, I knew this sandwich is a keeper. The sweet-spicy-salty-tangy combo is fantastic. I would generally think of using a jalapeño jam as a condiment on a cheese board (yum), but I really like it on a sandwich like this.
John said he thought the ham was the right meat for the sandwich because of the saltiness, but turkey would also be great. You could even leave out the meat altogether, add another type of cheese, and make a spicy-sweet grilled cheese sandwich! This is a great weekend lunch or easy weeknight dinner when time is short or your energy is tapped. Thanks, Hugo Coffee, for the inspiration! We have a new favorite sandwich!
Hot Jam Ham Sandwich
- Soft sandwich rolls
- Jalapeño jelly or other spicy pepper jam
- Deli mustard
- Sliced deli ham
- Chilled brie cheese
- Fresh spinach leaves
Slice the rolls in half and toast lightly. On one half, spread mustard and add the brie cheese. On the other half, spread hot jam and add the ham. Return the halves to the toaster or oven and broil until the brie begins to bubble. Add the spinach, make the sandwich, and enjoy with that glass of wine you waited all day to have. Yum!
One year ago: A tour of Baby Oden’s “Little Adventurer” nursery.