The Delaware House Ham and Cheese Sandwich. Once in a while, you come up with something that bears repeating. Again. And again. And again. The Delaware House Sandwich is a nostalgic sandwich for me. It’s a toasted club roll spread with mayonnaise and stuffed with brown sugar maple ham, swiss cheese, tomatoes, red onion, arugula, and seasoned with a sprinkling of Italian herbs and a splash of Paul Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette.
As some of you may know, my husband and I were spending a lot of time last year at my mother-in-law’s vacation home in Delaware. No, we weren’t “vacationing” at all. We were managing (and personally doing) some major repairs and generally getting the place ready for sale this Spring. Many people thought I was spending my days lounging on the beach. I wish. I walked on the beach exactly FOUR times in 2014. That was it. No time to play at all. Just work. See below in the before and after photos of the kitchen!
The Delaware House has been in the family since it was built in the mid-1970s. It was a fun place for the family to visit and gather together. Since we lost my father-in-law, the place has just lost its appeal as a happy place. So the decision was made to ready it for a sale.
My father-in-law spent many happy days at Delaware House. He loved to fish and to garden. He had a very generous spirit which was appreciated by many of the neighbors, who happily enjoyed his garden bounty even when he wasn’t there in person.
Delaware House is located in a marina community in a resort area with a small town mindset. Many of the homes in the community are owned by “weekenders” whose lesser status is regularly reminded for them by the “year rounders” who live in the area full time. It’s actually like a little Mayberry RFD community, although I am sure that the “year rounders” believe it’s far more like a ritzy 90210 neighborhood.
So back to the Delaware House Sandwich. I created this sandwich out of favorite ingredients that were easy to get at the local grocery store, and leftovers could be used for other meals. Deli ham and swiss cheese can also be frozen for later use. The club rolls will toast well, and still offer a soft bite. Mayonnaise is key to the flavor of the sandwich. I used to buy Hellmanns Mayonnaise and now I have a preference for Just Mayo. I prefer to use arugula on a number of sandwiches because I like its peppery flavor. Lettuce offers a crunch…but arugula has a better flavor. Ripe tomatoes were available throughout the summer. And I like to add a little bit of shaved red onion to the sandwich. A sprinkling of dried Italian Seasoning just like an Italian Deli, and a splash of Paul Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette. Cut the sandwich in half, secure with a sandwich picks, and you are ready to eat!
You might ask why I didn’t make my own Italian vinaigrette at Delaware House. That’s a great question. It’s easier for me to just go ahead and buy the Newman’s Own dressing when we are at Delaware House. I think it’s well made, tastes great, and is my choice if I’m not making my own dressing.
For your next party, perhaps this weekend’s Super Bowl, you could let your guests make their own Delaware House Sandwiches. Set out a platter of ham and cheese slices, arugula or lettuce leaves, tomato slices, and shaved red onion. Offer club rolls or halved sub rolls, squeeze bottles of mayonnaise, bottles of dried Italian seasoning, and a couple bottles of Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette. Or, assemble the sandwiches ahead of time, keep them chilled, and set them out for immediate consumption. Your guests will love them.
I hope you enjoy this sandwich as much as I do. Now that I think about it, the Delaware House sandwich also reminds me of the “grinders” or submarine sandwiches that I used to get at the local delis when I was in college. Yep. Nostalgic! Maybe I should have just named it the “Nostalgic Sandwich.” Next time, for sure.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Delaware House Ham and Cheese Sandwich
2 club rolls or your favorite sub rolls, split in half
4 T mayonnaise
1/2 lb thinly sliced or chipped deli ham, preferably maple or brown sugar ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices ripe tomato
1/4 c shaved red onion
1 c arugula
2 t dried Italian Seasoning
2 T Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette
sandwich picks or toothpicks, optional
1. Toast the insides of the club rolls under your oven broiler until they are a golden brown.
2. Spread the toasted interiors of the club rolls with mayonnaise.
3. Divide the ham and swiss cheese between the two sandwiches.
4. Arrange the tomato slices and the arugula over the ham and swiss on each sandwich.
5. Sprinkle the dried Italian Seasoning over the arugula.
6. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the arugula.
7. Close up the sandwiches and cut each one in half.
8. Use decorative toothpicks to keep the sandwich halves closed.
9. And serve!
Makes two Delaware House sandwiches. Offer with potato chips or carrot sticks, deli dill pickles and lots of napkins.
Variations: Use herbed turkey breast from the deli if you prefer. Substitute your favorite sliced cheese such as American or cheddar. Use shredded green leaf lettuce instead of arugula. Obviously, this is not a low calorie sandwich. You can lighten this recipe by omitting the mayo or using light mayo, omitting the cheese and the dressing, adding more tomatoes and arugula, and using a whole grain sub roll.
Order some of your own fancy sandwich picks!
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