Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Send my love to you

When I went into work on Monday I looked at the week ahead of me. There was a lot of work, but I had a day off and only one activity planned for the weekend. By lunchtime on Monday I had events planned for almost every night of the week and multiple activities lined up for the weekend. When I commiserated with my mom she filled me in on the fact that that's the way life works. It happens. It just fills up.

My shopping plans were pretty much shot, since there was no way I'd have time to run to the Farmer's Market, cheese shop, butcher and supermarket during the week. I called Thatboy on my way home from work and told him I was doing a quick stop at the liquor store and grocery on my way home so he'd have dinner this week when I wasn't home.

I actually stopped at the liquor store to pick up a bottle of champagne for this weekend, but as long as I was there I decided to check for the elusive white Thatboy and I had been looking for. A year or so ago Thatboy and I discovered Pillar Box Red. It was written up in Food and Wine or some other magazine as one of the best inexpensive red wines. Highly rated and inexpensive are high on our list of wine qualities so we picked up a bottle and fell in love. We began introducing our friends to this wine and they also fell in love. It's a constant staple in Thathouse, and actually we usually have a couple bottles to ensure we never arrive emptyhanded. So naturally when I read that they were coming out with a Pillar Box White we just had to pick up a bottle. The problem is, we couldn't find it anywhere (although various restaurant managers and sommeliers were intrigued and vowed to get more information for us). But tonight someone was looking down on me and I was able to pick up a bottle.

I went home with wings on my heels and dinner formed itself around this light mix of whites. I presented it like a present to Thatboy, sneaking it into the fridge when I got home, and then serving it nice and cool along with our simple dinner. A dinner that let the mix shine. Thatboy tried to place the taste - since I wouldn't tell him what he was drinking. His first guess was actually champagne, and even after the reveal he murmered about the bubbles in the wine. It was kind of cute. And for a non-white drinker, Thatboy was pretty impressed, so I scored some bonus points tonight. Dinner helped with those bonus points because it's so hot that a light supper is all we really needed.

Open Faced Ham and Cheese
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups hot milk
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 1/4 lb grated Gruy√®re cheese
  1. Preheat to 450°F.
  2. In a small pan over low heat, melt the butter.
  3. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook, whisking constantly, about 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add the hot milk, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and lump-free. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Increase the heat to medium, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  6. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Place the bread slices on the sheet and layer the ham evenly on the bread.
  7. Spread 1 to 2 Tbs. of the sauce over the ham.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sauce and bake until the cheese melts and evenly browns, and the bread is golden and crisp on the bottom, 12 to 15 minutes.

Serves 2.
Each serving has:

Calories 452.1
Total Fat 27.5 g
Total Carbohydrate 16.5 g
Protein 33.6 g


  1. Oh I'll have to try that wine. Sammie's look good, too.

  2. Whooooo! These sandwiches = love. :)

  3. I'm glad you found the wine!

  4. When you find something you love in wine stick with it. I love these sandwiches too. I call them Croque Monsieur to turn a simple meal into something fancy to go with the wine of course:D

  5. I love when you are able to find a wine (or ingredient/food/etc) that you love that you've been hunting for!

  6. woo! I love me some Pillar Box Red. So, are you going to tell me where to find the white or what?

  7. It does fill up fast.

    I love when things work out. :)

  8. Sandwiches look great! And the meatloaf....YUM!

  9. i'm just not grown-up enough to enjoy wine.

    those sandwiches, however, are a whole 'nother story.

  10. well, now i'm intrigued. i'll have to hunt down that red since we're suckers for yummy, inexpensive reds as well.

  11. Yum! Definitely on my list of things to make this week - thanks!