Thursday, March 26, 2009

Prosciutto, Blue Cheese, and Fig Jam Sandwiches

I'm all for regular sandwiches - BLTs, ham and cheese, grilled cheese, tuna, club - you name it, I'm game. But sometimes it's fun to make sandwiches that are a little more gourmet.

On a day trip to wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, my brother made sandwiches very similar to these for us all to snack on - prosciutto sandwiches with blue cheese and store-bought fig preserves.

It was delicious, and I shamelessly hijacked the recipe and replaced the store-bought preserves with a variation on Giada de Laurentiis' fig jam. The jam is a mixture of dried figs, simple syrup, brandy, and hazelnuts. I skipped the brandy, replaced the hazelnuts with walnuts, and halved the recipe. Slathered on a long dinner roll, topped with blue cheese and prosciutto and then toasted, it is a seriously tasty sandwich, though definitely not meant for a child's palate.

Prosciutto, Blue Cheese, and Fig Jam Sandwich
Makes 1 (multiply accordingly)

1 large dinner roll, cut in half length-wise
3 slices prosciutto
1-2 tbsp. blue cheese (or to taste)
1-2 tbsp. fig jam, recipe follows (or to taste)

Fig Jam
Makes enough for at least 4 sandwiches - freeze what you don't use in a small container, or refrigerate it if you'll be making the sandwich again later in the week.
3 dried figs, halved
1/4 cup simple syrup, recipe follows
1/8 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the figs and simple syrup. Bring the mixture up to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the fig mixture and the walnuts in a food processor or blender and blend, pulsing a few times, until pureed. Set aside.

Simple Syrup
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Assemble the sandwich
Spread fig jam on one half of dinner roll. Top with blue cheese. Place the fig jam- and blue cheese-dotted bread, face up, in a toaster oven at 350F until the blue cheese begins to melt, about two minutes. Alternatively, you can do this in a regular oven, and if you're making more than two sandwiches, you'll have no other choice.

Remove the bread from the oven and spread the hot blue cheese evenly across the surface of the bread. It should spread very easily.

Top with prosciutto slices and the other half of bread. Place back in oven and continue to bake for about 5 minutes, until sandwich is thoroughly warmed and bread is toasted. Cut sandwich in half, width-wise. Serve and enjoy!


Kyle March 27, 2009 at 10:40:00 AM EDT  

Hey Kait,

I love fig jam. We make similar paninis using sliced chicken breast, watercress, blue cheese and fig jam.

Steph March 27, 2009 at 12:51:00 PM EDT  

I love sandwiches too! I usually stick to the boring stuff though, but I really need to spice it up with spreads like yours. Btw.. what kind of internship are you doing?

MaryBeth March 29, 2009 at 9:18:00 PM EDT  

I have never eaten fig jam but this sammie looks wonderful!

matty March 30, 2009 at 9:13:00 PM EDT  

This sandwich looks good. Lots of meat.

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