Thursday, July 27, 2017

Paris -- Avocado Non-Toast

Avocado toast is a huge fad in the US, and recipes and ideas abound on the Internet. I have always loved avocado and recently took advantage of being in Paris to make what turned out to be an amazingly simple but delicious sandwich using the surprisingly very available avocado. I decided to make a French-style sandwich, which features much smaller quantities of meat and other fillings, the better to feature the bread, ideally a fresh crusty baguette.

I simply spread ripe avocado on a perfect baguette (from Maison Hilaire, near the Bastille), sprinkled some fleur de sel on top, added a little sliced jambon de Paris (from Maison Plisson, near the Place de la République), and a small quantity of buttery and slightly bitter mâche. The combination of flavors and textures resulted in a memorable sandwich, which I have immodestly named the "Bobby Jay Ham and Avocado Sandwich."

Avocado, ham and mâche on a baguette
There is nothing to this if you're in Paris, although you still may need to work a little to find exceptional ham and a great baguette.

If you aren't, however, you must work with what you have. Italian parmacotto is the best cooked ham I have found in New York; arugula will do instead of mâche, and I would lightly toast the baguette, because a great one is not to be found in New York (even the Baguette Monge at Eric Kayser, which is great in Paris, falls far short in New York for some reason).

You can improvise: if you want to add a little Cantal or Comté and/or a very thin slice of tomato, I won't tell anyone. If I were to make this in New York, I would likely add very thin slices of jalapeno pepper.

The Bobby Jay Ham and Avocado Sandwich is not a great culinary achievement, but it does help to answer Cole Porter's question "Why oh why do I love Paris"?

Bobby Jay

1 comment:

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