To give this sandwich a substantial main-course feel, look for a thinly sliced ham steak rather than deli ham for a meaty flavor and texture. Creamy brie and crunchy tart-sweet apples complement the robust ham.Serves: 4
1 large baguette (about 1 lb.), cut into 4 pieces
7 oz. brie, most of the rind trimmed off and thinly sliced (trim and slice the brie while it's cold
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1-1/2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges (about 1-1/2 cups
3/4 lb. ham steak, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 Tbs. whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Split the baguette pieces lengthwise, open them up like a book, and top one side with the brie. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and bake until the cheese melts and the bread lightly browns, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, tossing every minute or so, until they start to soften and brown in places, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ham and cook, gently tossing, until it warms. Remove from the heat and gently toss with the mustard, honey, and thyme until the ham and apples are evenly coated. Using tongs, distribute the ham mixture into the warm pieces of baguette, secure with 2 toothpicks, cut in half, and serve.
Serve with a few Parsnip, Potato, and Scallion Pancakes on the side.
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.