Friday, October 9, 2009
Weekly Bento Round-Up #7
Jen's got her biweekly day off today, so this was a smaller week for Bentos--I only ended up making two different varieties this week, with each showing up twice in this week's lunches. Regardless, one of the lunches this week felt like a little bit of a Bento breakthrough, and we'll take a look at that in a sec. Without further ado, the Bentos.
So, for both lunches this week, I was tasked with making good grab-and-go foods that Jen could eat easily while on the road for work. This first lunch consists of mini ham sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and carrot sticks, along with plenty of bagged snacks as usual. These mini'wiches were pretty exciting, because as you can see in the picture above, Sprouts was selling deli-sliced off-the-bone ham, which I'm not sure I've ever seen sold this way in a supermarket, unless my memory's totally failing me. Typically all deli meats are sold from a packaged slab of Boar's Head or some other brand deli meat. These can be very high quality, especially Boar's Head (usually my fave), but they're no contender for the flavor you get when the ham is cut directly off the bone and sold then and there. Personally, I thought this was pretty awesome.
The ham was delicious as expected, and the inspiration for these sandwiches was the kind of little sandwiches you see as hors d'oeuvres or appetizers. I would have made some homemade mustard variaton or something for these, but Jen is condiment-averse, and luckily the ham keeps the sandwich from being dry. Oh, and the cheese used for the cheese and crackers was a Colby, also from Sprouts.
This might not seem terribly clever or creative, but how I assembled the main component of the next Bento lunch actually represents a real breakthrough for me in understanding how best to take advantage of the space available to me in each container of the Bento box. In Bentos of previous weeks, when I make a sandwich that involves more than two ingredients, I typically divide it up among multiple containers of the Bento box, which works well but takes up more space in the box than I'd like it to. So, for this pita sandwich with ham and lettuce, instead of using my previous method, I decided to stack up the individual sandwich components in order from driest to least dry. The main reason for doing so--and for packing sandwich components separately in the first place--is to ensure that the sandwich doesn't get soggy and unappealing. The ham might have that effect on pita (luckily the bun in the above lunch was dense and firm enough to avoid that problem), but the lettuce, washed and dried, will not, so I stacked the components accordingly. Hopefully I can apply this same principle to future Bentos.
Okay, so in addition to the sandwich above, this lunch also consisted of a DIY kind of different take on a Waldorf salad. While a Waldorf salad traditionally contains apple, walnuts, celery, and often raisins, with mayonnaise, this salad contains pear, pecans, dried cranberries, and crumbled Gorgonzola. All the flavors seemed to fit together nicely, with the creamy, cheesy Gorgonzola taking the place of the creaminess of the mayo.
Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all very soon for another post. Have a great day, and stay cool!