"Do not pile the ham on. Unless you are very wealthy, this will not be a realistic temptation."
New York's (and maybe the world's) best sandwich is a pretty simple affair. I made it for the first time on Sunday, and I can tell you it requires no kitchen skills other than cutting bread.
Go to one of the local gourmet stores (I go to Fairway) selling jamón ibérico de bellota, Spain's crazy-good black-footed ham (pata negra). Swallow hard as you plunk down $25 (plus tax) for a quarter pound of the stuff.
Go to either Grandaisy Bakery or Sullivan Street Bakery (the result of a culinary divorce, they make many of the same products) and buy two pieces of pizza bianco, the miraculously puffy, crisp, just-olive-oily-enough bread inspired by Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey's time spent working in a Roman bakery on the Campo de Fiore that is famous for its pizza bianco.
Take your miracle ham and your miracle bread home. Slice the two breads lengthwise, and layer the slices of ham. Because the ham is so good, just covering every inch of the bread with it will do the trick. Do not pile the ham on. Unless you are very wealthy, this will not be a realistic temptation.
There's a little bit of sea salt and fresh rosemary in the bread, and they complete this wonderfully simple and absolutely perfect sandwich.
Until there is good pizza bianco in other American cities, you can only assemble this sandwich in New York. Try it and let me know what you think.
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