Why Not A Sandwich?
Croque MonsieurLiterally meaning "mister crunch," the Croque Monsieur is a delicious medley of textures. (Photo: Vladimir Mironov)

Beyond its standard play as a lunchtime favourite for children, the sandwich is a convenient meal for all. Given its simplicity, it's probably the first meal we've learned to make ourselves. But a great sandwich is more than merely slapping a filling between two slices of bread. Here are four tips to perfect your sandwich-making.

Deli meat matters

If there is one time you should be choosy, this is it. Look for the only deli slices produced in Jamaica — Hamilton's Smokehouse Deli Slices — now available in new 10-slice packs of Smoked Ham, Smoked Chicken Breast, Chicken Ham, and Jerked Chicken. These deli packs are a good menu staple, making it easy for everyone in the family to make their own favourite sandwich.

Add textures and flavours

Nobody wants a one-note sandwich, the food equivalent of a beige wall! So instead, add crunch with vegetables and slaws and flavour with condiments like mayonnaise and mustard.

Layer like a pro

How you layer the ingredients in your sandwich can mean the difference between blah and wow. Denser textures like meat and cheese work when layered together, while crunchier textures work well at the top. Add extra lettuce to prevent the dreaded slipping of your sandwich ingredients.

Toast the bread

You don't have to have a sandwich press or any high-end gadgets to make your sandwich. Just a light toast on your bread kicks the texture with the bonus of serving as an anchor for your ingredients. If you're making a sandwich to eat later, consider a thin layer of butter to prevent the bread from getting soggy.

Hamilton's Smokehouse Croque Monsieur


8 Hamilton's Smokehouse Smoked Ham Slices

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups hot milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch nutmeg

12 ounces Gruyère, grated (5 cups)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed

Dijon mustard


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter, flour mixture and cook, constantly whisking, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat, add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyère, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Then, turn each piece and bake for another 2 minutes until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted bread with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyère. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes.

Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Hamilton's Smokehouse Monte Cristo


2 slices Hamilton's Smokehouse Chicken Ham deli slices

2 slices white sandwich bread

2 slices Gouda cheese

2 slices cheddar cheese

2 large eggs

½ cup milk

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 sprig thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp butter, for cooking


Place two slices of bread on the cutting board.

Remove bread crusts to create a perfect square.

Spread mustard on each slice of bread.

Place 1 slice of cheddar cheese on half of the bread and 1 slice Gouda cheese on the other.

Top cheese with 2 slices Hamilton's Smokehouse Chicken Ham, close sandwich, and set aside.

Whisk together the egg, milk, smoked paprika, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat.

When butter is melted, dredge the pressed sandwich in the egg mixture, coating all sides. Immediately move the sandwich to the skillet.

Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the sandwich is browned. Also, upend the sandwich to cook on the ends for about 15 seconds per side. The sandwich is done cooking when it is a dark golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.

Cut the sandwich in half and serve immediately.

Hamilton Smokehouse Monte Cristo sandwich (Photo: carlosrojas20)
The Hamilton Smokehouse Smoked Ham Slices are now available in new 10-slice packs. (Photo: The Best Dressed Chicken)
The Hamilton's Smokehouse Chicken Ham Slices are made with The Best Dressed Chicken. (Photo: The Best Dressed Chicken)

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