The "Ham of the Day" at Provisions was Serrano when I stopped by for lunch the other day. The Spanish ham has a lighter, looser texture than most of the Italian hams. I like it a lot.

In Europe, fine ham is served by itself or as an ingredient in a dish. Americans are accustomed to eating ham on a sandwich. The ham of the day plate at P&P is the perfect marriage of the two traditions. The flavor of the ham isn't disguised by a lot of bread, but the rye aioli underneath and the dried mustard sprinkled over top provides the signature mustard, mayo and rye flavors. Food writers for publications from Bon Appetit to Southern Living have marvelled over the way this reimagined ham on rye jogs your food memories.

"How do you make rye aioli?" I asked chef Seth Seigel-Gardner. You bake rye bread, toast slices of it until its very dry and then grind it in a food processor until it's powdery, he told me. Then you make aioli and add the rye dust. And the dried mustard? It's just good whole grain mustard spread on a sheet and baked in the oven until it dries out, the chef explained. 

It's not a lot of complicated cooking science that makes the dish fun—it's the play on the imagination.

 

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