Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Yes, you need to make these. Like ... Last year!

Even here in North Carolina, it has been frigid with near-zero temps. It is ... Dark. Dank. Depressing. Everyone, it seems, has a cold or a cough (including me) and my colleagues at work.

I dream of warm, afternoon-food. Mid-day fare after a morning shift of chilly work.

So, I fixated on this recipe; or, rather, it fixated itself upon me! Such is food. Often, the table sets us... We don't set it.

I nervously assembled  a 9 x 13 pan of these little puppies to take to work at the grocery store to share with my colleagues. They were baked in the bread oven (thanks, Mary!).

Why "nervously?" I had never made them before and I researched a zillion similar recipes, each with its unique spin. After getting a sense of the original recipe, I started on my own.

Use packaged Parker House dinner rolls, usually found in most deli/bakeries. One dozen is usually made to fit into a 9 x 13 pan. I used a foil pan for easy clean up. Swiss cheese is the traditional one to use, but I'm not overly fond of it, nor are others. I went for the blend below.

These were a real hit and I will definitely be making them again!

  •    BUNS:
  • 3/4 to 1 pound thin-sliced deli ham. I used ham-off-the-bone
  • 4 oz. shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 7 - 8 oz. sliced, extra sharp, white Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 12 Parker-House rolls
  •     SAUCE:
  • 1-and-one-half sticks of butter, melted (12 ounces, preferably unsalted)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (start with less and add more if needed)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons dried, minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 - 3 shakes Cayenne pepper
  • 1 good tablespoon poppy seeds (add last)

Lightly spritz foil pan with non-stick spray. Using a long serrated knife, slice each layer in half. Place bottom layers in pan. Spread with mayo. Layer half the ham over the rolls. Sprinkle with the Italian cheese mixture. Layer the white Cheddar slices over the shredded cheese and then layer that with the remaing ham. Cover with the tops of the rolls.

Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients except the poppy seeds. Taste and re-season as necessary. When satisfied, stir in the poppy seeds. Evenly distribute the sauce mixture over the tops of the rolls, brushing a bit as necessary. 

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake, covered for ten minutes. Uncover and bake an additional ten minutes. Remove from oven and watch them disappear.