Ham and Cheese Slider Melts 

Two years ago before the Patriots went to the Superbowl I said to myself, “Kenzie, it’s time you start liking football. You live in New England, Gillette stadium is right down the street from your hometown, your parents are die-hard fans, it’s a community you need to be a part of.” Living in Keene at the time, I needed to be a part of something, (since there isn’t much going on): bar deals, the game day food, maybe I’d attract some nice fellow (nope). So I  started watching it and Googled some things, and asked my dad 20 questions.

I’m not one to ask about plays and the science and logistics of it, but you will find me, following in my mother’s footsteps, peering through my hands when it’s too close to watch, fidgeting as if I am controlling the players and can’t get a hold over myself, and screaming questions at the TV that no one inside the TV can hear or answer to. And, I actually understand MOST of what’s happening! It’s quite thrilling.

Also, one of the great benefits of being involved in the football world is the food. (The hats are cute, too). Also, you get invited to fun game-watching parties (shout out to Kate) with cute puppies and backyard fires.

For yesterday’s legendary comeback of a game, I made a version of Cuban sliders and Jalapeno Popper dip, two dishes I’ve been drooling over for weeks now, itching for an excuse to make them. The sliders are probably one of the most amazing dishes I’ve met yet, up there with the Bacon-Wrapped jalapeno Poppers, and were a huge hit.

The past few weeks (wait, months?) of this new year have been a bit wild: trying to find subletters for our apartment; searching Craigslist endlessly for another apartment to move into; I had a week of free Blue Apron meals that kept me from my own culinary creativity; planning and booking a two-week trip to Germany in April; making friends with my coworkers; cleaning the yoga studio and trying to get to class at least 3 times a week; babysitting. Last week I spent a weekend away in New Hampshire and started a streak of unhealthy eating that must end tomorrow. This will be the week of getting my shit together: Buy Blake new cat litter (something I’ve written in my planner every week for a month now), pay that money back I owe mom, ACTUALLY go to yoga, and stop eating so many carbs. I feel like I’m doing the opposite of what you’re supposed to strive for in the new year. It’s been a little less “new year, new you,” and more”new year, worse me.” I say this as I side-eye a box of Cheez-Its sitting next to my desk.

But before all that, I needed to squeeze in these out of this world mouthwatering, mustardy, buttery, perfectly toasted ham and cheese (coming from the girl who hates ham) melts with a kick from the garlic and onion, and savory crunch of juicy pickles.

The Jalapeno Popper Dip is coming next. And it’s life changing in the world of party dips. Buffalo Chicken dip can move over!!

You’ll need:

  • 1 package bulky onion rolls
  • 1 package smoked ham (12 slices)
  • 1 package Swiss cheese slices (8 slices)
  • 4-5  medium sized Clausen dill pickles, sliced (depending on your appreciation for pickles)
  • A large spoonful of mayonnaise
  • A large spoonful of Dijon mustard, and more for the sauce
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 stick of butter

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut the onion rolls and fill a baking dish with the bottom halves. Cover the canvas of bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise and mustard. Top with ham, Swiss cheese, pickle rounds, and top halves of the bread. Microwave the stick of butter until melted and mix with onion powder and 3 cup of Dijon mustard.

Pour over the top of the rolls, make sure to get some in between the sandwiches.  Cover the baking dish with tinfoil for the first 15 minutes of being in the oven. Uncover, and then bake until tops of the rolls look browned and crispy.

Remove from oven, let cool. Slice into mini sandwiches and devour as many as possible before the game even starts.

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