VERSATILE HAM & CHEESE APPETIZER/SANDWICH

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 Cut into small bite sized pieces–sorry I only had this pic of the leftovers…..they looked really pretty at the party, arranged on a colorful platter

Every year I give a “Paint and Sip” Party.  Cutie Rachel is our teacher (above, left).  In real life she’s a Kindergarten teacher, so she has no trouble dealing with old ladies!   I am always looking for an easy appetizer, and this one sort of came out of my head, stemming from an old Church cookbook recipe for “Super Sandwiches”.  I thought it was a Pillsbury Bake off winner, but I did extensive research into the history of the contest and couldn’t find it.  The original recipe involved two cans of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls which you roll out separately into two sheets.  Fill with ham, Swiss cheese, top with the other layer, press edges together with a fork to “seal”.  Brush with melted butter and bake about 20 minutes at 425 degrees.  But Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry has been my best friend for many years now, and I use it whenever possible.  This appetizer variation involves that wonderful ingredient, plus some other choices.  It’s a great appetizer for lots of reasons.  It can be served hot or cold or room temp.  There is no mayo or cream or ingredient that is ‘dangerous’.  It can literally sit for hours and still be good, as seen in the below picture.  And it is just plain tastes GREAT!  Ask me how I know!

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My neighbor, Jacque, who has been cooking (and doing it well!)  for over 65 years, has never heard of Puff Pastry!  After tasting it  at  the party, she’s trying it.  So versatile!                                              p.s Jacque is the cutie on the right in the above picture.  

HAM AND CHEESE BITES

1 Pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry .  This comes in two separate sheets.  (Be sure to get the sheets, not the shells)

Several slices good ham (to cover bottom layer).  I love Boar’s Head Black Forest,           but any will do. (this is also a great way to use leftover ham from Easter or Christmas)

Grated cheese (about 2 cups).  Your choice of flavors.  Swiss, cheddar, Jack, or a combination of several.  I have also “layered” softer, sliced cheeses, such as Sargento Havarti

Mustard, butter, and BBQ Potato Chips (again, your choice of flavors)

On a large cookie sheet, spread out one layer of puff pastry. (it comes folded in thirds, so carefully unfold it.  The only tricky part of this whole recipe is getting the “thaw” right.  The pastry comes frozen, and must be thawed.  I like to keep it in the fridge, (not freezer),  till about 30 minutes before the preparation.  If you leave it out too long it will get too soft and stick to itself. (ask me how I know….)  But, a light sprinkling of flour helps with this and you can roll it out again yourself.  Don’t despair!

Spread the bottom layer with mustard.  My favorite is Champagne Honey Mustard, but use your own choice, and make it as thick or light at you like

Layer slices of ham over the pastry.  I usually do a couple of layers

Sprinkle grated cheese over all

Top the ham and cheese with the other layer of Pastry.  If it doesn’t exactly fit, it’s pretty easy to stretch or adjust it’s size.  Press edges together with a fork

Brush top layer with soft or melted butter

Top it all with crumbled BBQ Potato Chips (or your choice of flavor)

Bake at 425 about 22-25 minutes, or till golden brown

Let the slab cool before slicing with a pizza cutter.  Of course you could make these sandwich size, but for an appetizer I did small cuts (about 1 1/2″ each.)

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This is all that was  left the next morning.  See how the pastry is still crispy?  We ate every crumb for breakfast!!

NOTES ON THIS DELECTABLE DISH:

I have made this with ham, turkey, a mix of both, and even pastrami!  My “Rueben” version is fabulous, made with Pastrami, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, topped with Salt and Vinegar chips.  Just be sure to thoroughly drain the Kraut!

 

 

 

 

 


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