I thought I would share my take of one of the first recipes I saw when I joined Pinterest that I immediately pinned: Ham and Cheese slider melts, highlighting Hawaiian sweet rolls and ham and cheese and mustard and butter. It’s great for a quick but simple recipe that is also very comforting and good for a group (say… an upcoming Sunday Superbowl party… or using up leftover holiday ham). Or you can just eat it all yourself, that’s fine too. I did both.
The recipes that you can find sometimes have onion but sometimes not. I did not use the versions of the recipe that used mayo. As to be expected of home cooks, there are lots of variations of the recipe out there tailored based on personal taste (and they really vary on how many sliders the recipes yield). Naturally I still made my own variation. I decided to make two different kinds of the sauces- one for the slider insides that has the onion, and then a separate one without the onions that I would use to top the sliders because I didn’t want sweet caramelized onion everywhere on my hands/wasted on plate and napkins, just enfolded in the sandwich.
In the photos below you will see there is a lot of ham in the sandwich so you might want to reduce further to about 12 large slices- depending on the cut of your ham this will vary the weight. You can also substitute fake meat aka vegetarian deli slices like from Tofurky or Yves or Lightlife, or if you can’t find Hawaiian sweet rolls then regular dinner rolls will work and add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the dijon butter mix topping for some sweetness. Not that the substitution will make this a healthy sandwich. For my get together, it was the main snack I was serving (along with chips and baguette slices topped with a cauliflower parmesan spread) and the sliders are a great absorber for alcohol which is exactly what I was looking for as my friends and I shared a growler and a few pint sized bottles of beer one evening!
- 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided into 6 tablespoons and 4 tablespoons: I made two batches, using most inside and another smaller version as topping.
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard, and 1 separate tablespoon of mustard
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce, and 1 separate teaspoon of Worcestershire
- 3 teaspoons of poppy seeds, and 1 separate teaspoon of poppy seeds
- 1 package of 12 Hawaiian sweet rolls
- 1 pound of shaved deli ham- I used Black Forest. You need at least a minimum of 12 slices
- 1 cup shredded cheese + 6 slices of cheese of your choice- popular options might be Swiss or Havarti or Provolone or Monterey Jack, or indulge with Gruyere. I used shredded Monterey Jack and slices of Swiss
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan melt your first half (3/4 a stick or 6 tablespoons) butter. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent. When this occurs, now add the 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 3 teaspoons Worcestershire, and 3 teaspoons poppy seeds. Stir and then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, open the package of Hawaiian sweet rolls and slice them all down the middle. Place the bottom part of the rolls in a greased baking dish, or you could use a lined pan. Now, pour this onion mustard Worcestershire and poppy seed mixture on the bottom part of the rolls
- Now time to assemble the rest of the roll with the ham and cheese. I wanted cute chubby sliders so I used a lot of ham, and then I used a cup of Monterey Jack and 6 slices of Swiss on top of the shredded cheese to add a little complexity to the melted cheese layer. Put the top half back on the sweet rolls.
- In the saucepan you used before, melt the second half of portion of butter (4 tablespoons), and stir in the separated single teaspoon of Worcestershire, teaspoon of poppy seeds, and the tablespoon of mustard. Pour this mixture on top of all the tops of the rolls.
- Bake for ~25-30 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the butter mixture starts to caramelize. . Cut the sliders where each roll already was in the package and serve warm and gooey.
But, you don’t have to buy the 12 pack of rolls either – you can buy a 4 pack and make a smaller portion. You can even do a lazier version using just the microwave and oven and no stovetop if you leave out the onion. When I did this another time a few weeks later just for a lazy weekend dinner, I used the
- 1 package of 4 Hawaiian sweet rolls,
- two 90 calorie 2 oz deli packages of ham,
- 4 slices of reduced fat Swiss (no shredded cheese this time round),
- 4 tablespoon of melted butter (nuked in the microwave) which I then mixed
- 1/2 tablespoon each of dijon mustard and Worcestershire and
- 1 1/2 teaspoons each of brown sugar and poppy seeds.
Spoon part of the mixture on the bottom half of the rolls that have been placed on a greased baking dish, top with the ham and cheese, put the top of the rolls on and spoon the rest of mixture on top. And then eat all of these yourself, ha ha!
What make these ham and cheese slider melts so much more than just a regular hot ham and cheese sandwich are the buttery toasted tops of the buns while it is still all soft and all oozy and gooey inside, be it fresh from the oven or warmed up the next day, and then the mixture of tang and sweetness with an undertone of sharpness from the mustard all from the sauce. Mmmmm.
If you are looking for other Super Bowl recipe possibilities, you might consider beer cheese, spinach or squash pinwheels, ranch oyster crackers, or the slightly healthier cucumber topped with ricotta (you can buy ricotta and don’t need to make it like I did).