Test Kitchen: Tailgate sandwiches

I love making slider sandwiches because they’re super easy, and they’re always a crowd-pleaser. I never have met someone who doesn’t love a good Hawaiian roll.

I love making slider sandwiches because they’re super easy, and they’re always a crowd-pleaser. I never have met someone who doesn’t love a good Hawaiian roll.

These sandwiches would be great for a tailgate, as the name suggests, but I tend to rely on them when I need to whip up a quick dinner. Either way, they’re worth trying.

Usually, I stick to the ham-Swiss combo for slider sandwiches and make the traditional mustard sauce that accompanies them. I am excited about this recipe because it keeps the basics of the popular sandwich the same but changes up the sauce and adds some extra elements (mostly, the flavored cream cheese), which makes the dish decidedly more savory.

With this first recipe step, there’s some room for debate. I am used to the version where you don’t separate the rolls and instead use a serrated knife to cut the whole set in half so that you have two big pieces—one set of bottoms and one set of tops. Then, you make the sandwiches and replace the top piece and end up with a gooey, pull-apart mess when you take the pan out of the oven. That’s my preference.

Of course, the last time I did this, I served them and immediately was asked, “Did you cut these first?” by someone who was struggling to get just one out of the dish. (But WHY would you eat just one?) Anyway, pick whatever works best for you. You can’t screw this up.

The only kind of Black Forest ham I could find at my grocery store was the ultra-thin sliced, so I got two packs and put more than the recommended one slice on each sandwich because I didn’t want them to be wimpy. These rolls are excellent, but I still like a good ratio of filling-to-bread. I think you easily could substitute roast beef, chicken or turkey in these if that’s what you’ve got or if you don’t like ham.

I put cream cheese on both sides of the rolls, instead of just putting a “generous amount” on the tops. It helped everything stay in place. I also ripped the slices of cheese in half before folding them up so they didn’t pop open.

Let’s talk about this sauce for a second. Melting an entire stick of butter to pour over these seemed absurd to me. It instantly reminded me of a “hot dish” recipe a sweet college friend who grew up in middle-of-nowhere Minnesota made once. But I did it, for the sake of saying I followed the recipe. I was right. It’s way too much, unless you want a butter puddle in the bottom of the dish. You absolutely could get away with three-quarters of a stick or less. I dumped the sauce over the sandwiches and then attempted to distribute it using a basting brush, since the shredded Parmesan all stuck together in the bottom of the bowl and fell out in a big clump.

The sandwiches are supposed to sit with the butter sauce on them for 20 minutes before they go in the oven, but I ended up refrigerating mine for several hours and didn’t have any problems. I just baked them a little longer when it was time.

1 (12-count) package Hawaiian bread rolls
12 slices Black Forest ham
12 slices Swiss cheese
1 (8-ounce) container of chive and onion cream cheese spread
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut rolls in half and place the bottom halves in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan.
3. Place a slice of ham on each roll and top with a slice of Swiss cheese.
4. On the top half of each roll, spread a generous amount of cream cheese spread.
5. Replace the tops of the rolls.
6. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, minced onion and Parmesan cheese.
7. Pour over sandwiches and let sit for 20 minutes.
8. Cover baking pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.

SOURCE: sixsistersstuff.com

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass