RECIPE: HAM AND CHEESE IN PUFF PASTRY

Ham Delights, one of my all-time favorite party appetizers just got a little easier and possibly even yummier! I cannot always find the party rolls that I use for that recipe and that happened to me tonight. I already had everything else in the cart so thought about what I could use instead of the party rolls... and it hit me. Puff pastry. 

The new version turned out even more delicious!

Follow the instructions on the box for thawing the puff pastry. The best way is to let it thaw in the fridge overnight but if you are like me and did not plan that far in advance, you can thaw it on the counter- it doesn't take long and you don't want it to thaw completely or it will be difficult to handle.

 Use deli ham and cheese or leftover ham to make this guest-worthy delight: ham and cheese made fancy!

Use deli ham and cheese or leftover ham to make this guest-worthy delight: ham and cheese made fancy!

HAM AND CHEESE IN PUFF PASTRY

INGREDIENTS

1 box puff pastry, thawed according to package directions

2 shallots, minced

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 slices deli ham, sliced thin (like you would for sandwiches)

6 slices Swiss cheese, shredded

a little all-purpose flour for rolling out the puff pastry

1 egg, beaten with a little water for egg wash

DIRECTIONS

Set the oven to 425. Line a half sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Make the spread: mix the shallots, mustard, salt, pepper, and butter together. Set aside.

Dust the counter with a little flour to keep the dough from sticking. Also lightly dust your rolling pin. Carefully roll over the puff pastry- just enough to smooth it out.- make just one pass over the dough. Move to the pan. Spread half of the Dijon mixture on the puff pastry- leave a one inch border all around the edge. Put a layer of ham over the mixture and repeat with the cheese. A thin layer will make it easier to slice. Spread the remaining mixture on the top. Brush the edge with the egg wash.

Roll out the second puff pastry using the same technique as the first one. Line up the bottom and the top. Use a fork to lightly press the edges together. Brush the top with egg wash. Cut 3 slits in the top of the pastry.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Slice into squares- larger if you want to serve with a fork and smaller if you want guests to just pick up and eat them. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before you cut it. Actually, it's better if you wait a little longer- if you can!

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