The Havey family has grown in size to more than 30 people, so when it comes to feeding a crowd, I know what I’m doing. This little crowd pleaser of a sandwich, or “sammich”, as Mason calls them, disappeared faster than anything I’ve ever made, hands down, at our Christmas Eve get together this year.
I have spent the last 20 Christmas Eves at the Havey’s and I’ve learned two things: One, Grandma and Grandpa Havey know how to make grandchildren happy. Two, the Havey’s love their sweets and are about the only family I know that would be completely happy with having cookies and candy as a main dish.
I think that’s why the Havey’s are so darn sweet-they are made of sugar and chocolate!
I started bringing a savory main dish to our night before Christmas soiree because I just can’t compete in the area of sweets. Lord knows I’m not a baker or a candy maker and I think anything I made in this area would just fall flat, especially considering I’m in a family of confection connoisseurs.
If I hadn’t already earned my place as the provider of the savory entree, this sandwich would certainly do it.
There are several great things about this sammich.
First, they are wrapped individually in foil so they are easy to eat. They can be made ahead of time and only take about 15 to 20 minutes to heat up when you are ready to serve them. And lastly, they are easily made in three mouthwatering varieties which I will show you below.
You will get about 16 sandwiches from one recipe depending on how liberal you are with the ingredients.
First, melt a stick of salted butter in a bowl and add a tablespoon of poppy seeds and a tablespoon of minced, dried onions.
Next, make an assembly line of the following: 16 hamburger buns, 16 sheets of foil (big enough to wrap around a bun), your bowl of butter mixture and a pastry brush, a pound and a half of thin sliced ham, and 16 slices of Swiss.
Take the pastry brush and schmear some butter mixture onto all sides of the buns. You will have to scoop some of the poppy and onion up as you go because they will tend to sink to the bottom of the bowl. It’s a bit of a hassle but so worth it. The poppy seeds add an unexpected crunch to the sammich and the onions add immense flavor.
Pile on some ham slices. I usually use about three because I don’t like the meat to be too thick, but I don’t want to skimp either. Nobody wants a skinny sammich!
Lay on a whole slice of Swiss, and finish with the other buttery half of the bun.
Wrap each of the sammiches in a square of foil and pile them in a big old pan such as a roaster or an extra large casserole dish.
To make a beef and cheddar version of this sammich simply replace the ham with roast beef, the Swiss with Cheddar, and only use the butter mixture on the bottom bun. Spread a little barbeque sauce on the top bun.
To make the third variety, you need to start a little bit ahead of time because the meat goes into a slow cooker. Place three raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the crock pot, with a half a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s wing sauce and a one ounce package of dry Hidden Valley Ranch dip.
After cooking on low for about four hours, you will have chicken that pulls apart by simply looking at it.
Butter the buns with the same mixture as stated above on both sides. Use Swiss on this sandwich as well. A little crumble of Bleu cheese wouldn’t hurt either, if you please.
Just roll those baby’s up like you did 32 sandwiches back.
Sometimes I think my husband Chad has been around me too much. While I was frantically putting together the 60th sammich to take over to the Havey’s, he got out his black sharpie and used it to distinguish the type of each little sandwich like he was Martha Stewart incarnate.
It struck a chord with me. It made my loins aflame. But we were late for the party, so I had to contain myself.
H for ham, RB for roast beef-what a creative genius. On Christmas day when my Dad asked for sugar in his coffee Chad didn’t just hand him the bag of sugar from the pantry. No, he placed it in a little blue sauce bowl and brought it to him with a teaspoon. I love my man. He is my Sioux chef, my right-hand party hostess guy. Ahhh.
Anyway, here’s how cute the sammiches look piled up together, ready for the oven.
Three fifty for about 15 to 20 minutes, and they are handfuls of melty goodness.
They will last about 2.3 seconds, so be careful or you might get your arm lopped off reaching for one.
I bet you could make these in 20 different varieties. There’s a little something to get your creative juices flowing.