Ham and Cheese Pastry Puffs

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If you’re tired of having the same old sandwich every day for lunch, try these savory pastry puffs! They are easy to make and look impressive. They’re basically open-faced sandwiches but they’re better because they have a buttery, flaky crust and a cheesy sauce. The flavors I chose are a play on the classic French croque monsieur, a baked ham and cheese sandwich, but you can easily customize these to fit your tastes.

I used a sharp white cheese (Kerrygold Dubliner) but Gruyere or cheddar would be great. Any cheese, or combination of cheeses, that melts well will work in this. You could add some vegetables, like spinach or slices of red onion, and swap out the lunchmeat for turkey or chicken or even omit it altogether to make this vegetarian. It’d also be delicious topped with a fried egg, a la the classic croque madame.

They’re also super easy to make, thanks to the store-bought puff pastry, so they’re great to make for company. Just serve them up with a green salad and you’re good to go. Or add them to your brunch spread and serve them up with a mimosa – mimosas count as a serving of fruit thanks to the OJ, right?

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Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 8 slices of ham
  • 4 oz cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp AP flour
  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2%, skim will not thicken properly), room temp
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Chives for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F and line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat.

Roll out the puff pastry to a square and divide into four quadrants.

Melt the butter and flour together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the flour taste. Pour in the milk while whisking and let the sauce thicken until it coats the back of a spoon. (If you forget to let the milk sit to get to room temp, you can add it cold but it will take longer to thicken and will be more prone to lumps.) Stir in 3/4 of the cheese, the Dijon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Dollop cheese sauce into the center of each pastry square, reserving about 1/4 cup.

Top the cheese sauce with 2 slices of ham per square. Top with the remaining cheese sauce. Fold the corners of each square in towards the center, pinching opposing corners together. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes before topping with chives. Enjoy!

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