Ask me who won the Super Bowl last year. Or which teams were even in it. Was it the Deflate-gate game? Did Janet Jackson’s top fall off mid-halftime-show? Was Lawrence Taylor MVP? I’m not proud of my ignorance, but at least I have some company. As we head into Super Bowl 51 weekend, there’s a good chance that one of my daughters might ask me with a straight face if the Knicks are playing in it this year. Sorry to deliver on gender stereotypes here, but the women in the DALS house are shameful football fans.
I’ll tell you one detail about 2016′s game that we can all remember, though: Heidi’s Ohio Sammies. Heidi, you may recall, is the genius behind the Hummus Hack, and last year, when she and her husband Will invited us over for a Super Bowl party, she blew all our minds when she presented a tray of buttery baked ham and swiss sandwiches that had been in the works for 24 hours. I know, what’s the big deal about ham-and-cheese sandwiches? Well, for starters they’re made with sweet Hawaiian rolls — what Dayton-raised Heidi calls a “midwestern speciality item.” (You can use slider buns or challah, too.) But what takes them from good to great, in my mind is that once they’re assembled, the sandwiches are “pressed,” panini-like for hours, allowing them to soak up the buttery-mustard sauce that’s been drizzled on top of them. Yes, buttery-mustard sauce.
Anyway, we are lucky enough to invited back for Ohio Sammies as we watch the Steelers take on the Braves this Sunday (what?), but below is her recipe along with two other Sammie ideas for Super Bowl Entertaining: The vegetarian sub from my book (shown above, the one on top) and Bon Appetit‘s steak sandwiches that I have been coveting every single day since spying them in the magazine a few weeks ago. My favorite thing about all of them? They’re easy to eat on the couch and you can prepare them ahead of time. Add some beer and chips and you’ve got yourself a game. Go Yanks!
Bon Appetit‘s Cheesesteaks. I cannot get these out of my head. (Photo by Alex Lau for Bon Appetit)
A dozen Hawaiian bread rolls – this is a midwestern specialty item so if I can’t find them here in New York, I get six nice big Challah rolls. Or sliders?
1 lb of honey maple ham – could be thick cut or deli slices
1 lb of swiss cheese slices
Duke’s Mayo, to taste
1/3 cup Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Slice open the rolls. (If using big Challah rolls, cut in half lengthwise and widthwise)
Place all the rolls in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Smear a bit of mayo on one side and Dijon on the other.
Arrange a few slices of ham and cheese on each roll.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in 1/3 cup of Dijon, and drizzle the mixture over the finished sandwiches.
Cover the sandwiches with with aluminum foil, and place something heavy (like a pan or dinner plates) on top, so the rolls are slightly weighted down and can absorb the butter-Dijon mixture.
Let sit 4 hours and up to overnight.
Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 20-30 mins until cheese is melty. You can also take the foil off for the last 5-10 mins if you want them a little brown on top.
We’ve made this for birthday parties alongside a classic Italian sub (both recipes are in the birthday section of How to Celebrate Everything) and it usually serves about five kids or four adults.
1 12-inch baguette, the best quality you can find
1 avocado, halved and sliced into thin half-moons
3 ounces Swiss or provolone cheese 24 thin slices of hothouse cucumbers (the narrow kind you don’t have to peel or seed that usually comes wrapped in plastic), from about 1 small cucumber
1 large tomato, the best you can find, sliced (very thin) horizontally and then in half
8 to 10 lettuce leaves from a head of Bibb, Boston, romaine, or oak leaf
1⁄4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar 1⁄3 cup good-quality olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and on the bottom half, start by layering the avocado and cheese, slightly overlapping as you go. Lay down the cucumbers in two adjacent rows, overlapping slightly, on top of the cheese. Distribute the tomato halves, overlapping as well, then the lettuce and onion.
When ready to serve, whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and oregano until emulsified, then drizzle on the top baguette half. Spread the mayo on top of the vinaigrette. Close the sandwich with the top baguette half, then place on a cutting board and slice into separate sandwiches.
Related: “Big World Event Nachos,” (page 264 in How to Celebrate Everything) are never going to be a bad idea.