Lucy’s Sticky Ham Sandwiches
Before we can talk about how good these sandwiches are, you must first get to know the woman behind them. Lucy was my friend’s mother and my mother’s friend. She lit up every room with her kind spirit and giant smile. She raised four beautiful children, cared for her many grandchildren, worked as a teacher, kicked butt on the tennis court and cooked incredible food. As it does to so many, Alzheimer’s tragically took her life way too soon, but her memory lives on in all who knew her. These sticky ham sandwiches of hers were a staple at any gathering growing up, and I’m so glad that over the years my blog has spread them into the homes of people who never knew Lucy. She would have loved knowing that her addictive recipe has become a go-to in so many kitchens. Anyone who tries these sweet and savory sandwiches will beg you for the recipe. Just be certain to make enough, because there won’t be any leftovers!
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 (12-ounce) package small sweet Hawaiian rolls
1 pound sliced deli ham
1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
Bring the butter, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and poppy seeds to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Split the rolls. Layer the ham and cheese slices evenly on the bottom halves of the rolls, then cover with the top halves of the rolls. Place the rolls in a single layer in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. (It helps if they fit snugly in there.) Pour the sauce over the buns, using a spatula to make sure they are all coated. Cover with aluminum foil, and chill for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake the sandwiches, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake until the sandwiches are hot and the cheese is melted, about 10 more minutes.