Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ham and Cheese Crescent Bake

Let's be honest: my house is awesome.  I'm 29 years old and already living in my dream house.  It's in the best location, we have central air, we have this super cool heating system that almost makes me wish it was cold outside, we have an inground saltwater pool, and that kitchen!  By far my favorite room in the house, the kitchen was recently renovated (the sellers say it cost $50,000 and I believe it).  I have a gorgeous granite island, a gas stove, stainless steel appliances, tons of cabinets, and a beautiful backsplash.  It was perfect... or, as close to perfect as I could have wanted.  There was one tiny detail that was missing, however.  I hate to be nitpicky, but let's be honest: in a house this awesome, why wouldn't every detail in that kitchen be seen to?!  And... there was no garbage disposal.

Okay, it might not seem like a big deal, but I have a strong theory on this topic.  People who grew up without garbage disposals are fine without them.  They compost, they peel carrots over a trash can, they put their egg shells back into the carton.  And for them, that's business as usual.  But, for people who grew up using a disposal, life without it is impossible.  I know helping friends or families clean up in garbage disposal-less houses was always stressful for me.  How are you supposed to clean a pan?  How can you scrape every grain of rice out of the pan before you put it in the sink?  What do you do with leftover milk and cereal?  I seriously don't know the answer to those questions.  And so I was determined to get a disposal.  STAT.

Don't worry, we have public sewer in the house; I know septic systems and disposals don't mix.  Mark and I skipped off to Home Depot and bought one, and my cousin Pat promised to put it in for us.  We had to wait for our vacation, and then his vacation, but finally it was time!  The night Pat put it in for us (and thus perfected my kitchen and house), I decided to make him dinner.  Knowing that Pat might not be a fan of quinoa or faro, I somehow came up with this: ham and cheese crescent bake.  Totally not my normal kind of recipe.  It's ham and a cheesy cream sauce, baked inside crescent rolls and topped with more sauce.  I was kind of grossed out hacking at the ham steaks in order to make it, but it came together fairly quickly.  Pat was very appreciative and ate multiple helpings, as did Nick, who also helped with the garbage disposal.  Kenzie, Ross and Mark also happily partook in this meal.  I didn't try any, but this was one of those meals I made with other people in mind :)  Not the healthiest, but some good old fashioned comfort food, ham and cheese as a casserole!

Oh, and cleanup?  It was a breeze with my new garbage disposal :)


ham and cheese crescent bake
from Taste and Tell
yields 4 - 6 servings

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 green onions, diced
2 cups cubed, cooked ham
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
salt and pepper
2 cans (8 ounces each) crescent rolls

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup Swiss cheese
chopped green onions for garnish


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2) In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Add in the green onions, ham, garlic, and Swiss cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

3) Open the crescent rolls and divide each can into 8 triangles.  Place a mound of the filling mixture on the wide end of the crescent roll and roll up.

4) In a large skillet, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then the milk.  Cook until the mixture has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.

5) Spread a small amount of the sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.  Place the rolls in the dish, akin 2 rows of 8 filled rolls each.  Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls.  Sprinkle 1 cup of Swiss cheese over the top.

6) Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.  Let cool slightly, sprinkle on green onions, and serve.

Happy boys!

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