These fast and easy 20 minute ham and cheese tarts are the adult version of a grilled cheese and just as easy!
Is it still okay for a grown woman of 28 to be missing The Office on TV when it quit airing like, what, two years ago? It was the first show Ben and I commited to watching together when we first started dating – or maybe I should say, it was the first show he forced me to watch by pinning me down and taking my eyes off of my hands when I tried to cover my eyes from the awkwardness that was Michael Scott.
Every once in a while I find myself missing it, the awkwardness, Jim and Pam, and well Stanley Hudson. One of the big running jokes between my friends and I is that Ben is “Old Man Keno” and he can fall into his crotchety old man ways when he runs out of fiber cereal and I throw a monkey wrench into his daily routine. So, ya know often.
But as we sat down eating our ham and cheese tarts, watching our latest marathon of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman that included Brian’s dog Pup getting rabies, Ben found the most perfect moment to drop a line of Stanley Hudson…
“No, rabies! Not BABIES. Can I put you down for a dime?”.
And I LOST it. Apparently it was the funniest thing ever. Of course the overly emotional 90’s TV show with a kid losing his dog to rabies was a serious case of All The Feels, and Ben thought that was the most opportune moment to reference The Office. Appropriate. And I am going to hell for laughing at a kid who’s dog had to die.
In other more important news!!
When it’s the middle of winter, I’m dreaming of summer. When it’s summer, I start dreaming of winter and cozy foods. This recipe seems totally backwards since we are finally getting 70 degree days – but sometimes, no wait, all the time, tomato soup and grilled cheese sounds like the perfect meal!! If you ever meet anyone that says “Nah, grilled cheese and tomato soup sounds awful”, feel free to remove them from your friendship circle immediately and drop the “It’s not me, it’s you.” It’s just better this way.
Go and enjoy the heck out of those cozy foods and don’t listen to the haters. They’re just jealous they can’t feast on these awesome tarts like you can. Only share if they promise to repent for their grilled cheese and tomato soup hating ways.
20 Minute Ham and Cheese Tarts
2 Sheets Puff Pastry, thawed
1/2 cup Flour, for dusting
2 Tbsp Water
2 cups Shredded Cheese
1/2 pound Black Forest Ham Deli Meat, thinly sliced
2 Tomatos, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup Wilted Spinach (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
On a lightly floured surface roll out thawed puff pastry into a 12x9" rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise, yielding 2 4-½" strips. Cut those two strips crosswise into thirds, to yield six 4x4 ½" pieces. Repeat with second puff pastry sheet.
With a knife, score ½" border around the edge of each piece of puff pastry. Use a fork to make five or six pricks into the dough within the border of each piece. This will help keep the middle of each piece from rising.
Sprinkle shredded cheese in the middle of each tart. Sprinkle ham over the top of the cheese. If using tomato and spinach, add those on prior to topping with ham.
In a small dish or cup, whisk together the egg and water. Using a pastry brush - brush the edges of the puff pastry with the mixture. This will help the edges turn golden brown and crispy.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, on the middle rack and rotate the baking sheet half way through baking. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature.