This is it, my friends, tonight we find out who will make it to the Final 3 on The Voice! I'm scurred. Every season, I seem to get more and more attached to these contestants and I practically pee in my pants during the live eliminations. One of my favorite parts of the Semi-Finals is watching the contestants from years past come back to perform, which is exactly what's happening tonight.
So in honor of this "homecoming" of sorts, I made a sandwich for tonight's #VoiceTailgate that reminds me of my home. It's one of those familiar dishes you come to expect when you get anywhere near your childhood zip code. Everyone has one, and this is mine: deliciously sweet and savory, sticky, gooey, ham & cheese sandwiches on soft Hawaiian rolls. I'm not kidding, make these for people in your town and you will become an instant local celebrity. Just go to your town square, you know, the one with the gazebo from olden times, and hand them out to passer-byers. After one bite, they will skip away, whistling a happy tune and proclaiming you the new town mayor. In my hometown, our good friend Lucy made these famous. What's your favorite "homecoming" dish?
Homecoming Ham & Cheese Sliders
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound sliced ham
1/2 pound sliced swiss cheese
12 Hawaiian rolls, sliced in half
Place butter, brown sugar, ground mustard, poppy seeds and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil for about 30 seconds, remove from heat and set aside.
Assemble the sandwiches with the rolls, ham and cheese in a baking dish (I like using the easy, aluminum, throw-away kind).
Pour the sauce all over the sandwiches. I like to use a basting brush to make sure it's evenly spread. Cover with foil and refrigerate for as long as possible, a few hours will do just fine but overnight is preferable.
(I doubled the recipe in the photo below.)
Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 375. Cook for 10 minutes covered and another 10 minutes uncovered. Serve warm.
Moving on to drinks...
If we're talking about drinks that remind me of "home" - it would have to be Carson's signature cocktail. In fact, it's so signature, that at one Voice wrap party it was actually listed on the menu as "The Carson." It's simple, refreshing and perfect for any time of year. We often switch up the splash of OJ for a splash of pomegranate, or blood orange, but whatever juice you fancy it's the crisp and bubbly Fresca that makes the drink so good. Oh, and the vodka doesn't hurt.
Place lots of ice in a glass. Pour desired amount of vodka, then Fresca almost to the top and a splash of orange juice. Squeeze in lime slice, drop in glass and stir.
For a "mocktail" version, simply skip the vodka. It may sound boring, but Fresca, a splash of OJ and a slice of lime in a nice glass (almost) tastes like the real deal when you're 6 months pregnant.
So, who do you think will make it to the Final 3?!