Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton

Cheddar, Ham and Chutney Bites

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 35 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 18 hors d'oeuvres
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  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. With a rolling pin flatten each slice of bread and with a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter stamp out 2 rounds from each slice. With the rolling pin flatten the rounds, brush them with butter, and fit them into 36 buttered 1/8-cup gem tins. Brush the bread with the melted butter and bake the shells in the oven for 6 minutes, or until they are pale golden. Cool the shells in the tins on cooling racks for 5 minutes, then remove the shells from the tins, and let them cool completely on the racks.
  3. Make the filling: In a saucepan melt the butter over moderate heat, add the flour, and cook the mixture over moderately low heat, whisking, for 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half in a stream, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking, and simmer the mixture over moderately low heat, whisking for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the Cheddar, ham, and mustard, and season with cayenne and salt, to taste, and stir the mixture until it is combined well.
  4. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of the chutney into each shell and top the chutney with a rounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Arrange the filled shells on a jellyroll pan and freeze them for about 30 minutes or until the filling is just firms to the touch. Transfer the shells to reseal-able freezer bags, arranging them in 1 layer. Seal the bags, pressing out the air, and freeze the bites for up to 1 month.
  5. To reheat: Arrange the shells on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with the additional Cheddar. Bake the bites in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is heated through. Run the bites under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the tops are golden.

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