Ham and Cheese Party Loaf
10 T. butter, softened
3 T. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. dried thyme, crushed
1 1/2 lbs. finely ground cooked ham
4 oz. Swiss cheese, in one piece
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, in one piece
1 long slender loaf French bread, about 12 oz.
In large bowl combine butter, mustard, allspice, nutmeg, pepper and thyme; mix
until smooth. Add ground ham to butter mixture, blending well. Slice Swiss and
cheddar cheeses into 1/4-inch thick sticks.
Turn bread top-side down; cut off ends. Make a lengthwise cut down center of
loaf from one end to other, being careful not to cut through top side. Spread
bread apart carefully; hollow it out, leaving about 1/2-inch thick shell. (The
bread removed from the center can be dried and used for bread crumbs).
Press half ham mixture into bread. Arrange Swiss cheese sticks lengthwise in one
row; arrange gherkins as center row, cheddar as third row. Press remaining ham
mixture on top. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; then in foil. Refrigerate several
hours or overnight. To serve, slice filled loaf thinly; arrange slices,
overlapping, on serving tray.
Serves 8 - 10 as an appetizer.