I spent Thanksgiving in Austin this year. We started the holiday off with drinks and snacks at a friends' house, then moved down the street as the sun was setting to sit down, give thanks, and eat. Though we had oyster stuffing, grilled steak, and copious amounts of pie, the most memorable bite that evening was a tiny triple-decker sandwich one of the girls made. It was buttery, toasty, and oozing with cheese, a cross between a crouton and a grilled cheese.
The secret ingredient, I believe, was that cheddar cheese spread you probably only buy in preparation for a hurricane, but oh, how it transformed in the oven! Melty and nostalgic-tasting, the flavor reminded me of a go-to party recipe my mom would quickly pull together for parties.
My mom's mix (probably culled from some old cookbook of my grandmother's) was made by stirring together finely chopped hearts of palm, grated cheddar cheese, minced onion, and mayonnaise. The spread would go on crust-less triangles of wafer-thin sandwich bread which would then be baked until bubbly and brown. For the upcoming holiday season, I'll be mashing up mom's recipe with the Austin one: the hearts of palm spread will be layered onto buttered bread (no crusts of course!) to make triple-decker finger sandwiches that will be served warm, just out of the oven.
Make these a day or two in advance and keep them well wrapped in the fridge until you need them. As soon as the first guest arrives, arrange a few on a baking sheet and cook them in a preheated oven. Hostess with the mostest, and not a bead of sweat.