Pastrami Football Finger Sandwiches

It's true that good things come in small packages. In this case, mini sandwiches come packed to the max with pickled pepper studded cheese and smoky pastrami. Tie them up with laces made of cheese, and you've got yourself a winner for your game day party.
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  • Yield: 8 to 10 (16 finger sandwiches)
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Ingredients

1 cup shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend

1/3 cup pickled piquant peppers, such as Peppadews, chopped

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

32 slices cocktail pumpernickel bread squares

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

8 ounces thinly sliced pastrami

16 bread and butter pickle slices

1 to 2 slices white cheese, such as muenster or white American (you want about a 4-inch square slice)

Directions

Special equipment:
16 toothpicks
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the shredded cheese, peppers, mayonnaise, mustard and pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Stack 4 slices of the bread on a cutting board. Using a knife or 2 1/2-inch round cutter, trim the bread into football shapes, save the trimmings for another use. Continue with the remaining bread.
  3. Lay the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Place in oven and toast until crisp, about 5 minutes.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pepper cheese mixture on the bread. Top with some pastrami, a pickle and another slice of bread.
  5. To make the laces, cut the cheese into 16 long strips. Cut each strip into 1 long and 3 short pieces. Lay the long strip lengthwise on the sandwich, and then the 3 short strips crosswise to make the laces. Repeat with all the strips. Put the sandwiches back into the oven for 2 minutes to set the cheese laces. Secure the sandwiches with a toothpick and serve.