Monday, December 08, 2008

Party Time

Sure, I take a two-week break from blogging, and all of a sudden, the holidays are upon us. Time to shop, bake, party... and eat hors d'oeuvres! I have a perfect one, so listen up. It's easy, festive, can be made ahead of time, and looks rather impressive. And I have yet to find a partygoer who does not like to pop two or three of them between sips of wine or beer.

Pepperoni and Asiago Pinwheels are your new go-to appetizer. All you need to make them are a medium-sized block of Asiago cheese, a package of thinly-sliced pepperoni, honey mustard (make your own if you don't have any), some dried herbs, an egg and a package of frozen puff pastry dough. You thaw the dough, unfold it and spread some honey mustard around. Lay the pepperoni in a single layer, top it with grated Asiago that you've tossed with dried thyme, oregano and pepper, and then roll the whole thing up, sealing the seam with a bit of egg. At this point you can put the roll in the fridge for anywhere from a half-hour to a day, and 15 minutes before you want to eat the pinwheels, you slice the log rather thinly, lay the slices (which resemble misshapen pinwheels at this point) on a baking sheet, and toss them in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes.

It's like a Shrinky-Dink experiment: 15 minutes later you have gorgeously puffed-up, bite-sized pinwheels, oozing cheese and spiked with herbs. They're rather addictive, actually. Go ahead, I dare you to find someone who'll say no when you're passing these babies around at a party this holiday season.--S

Pepperoni and Asiago Pinwheels

Makes about 60 pinwheels

1/2 c grated Asiago cheese
3/4 t dried thyme
3/4 t dried oregano
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
2 T honey-Dijon mustard
2 oz packaged sliced pepperoni (about twenty-four 1 1/2-inch-diameter slices)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

1. Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl.
2. Cut puff pastry crosswise in half to form 2 rectangles. Spread 1 T mustard over 1 puff pastry rectangle, leaving 1-inch plain border at 1 long edge. Place half of pepperoni in single layer atop mustard. Top pepperoni with half of cheese mixture. Brush plain border with egg. Starting at side opposite plain border, roll up pastry, sealing at egg-coated edge.
3. Transfer pastry roll, seam side down, to medium baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry rectangle, mustard, pepperoni, cheese mixture, and egg.
4. Chill rolls until firm, about 30 minutes, or wrap and chill up to 1 day.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Cut each pastry roll into about thirty 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Transfer pinwheels to prepared sheets. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
6. Transfer to platter; serve.

Recipe courtesy of The Bon Appetit Cookbook

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