Prosciutto Pinwheels

IMG_2120I really admire those food bloggers who always take the most amazing, highly stylized shots of their dishes. Sometimes I’m able to get a great image, but other times, as is in the case with these pinwheels, I fail miserably! When I cook, I’m normally making the food for some event, rather than just for the sake of taking a photograph. These pinwheels, which are addictively delicious, totally uncomplicated, and incredibly adaptable, were created for a friend’s holiday cocktail party. I’ve made them a bunch of times in the past, but never bothered to take a photo. However, with Christmas and New Year’s Eve just around the corner, I realized it’s the perfect time to share one of my tried and trusted, super easy appetizer recipes.

Thus, I found myself at Anne’s house on Saturday night, hurriedly trying to snap some pictures of the pinwheels while hungry guests waited to devour them. One of the first rules of food photography is to always plate on a white background; it lets the natural colors of the food shine through. While Anne has a bunch of fun plates and serving ware, she has no plain white plates. The best were these red dishes and although they’re festive for the holidays, they aren’t ideal for photographing puff pastry pinwheels. Thus, I’m hoping you’ll ignore the lousy pic and give this recipe a try.

Seriously, it’s one of my favorites! It takes about ten minutes total to assemble the pinwheels and they can be made days in advance. They pair with every cocktail imaginable. Use whatever cheese and charcuterie you want. Fresh herbs or other accompaniments like minced olives or sun-dried tomatoes are also wonderful additions to these savory nibbles.

Prosciutto Pinwheels

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 heaping tablespoon coarse grainy mustard
Flour, for dusting
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated padano cheese
5 ounces prosciutto
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

  1. In a small bowl combine the two types of mustard to form a spread.
  2. On a large, lightly floured work surface, roll the puff pastry a thin to form a 10-11 inch square.
  3. Slice the puff pastry in half horizontally to form two 5×10 inch rectangles.
  4. Brush each piece of pastry generously with the mustard mixture, covering the entire piece of dough.
  5. Top with the prosciutto, splitting it evenly on each of the two pieces of pastry. Keep a 1/2-inch border along the edges of the pastry rectangle.
  6. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top of the prosciutto. Season liberally with salt and black pepper.
  7. Brush the egg along the border of each rectangle of pastry. Carefully roll the pastry up over itself, making a log of pastry, prosciutto, and cheese. Repeat with the remaining pastry rectangle.
  8. Wrap each log in foil, separately, seam side down. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Logs will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  9. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the pastry logs from the fridge and discard the foil.
  10. With a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/4-inch pieces and arrange, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart.
  11. Bake pinwheels until lightly crisped, golden brown, and fragrant, about 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm with a glass of sparkling wine.

Makes about 36 appetizers.

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