Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prosciutto and Fontina Pinwheels

Last night was so much fun. Jim and I had some very dear friends come over and we ate and drank and laughed. I don't have many pictures to share, unfortunately when you are the host you are busy doing other things.

Oscar (holding our dog Cole), Jim and Patrick.

Taylor, Elke and I.

Allyson looking chic. She handmade these adorable cookies for me to give to my guests as they leave.

They match our invitation design which was a martini glass with holly.
The little holly and sugar rim on the martini cookie is just the cutest thing ever!

All packaged and tied with Christmas ribbon. I sat these at a side table by the front door so each person could take one as they left.

I was worried about having enough food but as usual I have plenty of leftovers - enough to host another party! The big hit on the buffet table were the prociutto and fontina pinwheels. I'm going to share this easy recipe with you now. I found it in Food and Wine magazine and they look so elegant, I was sold however when I read the ingredient list (three things) and the fact you can make these ahead of time and keep in the FREEZER and then bake from FROZEN! Hello! That is perfect party food!
Start by defrosting two sheets of puff pastry. This stuff is really versatile. I would encourage you to always have a box of this on hand in your freezer - it can do anything and save you in a pinch!

I lightly dusted the counter with flour and using a rolling pin I flattened out the sheet.

Then I used pizza cutter and sliced the dough in half.

Now here is the beautiful prociutto - thinly sliced Italian pork that has been cured.

I covered the puff pastry with a thin layer of prociutto.

Repeated on the other half leaving half an inch of pastry exposed on one side.

Fontina cheese is a classic Italian cheese, although variations are made in several other countries as well. This is a semi-soft cheese that is very creamy with a nutty flavor. I see it in a lot of Italian recipes, especially popular in fondue recipes since it melts really well.
Grate the fontina.

Then sprinkle both sides with the shredded fontina.
The prosciutto is going to be salty, so the only additional seasoning I add is a light sprinkle of Italian seasoning and freshly cracked black pepper.

Now we need a sealing agent. You could use an egg (the most common) but I didn't have an egg so I'm using this technique that I learned when working with won ton wrappers for pot stickers. A little bit of corn starch and some water.

Using my finger I wipe some of the cornstarch slurry on the exposed puff pastry.

Then starting from the long end that has the meat and cheese, I roll it up like a cigar.

The slurry (or egg wash) helps the puff pastry seal with itself closed.

Like I mentioned earlier. The best part about this party food is that you can wrap them in parchment paper and put them in the freezer.

Roll it up and crimp the ends.

I made four prosciutto pinwheel rolls and put in the freezer until baking time. I don't have a picture, but when it was time to bake I unwapped the rolls and with my heavy duty bread knive I cut them in 1/2 inch thick slices. Placed flat on a baking sheet, they cook for 20 minutes at 375.

Just look how the pastry puffs up nicely and the cheese melted with the meat and pastry. They are wonderful warm right out of the oven and equally good once they cooled. They were really really good.

This was another fun experiment of ours. Using a frozen shot glass mold, we popped out four frozen shot glasses from the freezer and poured shots of jagermeister. While we were in shot-taking-mode we had another brilliant idea to make Irish Car Bombs. We actually had cans of guinness beer left over from a recent French Onion Soup recipe. I also had homemade Bailey's in the fridge and Jim had Irish Whiskey on the shelf. Using a pint glass, we filled it with 4-6 ounces of guinness. Then filled a shot glass with half the homemade bailey's and half irish whiskey. Nine of us took the pint of guiness in one hand and the shot glass in the other. After we clinked glasses and yelled "cheers" we dropped the shot glass in the pint glass and "CHUGGED!" Yummy! But this was the beginning of the end for me. I didn't last but another hour or so after taking these two shots.

The sun is shining on this Sunday with a high of 75 in Austin. It doesn't feel like Christmas, but look what Santa brought us!

When I found out that a keg of beer comes in a trash can I told Jim that I have to do something to decorate and camoflauge the trash can at our cockatail party. This was my solution - wrap with pretty fabric and tie with a bow. Jim's idea was to add the gift tag. Isn't that cute? We still have Firemans Four beer left in the keg so we are having a "finish the keg" get together today so we can float the keg and maybe serve some of the party leftovers to free up the fridge.


  1. Good Lord! It looks like you had a great time! Sorry the shots didn't go over too well. That's always the end for me. It always SEEMS like a good idea at the time. I take no responsibility though.

    LOVE the keg wrap!

  2. Stealing.All.Your.Ideas!!! From the cookies, to the pinwheels, to the keg with the tag (if we should need one someday!). :) Sounds...and it was a great party!

  3. Wow, Santa was VERY good to you guys!!! The party looks like it was alot of fun. I'm totally making those pinwheels on Christmas Eve!


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