Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Muffuletta Pinwheel

Appetizers are an important component of any gathering. And they are one of the easiest parts of any meal to be creative with! In this recipe, I combined 2 things that I love - muffuletta and puff pastry - to make a bite-sized snack that everyone enjoyed. Muffuletta is a type of sandwich that is famous in Louisiana. It is generally served on a French round, and inside it has salami, pepperoni, soprasetta, capicola, and provolone or emmentaler cheese (not unlike a classic hoagie). It's most distinctive feature (which separates it from the hoagie) is that it is usually lined with olive salad: a marinated mix of giardineira (Italian pickled veggies) and good olives plus seasoning. To turn great sandwich into a "pinwheel", I replaced bread with puff pastry in my recipe, and I switched from olive salad to a garlic-olive puree. I then baked them, and got these delicious finger food for my party. They were a big hit, so I hope you try the recipe:

- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (they are usually sold in packs of 2)
- 1/2 lb. pepperoni
- 1/2 lb. hard salami
- 1/2 lb. soprasetta
- 1/2 lb. capicola or hot ham
- 8 oz. good olives (Kalamata are best)
- 4 cloves garlic

First, start thawing the puff pastry (takes about 45 minutes). Puree the olives and garlic. Add some olive oil to smooth out the mixture if desired. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 deg. Once your puff pastry is thawed, flour it to prevent sticking, and roll each sheet out. This step is optional, but the sheets are quite thick, and by rolling them out a bit, you get more surface area, and the pastry dough is still thick enough to puff significantly. Once rolled out, spread the olive puree generously over the puff pastry.

Now, put your meat and cheese on in layers:

Once all the layers are assembled, roll the the entire thing up carefully, making sure not to tear the dough.If some of the fillings overhang the edge of the roll, it is not a big deal, as the cheese and dough will hold everything together in the oven.

Once rolled up, cut the roll into about 1" thick pieces:

Give the tops a quick egg wash, so that the pastry will shine when it comes out of the oven. Place them on a greased baking tray with a decent amount of separation between them (the dough rises a lot), and lay them on their side (flat side down). This will give you the correct shape when they bake. Put the tray in the oven, and allow them to bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then eat up!

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