Thursday, January 8, 2009

Quick Last Minute Appetizers

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We went to a party on New Years Eve and I said I would bring a few appetizers. I was going to make those awesome risotto cakes again but I just did not have the time to make them. I decided to take some help from the supermarket and bought a package of puff pastry (which always comes in handy when you're in a fix) and a tube of pillsbury pizza dough. Forget that it's pizza dough because it doesn't taste anything like pizza dough, it has a lot of butter in it but it works well as a base for an appetizer.

So I made puff pastry pinwheels and a caramalized onion, mozzarella and kalamata olive flatbread. They both came out great and were a big hit! I used the recipe on the box of the puff pastry as a guide to making the pinwheels and just changed some things around. Here is the original recipe for what they call Spinach Cheese Swirls. Here is my recipe.

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Spinach Pinwheels


1 box of puff pastry (two sheets), defrosted
1 egg and 1 tbsp of water, beaten
6 oz of shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 10 oz box of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well. (Squeeze all the water out of the spinach or it will make the pastry soggy.)


1. Saute onion and garlic in oil until onions are tender and translucent. Add spinach and stir to combine. Let cool.

2. Add cheeses to spinach mixture, taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly.

3. Lay out one sheet of puff pastry on a flat surface that has been dusted with flour.

4. Spread half of the mixture onto the dough.

5. Roll puff pastry jelly roll style and slice into 1/2 inch slices. You may want to cut off the ends if they are uneven.

6. Lay slices out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash.

7. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until golden.

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Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella and Kalamata Flatbread


1 tube of Pillsbury refrigerated thin style pizza dough
1 large onion, sliced
1 package diced pancetta
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Approx 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
6 oz. shredded mozzarella
5 leaves basil, torn.


1. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange dough to fit into pan.

2. Saute pancetta in 1 tbsp olive oil until crispy. Remove and set aside.

3. Saute onions pancetta drippings and 1 more tablespoon of oil on low heat until they become very tender and sweet, about 15 minutes. Do not let them brown. Let cool.

4. Top dough with pancetta, onions, olives, mozzarella and basil.

5. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.


Lisa said...

The pizza looks so good!!

Bob said...

Those look great! I agree, that Pillsbury pizza dough doesn't really deserve to be called such. It's not that it's a bad product, really, it just doesn't taste or act like pizza dough should.

Michele said...

Thanks! I agree Bob. That's why I didn't really want to call it Pizza. It is buttery so to me it doesn't taste like Pizza. Like you said, it doesn't taste bad just not like pizza at all.

Spryte said...

Those look great!! And you are so gosh darned cute!!!!!!!!!!

Michele said...

Aww! Thanks Spryte! You made me smile! :-)

Dawn said...

Cute pic!
I've seen those pinwheels around blogger-land and love how easy they are...must try them.

Lucy said...

All looks so good, Michele!!!

I've made similar pinwheels and having puff pastry handy is always great to have on hand.

Lisa said...

Yum! I might try these for some football parties.

fingers80 said...

I just stumbled upon your blog through someone else's... everything looks great! I can't wait to try making some of these recipes.

Sophie said...

I bet these were gobbled up. :D

GirlyFruFru said...

Love your blog - I hope you don't mind that I'm adding you to my list of favorite reads.. Jena

Sara said...

These both look great. I love anything that involves puff pastry!

Theresa said...

Great appetizers. Nothing wrong with getting a little help when you need it most.

The Blonde Duck said...

I saw you on MaryAnn's blog and wanted to say hi! Those spinach wheels look so good! I love them.

YankeeSoaper said...

Ohh these spinach rolls look so good Michelle! I'm a big puff pastry fan myself. I'm gonna give these a whirl on Superbowl Sunday. Thanks!

Spryte said...

Michele, I love your blog! You have great recipes and it's truly an awesome tribute to your grandmother!

I have given you an award... you can pick it up here...

Jamie said...

Oh, both of these recipes look so good and fun to make, too. Love the music on your blog almost as much as the food! Auguri!

AshyCupcake said...

ooooh the flatbread looks and sounds delicious!!!

Melissa said...

Oooh! I love anything with spinach and these sounds easy and delish!

Theresa said...

Michele, I made these over the weekend to bring to Lucy's and they were good. Go to my blog.

Jeremy said...

Delicious looking and delicious tasting and quite simple to make! Very creative on your part. These were pure delight and I'm sure to make them again.

Michele said...

Thanks Jeremy! I'm glad you liked them!