Tag Archives: appetizer

Buttery, Puff Pastry Spirals: Guaranteed to Please

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These puff pastry spirals are my go-to appetizer for company. I serve them right out of the oven when the cheese is still a little gooey and the puff pastry melts in your mouth. They’re super easy and you can really fill them with whatever you have on hand. The ones below are made with Manchego, which is a hard, Spanish goat’s cheese, and Serrano ham. However, I have made them with gruyere and prosciutto, parmesan and prosciutto, bacon and cheddar, sundried tomatoes and fontina, the combinations are really endless. If you want them to look super elegant, you can make Palmiers instead of spirals, the concept is pretty well the same. These are great with Prosecco, white wine, red wine or even a rosé. So the next time you’re rushed to put an elegant appetizer together for company, give these a try. I’d love to know what unique fillings you come up with. Enjoy with good friends and wine – Sham Style.



How to Make

10 minutes of prep, 12-15 minutes in the oven. Serves 4.


Puff Pastry (I use President’s Choice as it’s already rolled out for you)

1 tbsp smoked paprika

4-5 slices Serrano Ham

½ cup grated Manchego Cheese

Defrost puff pastry but make sure it’s chilled. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay puff pastry out with the long side facing you. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, followed by shredded cheese, leaving a ½” border around the edges. Cover cheese with slices of Serrano ham. Starting from the long edge farthest from you, tightly roll the puff pastry toward you. Press the seams of the pastry into the roll. If you find that it’s not sticking, use a little egg wash on the seams to make them stick. Alternatively, you can make Palmiers:

Refrigerate the roll for 5 minutes. Take the roll out of the fridge, and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut the roll into 1/2″ disks and lay the spirals on a silpat lined baking sheet. Bake in oven till crisped and golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and move to a serving platter. Serve immediately.


Written on my Microsoft Surface RT with purple backlit keyboard

All pictures taken with my Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Phone

Smoked Salmon Paté (for those liver haters)

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Unfortunately, my husband hates liver. It’s not that he doesn’t care for it, he absolutely loathes it. However sometimes you just feel like some crusty bread and paté. This is my solution. Smokey, briny and spreadable, this paté would be great for a special occasion, but is easy enough to make anytime. Hope you enjoy it – Sham Style!


2 tbsp finely chopped shallots

2 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp coarsely chopped chives

2 tbsp coarsely chopped dill

6-7 slices smoked salmon coarsely chopped

4 tbsp crème fraiche

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp capers

Sauté the shallots in olive oil on medium heat until they are translucent (avoid browning shallots). Set pan aside and allow to cool. Chop chives, dill and smoked salmon. Place chopped salmon, dill capers and chives in a food processor. Add shallots to food processor as well. Pulse until mixture is fully incorporated and somewhat chunky. Add crème fraiche and pulse to incorporate. Add lemon juice and pulse to incorporate. Mixture should resemble a course paté. Remove to serving dish and let chill for ½ hour or more. Paté can be refrigerated for up to one day. Garnish with dill and serve to toast points or crostini.

Written on my Microsoft Surface RT with purple backlit keyboard

All pictures taken with my Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Phone

Caprese Crostini Recipe: A burst of summer flavor anytime

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Basil, Tomatoes, Bread

Made these the other night. These little nibbles explode with flavor in your mouth. I like to make these when I’m craving a taste of summer, but the weather and seasons aren’t cooperating. They aren’t overly complicated to make, but it does require a little planning ahead, as the tomatoes are oven roasted. It’s basically crostini, a slice of buffalo mozzarella, a basil leaf topped with an oven roasted tomato half. Ha! Now that I think about it, these would be a great Christmas appetizer. Easy, elegant – Sham Style!

I would love to hear from you, what is your easy, elegant go-to appetizer?

Caprese Crostini

Serves 4

8 small hothouse tomatoes (I like to use the Campari tomatoes)

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

16 basil leaves

1 ball fresh buffalo mozzarella

16 slices of French stick bread

Balsamic vinegar for drizzling


Pre-heat oven to 380 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half and sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Gently pat the tomatoes with paper towel, removing excess liquid. Place tomatoes in a ceramic baking dish with cut halves facing up. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and place in pre-heated oven. Roast for 10 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 250 degrees. Roast for 2 hours. When finished, the tomatoes should look like juicy sun-dried tomatoes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, using a pastry brush paint the bread slices on both sides with remaining olive oil. Heat a grill pan to high and toast bread on both sides in the grill pan, adjusting temperature as needed. While bread is toasting, slice buffalo mozzarella into thin slices. Half slices of mozzarella in half to double the amount.

Place the toasted bread slices on serving platter. Top each with a slice of mozza. Top mozza with one basil leaf. Place the tomato on the basil. Drizzle crostini with balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy with wine – red, white or Prosecco would work.

Written on my Microsoft Surface RT with purple backlit keyboard