Saturday, December 8, 2012

Prosciutto and Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus Appetizers

Looking for an appetizer that is not the "same old thing" for your holiday party?  These are pretty doggone tasty.... and crispy... and crunchy... and yum!  They can also be made ahead of time and then just popped into the oven right before you serve them.  THAT's convenient!  One of the most amazing parts of this recipe, was that both of my preschoolers tried them.  That in itself is a huge success.  Hey - nothing wrong with fancying veggies up to get them to try something.

I adapted this recipe from a recipe on Fresh Approach Cooking.  Her recipe was all vegetarian, but I thought I would shake things up a little with my prosciutto version.

Print this Recipe!

Ingredients:
 appetizers - 
  • 1 package of Phyllo dough (also spelled Fillo), thawed  
    • you will not need it all
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup + of Parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • black pepper
  • 2 packages of prosciutto
  • 1 bundle of fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • black and white sesame seeds
    • not a specific amount.  Maybe ~ 2 tsp each.
dipping sauce -
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 tsp dill champagne mustard
  • 2 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp capers, minced
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
These pictures only show me making half this amount of sauce, but for a party situation, you would need the full amount.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp capers, minced (oops, I forgot to mince!)
2 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
2 tsp dill champagne mustard
2 tsp prepared horseradish
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Stir to combine
A lovey creamy, tangy dipping sauce
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in the trimmed asparagus and blanch for 1 - 2 minutes.  Remove them from the boiling water and immediately shock them in a large bowl of ice water. Pat them dry with paper towels and set aside.  (You could do this ahead of time)
Trip the woody end off of the asparagus by snapping or cutting them.
blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes
remove from the boiling water....
and immediately "shock" them in ice water to stop the cooking
Drain on paper towels
Pat dry and move on to the dough step....
Remove phyllo from package and place a slightly damp towel over it to keep it from drying out. 
Yep, it's under there.  It needs to stay moist!
Remove two sheets and lay them out on your work surface. Brush with a thin layer of melted butter, then sprinkle on some parmesan and then pepper. Repeat with another layer of two sheets of dough, the butter and cheese.
I have two "paint" brushes that I use exclusively for basting and brushing food with butter.  I'm using the wider one for this.
Parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated please!
And repeat!  You can see we now have 4 sheets of dough here.
Sprinkle fairly liberally with black pepper.  It really does make a difference in the taste! :)
With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, divide the phyllo into 6 equal strips.  You can either wrap the whole strip for a fluffier phyllo layer or you can then cut them down the center so you have 12 rectangles.
We use a pizza cutter for SOoooo many things in the kitchen.  Makes short work of cutting and is safer and easier for the kids to handle.  Plus, it tends to not "tear" because the pressure is directed down, not at an angle.
Wrap each cooled stalk of asparagus with a half strip of prosciutto - wrapping the prosciutto like a candy cane diagonally.
Position a stalk of the asparagus on the bottom edge of a rectangle and roll it up.
     
*For an end product with less phyllo dough, cut each of these strips of dough in half crossway to form rectangles.  Then you will only have a few rolls of phyllo around each.  But I had to experiment with this myself to reach that decision. 
Just roll'em up now. 
I would like to direct you to enlist help.  But my help insists upon being a part of these projects... nowadays, it is at her insistence, not mine.  She gets downright offended if you don't allow her to don an apron and help.
We found that the process works best if you angle the asparagus slightly while rolling.  That makes the dough cover more area on each stalk and looks pretty darn cool.
Place on a lined sheet pan (I was using parchment paper), seam side down....
If you are using parchment, as I did, notice that I am using NO oil, spray, etc.  They will not stick to it.
Brush the tips and outside with more butter.   
The butter makes them brown and crisp up so beautifully.
Sprinkle with the mixture of black white sesame seeds.
I eyeballed it, but tried to go for equal portions.
I think the sesame seeds are gorgeous on top, but if you aren't a fan of them... try grating a little more Parmesan on top, or maybe a few grinds of Italian seasoning?
Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top.
At the time we made these, it was a dark, rainy, December evening.  Playing outside was probably not going to be happening, so our quality (PLAY) time together was making these.  Don't get me wrong - sometimes we just cuddle in front of the TV or color or paint, and do the 'normal' preschooler type activities.  But I believe they enjoy cooking as playtime just as much if not more than the other things.  And just think of all the skills they are learning!!
My crew has taken over!
When ready, bake until golden brown.
      *But you could just pop them into the fridge like this until you are ready to bake them.  Going to a party?  Bring them prepped, right on the pan, and bake them when you arrive.  That way, you will be treating everyone to these hot, crispy crunchy flaky layers of phyllo when they are piping hot!

If you used long strips of phyllo (6 strips made from each big piece), you will need about 22 minutes of baking time.  If you cut them into smaller rectangles (12 pieces per big piece), you will probably need about 15 minutes of baking time.  Serve the asparagus appetizers hot with the dipping sauce.
See?  I told ya... the sesame seeds are gorgeous on top!
 

 

Ultra crispy and flaky layers.... with prosciutto peeking out
Can't you just see folks snapping these up on an appetizer tray at a party?
I am super impressed that Canon and Lily tried these.  I didn't really expect them to.  But hey - trying new things is a big accomplishment in this age group!!

Most of all, I would NOT have believed that Canon would try something green!!!  So when I saw his hand reaching out to grab one to try, I was super glad that I still had the camera in my hand to catch him!
 
I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!
There are hundreds more in my Recipe Index, just waiting to be chosen and cooked!  You can also visit my Film strips for pinning page, to see whole recipes at a glance, and to click-and-go right to the recipe.

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Here are some bonus recipes for you!
Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Stuffed Zucchini

Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli

Parmesan Zucchini Gratin

Tomato Basil Chicken

Apple and Cherry Danish Tarts
Written Directions 
If making immediately, preheat your oven to 350F.  Remove the phyllo from the freezer and the package and allow it to start defrosting.  In a small bowl, combine ingredient for the dipping sauce:  mayo, horseradish, prepared mustard and mustard seeds, capers and lastly the salt and pepper.  Adjust seasonings as you see fit, and reserve until ready to serve. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in the trimmed asparagus and blanch for 1 - 2 minutes.  Remove them from the boiling water and immediately shock them in a large bowl of ice water. Pat them dry with paper towels and set aside.  (You could do this ahead of time)

Remove phyllo from package and place a slightly damp towel over it to keep it from drying out. Remove two sheets and lay them out on your work surface. Brush with a thin layer of melted butter, then sprinkle on some parmesan and then pepper. Repeat with another layer of two sheets of dough, the butter and cheese.  With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, divide the phyllo into 6 equal strips.  You can either wrap the whole strip for a fluffier phyllo layer or you can then cut them down the center so you have 12 rectangles.  Wrap each cooled stalk of asparagus with a half strip of prosciutto - wrapping the prosciutto like a candy cane diagonally.  Position a stalk of the asparagus on the bottom edge of a rectangle and roll it up. Brush the tips and outside with more butter and place on a lined sheet pan, seam side down.  Sprinkle with the mixture of black white sesame seeds.

When ready, bake until golden brown.  If you used long strips of phyllo (6 strips made from each big piece), you will need about 22 minutes of baking time.  If you cut them into smaller rectangles (12 pieces per big piece), you will probably need about 15 minutes of baking time.  Serve the asparagus appetizers hot with the dipping sauce.

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