Saturday, July 18, 2009

Easy Appetizer

How often do you ask someone, "What can I bring?" and they say, "How about an appetizer?" and then you think, "Shoot, what should I bring?" Here is an easy one, that is light on the pocketbook and easy on the waistline. As an added benefit, it makes lots of "bites" so fits the bill whenever you need to feed a crowd. It's my variation on a old recipe from the 80's, that used to appear at every gathering, but as things do, kind of slipped out of style. It has the additional benefit of having most of it's ingredients being shelf stable. That qualifies it as a "go to" recipe in my book!

Tasty Tortilla Pinwheels

6 soft flour tortillas, 8"

1 8 oz. block light cream cheese, softened to room temp.

1 package Original Ranch Dressing mix (powdered, in an envelope)

1 4 oz. can diced green chilies, slightly drained

1/4 c. chopped and drained black olives

10 pickled jalapeno pepper slices, minced and drained

In a medium mixing bowl, combine eveything except the tortillas. A rubber spatula works best for this.

On a flat surface, using your rubber spatula, spread a scant 1/4 c. of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the surface of one tortilla. Roll it up, not too tightly, and scrape off any of the mixture that escapes at the end when you have completed the roll up. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cover them and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so the filling can firm up and come together.

Uncover the plate and slice each tortilla into 1/2" pinwheels. Serve them on a plate garnished with some fresh greens or herbs. Makes approx. 60 pieces, as you will loose a little from the ends where the tortillas are rounded off -- looks too sloppy for me, so those are the cooks' treat!

Variation: Instead of chopped green chilies, olives and jalapenos, you can make these with 1/4 c. chopped, cooked shrimp and about 2 -3 tablespoons of your favorite salsa. You may also substitute green olives for the green chilies, but that would significantly up the calorie and fat content. Roasted red peppers would be another sub for the green chilies.

Think of this as a method you have learned, and can make your own! Experiment and have some fun! Try mixing the ranch dressing mix with the cream cheese and layering it with sliced deli turkey, some sprouts and a T. of salsa for a different lunch. Let your culinary imagination take charge!

1 comment:

Christina said...

I'm putting this in my receipe box, it fits all my criteria as great - quick to fix and budget and waistline friendly.