EASY ELEGANT APPETIZER RECIPE -- PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED ASPARAGUS SPEARS IN PUFF PASTRY


I submit to you, an elegant and easy appetizer that will have your guests declaring that YOU are the next Iron Chef.  The delicate smokiness of the prosciutto plays beautifully with the mild sweetness of the asparagus and the buttery crunch of the parmesan toasted puff pastry. This delicious holiday appetizer recipe was shared with me by my sister-in-law, Natalie.

I'm fortunate to have a sister-in-law, who in addition to being a nice person and a lot of fun, is also a very talented professional chef. When we visit my brother (an amazing cook in his own right), his wife and my sweet nephew, it is a certainty that we'll be dining on some of the finest cuisine around  -- which means an extra lot considering that their two most recent cities of residence have been Las Vegas and NYC! Whether it's her paper-thin steak tartare, or a down home classic like her free-form meatloaf, my family and I are always in awe of her culinary magic!  

NYC is very far from the quiet coastal town where I reside in California, but just thinking about my sister-in-law's cooking, and the memories of the times we've spent in the kitchen together, makes her feel much nearer indeed.

Is there a person in your family with whom you share a common passion or hobby?


Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus in Puff Pastry
Yields 24 hors d’oeurves 

Ingredients 

2 dozen fresh asparagus spears, rinsed and tough ends trimmed from bottoms
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
6 oz. Sliced Prosciutto (12 slices, cut in half to yield 24 pieces)
1 large egg
1 TB water
Garlic powder & pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese




1. In a large saucepan, bring 1” water to a boil; add asparagus. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Once cool, drain the asparagus and pat dry.




2.  Roll a piece of prosciutto around the middle of each asparagus spear. Set aside.


3.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


4.  Prepare an egg wash by whisking the egg with 1 TB water in a small bowl. Set aside.


5.  On a lightly floured board, roll puff pastry to about 1/8” thick. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash over entire surface of puff pastry.


6.  Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, black pepper, and some of the parmesan cheese. Go over once lightly with the rolling pin to help seasonings adhere to pastry.


7.  Using a pizza or rotary cutter, cut puff pastry into ½” strips.




8.  Roll pastry strip around asparagus spear and set on parchment lined baking sheet, tucking loose ends under.


9.  Brush each pastry wrapped spear lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


10.  If you plan to serve immediately, bake spears for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


Tip: If preparing the hors d’oeurves for a party in advance, par-bake for only 15 minutes. Once cooled, they can be refrigerated overnight and baked for 8-10 minutes at 400 (till golden brown) just before serving. 


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