A new friend invited me over for an early evening of wine and cheese. There would only be three of us in attendance, so there was no need to make a lot of food. Just enough to satisfy the bellies of three girls. Amir and I would be cooking the next day, and I was in charge of doing the shop for our Ethnic Exploration this month. Time was tight, and I knew that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to tack on a busy shop, prep and cook type of appetizer for a party as well. As I walked up and down the aisles, I racked my brain to recall all of the easy appetizers I have wanted to make for so long. What I settled on wasn’t the first thing that came to mind, but it was the first one that seemed like the best choice–pinwheels! They only require a few ingredients, and they can be made in just minutes. When you’re short on time, this is just the appetizer to keep in your back pocket.
It’s difficult to call this recipe a recipe. It’s mostly premade ingredients, and it really does take just a few minutes to prepare. But at the end of the night, with only three pinwheels left on the plate, and a number of compliments on their flavor, I figured it was worth sharing anyways. The next day, when Amir came over to cook arepas (you’ll see those soon enough), he was more than enamored with the extra dip leftover from the day before. These were a winner. Of course, pinwheels are as fancy or laid back as you make them. There are numerous versions that can be made, but they can be as simple as a delicious jam slathered between the dough. You could easily make these your own by swapping out the ingredients with your favorite fillings, herbs and spices. That is the pure beauty of a no fuss recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Pepper Pinwheels with Cream Cheese Dip – Makes 16
1 can premade crescent dough
1/2 cup jarred sweet and spicy pepper relish or your favorite chunky spread, chutney, relish, etc.
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Dust a clean surface with flour and open the can of crescent dough. Lay each piece of dough flat and press the perforated diagonal split together to create four even pieces approximately 6″ x 4″.
2. Evenly divide the pepper relish, or your favorite spread, between each piece of dough, placing the relish evenly down the middle lengthwise. Fold the two shortest edges of each rectangle in about 1/4″, then fold the two longest ends over to enclose the filling. Lightly press the top layer down to keep it closed. Chill each dough roll in the freezer for 15 minutes.
3. Spray a baking sheet or oven-safe pan with cooking spray. Remove the dough from the freezer, and cut each roll into four pieces. Place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Dust with paprika and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes before serving with cream cheese dip.
4 ounces plain Greek yogurt
4 ounces vegetable cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk or cream
Zest of 1 small lemon
Fine sea salt, to taste
Using an electric mixer, beat the first four ingredients together until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Chill until ready to eat.
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