Monday, December 13, 2010

Crispy Artichoke Roulade--A Wine Party Snack

After months of sabotaging me, my laptop caught on fire last week. Apparently, two years too late I have learned that it is a common problem with that model to the point that the company even sells the wire that usually breaks down. (I do not know why they just don't fix the problem themselves). If you think about buying a laptop for yourself or as a Xmas gift for someone you like or love, I have to warn you that it was a Toshiba, and my disappointment can be reversed only if they offer me a new laptop, which I don't think is going to happen.

As a result of that accident I have been incapacitated for a few days and I feel completely uninspired and powerless, because I have never realized how my creativity, inspiration, and everything else was facilitated by that small gadget. I hate the other big fancy computer I have to use now, and can't wait to find out if my little laptop is fixable. Meanwhile, I am just struggling to write anything, in particular something revealing. But since I was at a big party last night, and there are a few more ahead, maybe another party idea would be useful, especially with the New Year festivities approaching.

This is one of those simple snacks that do not take much but make a huge difference, especially if peanuts or a bag of chips are the alternative. I made some shortcuts while preparing it, which is buying puff pastry instead of making it myself (uncharacteristically, the one I bought was as good as a home-made one) and using easily available and canned ingredients. This recipe can be an inspiration for trying different fillings that you have handy, such as sun-dried tomatoes or mushrooms.

Artichoke Roulade

1 pack of puff pastry (two sheets), thawed,
1 can artichoke hearts,
1 bag baby spinach, about 6 oz,
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese,
2 tbsp butter,
1 egg,
salt and pepper.

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Heat the butter in a medium skillet and fry the onion in it for about 3 minutes, or until soft.
3. Add spinach to the onion and let it cook until it softens and releases water; let the water evaporate and continue to cook until the leaves become dark green.
4. Take the skillet from the heat, cool, and add chopped artichokes.
5. Add Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
6. Unfold sheets of pastry and top each with a half of the filling.

7. Roll up each piece and brush with beaten egg.

8.Cut the pastry diagonally and place it on a greased baking tin, one inch apart. Bake for 15-20 min, or until gold.

Serve as a snack while still warm,or cold.

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