Friday, December 25, 2009

Let the good times roll...

I am a big fan of spinach and artichoke dip. If it is on the menu at a restaurant, I will often order it as an appetizer. It's a hot and gooey mess of cheese, spinach and chunks of artichoke hearts. Whoever came up with it originally is a genius! Not a bad party appetizer but it's not exactly good finger food. Your guests would have to put some on a plate and then scoop it up with the tortilla chips or if they don't use a plate then you will probably find lovely smears of dip all over your floors when you are cleaning up. That's always fun. I like to make a version that is wrapped up nicely in puff pastry. Easy to eat and delicious!

Spinach & Artichoke Palmiers

17.3 oz frozen puff pastry -2 sheets (make it from scratch if you want!)
12 oz frozen artichoke hearts
12 oz frozen chopped spinach
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp cream cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 cup shredded Gruyere
Salt and pepper

Leave the artichoke and spinach out overnight to defrost. When completely defrosted, dump all of it into a colander or cheese cloth and start squeezing as much liquid out as possible. Take out the frozen puff pastry out to thaw for the recommended time. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the spinach and artichoke into the food processor and pulse about five time until chopped up but still coarse. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Saute the onions for about four minutes, then add the garlic and saute for one more minute. Scrape all of this onion/garlic mixture into the spinach/artichoke, add the cream cheese and combine well. When it has cooled down, add the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. Fold in to combine.
Roll out the thawed puff pastry onto a floured board. Evenly spread out about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Then start rolling opposite ends of the dough in towards each other. Keep everything quite tight. You will meet in the center and the dough will look like a butterfly. Slice the roll into 2/3 of an inch pieces. Each roll will yield about 12 slices. Place onto a parchment paper lined cookie shoot a couple inches apart. Bake for 18 minutes or until slightly brown.

*I had some filling left over that I put into a Ziploc and froze. I will have to see if it still tastes the same after being frozen.


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