I came up with this combination last summer and it was well received. I’ve been trying to come up with a catchy title, but this seems to be as good as it gets. Unless I go the way of “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” and call it the Appetizer Formerly Known as “to be named”. Well, with a catchy name or not – it’s a yummy treat that is easy to make and perfect for appetizers and cocktails on the deck. Enjoy!
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
3 oz Chevre Goat Cheese with herbs, room temperature
3 heaping tablespoons sour cream
8 - 10 pieces of shaved ham lunchmeat
6 large green olives with pimento, rough chopped
3 mushrooms, rough chopped
2 handfuls of grated mozzarella cheese
Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Mix the goat cheese with the sour cream. Stir until well combine and smooth.
Lightly flour a cutting board; unfold the puff pastry. Roll it out slightly, but you want to still be able to faintly see the creases from where it was folded.
Cut diagonal cuts in the pastry, as shown below, leaving the middle panel intact. These will be the “braids”.
Spread the goat cheese mixture down the middle panel of the puff pastry. Loosely fold the ham and place down the middle, leaving hills and valleys. Scatter the olives and mushrooms over the ham. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over that. Sprinkle fresh rosemary over the cheese.
With the diagonal cuts facing toward you, start folding the pieces of pastry over the top of the middle panel – alternating sides - effectively braiding the pastry.
When all the cuts have been braided, place on a cookie sheet and paint with egg wash.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Note: Truthfully, you could use any combination of meats & cheeses in this braid. I just happened to have ham and mozzarella on hand and loved those two with the green olives. But, you could get creative and make this a couple of different ways.