A friend mentioned yesterday that she was testing hors d’oeuvre recipes for Christmas. With everything else going on before Christmas dinner, if you need something quick, good and impressive, we nominate prosciutto-wrapped grissini.
Elegant strips of prosciutto are wrapped around slender, crunchy breadsticks for a delicious and eye-catching appetizer.
Grissini is the Italian word for long, pencil-thin breadsticks. You can buy them for the easy version of this recipe; or you can bake your own. If you’re baking the breadsticks, start two days in advance to allow the dough to rise.
If you can’t find truffle butter (it adds great flavor), use the best unsweetened butter you can find.
The grissini can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
The recipe was created by Chef Tim Doolittle of Table 10, a Mario Batali restaurant in Las Vegas.
Prosciutto grissini: a popular appetizer any time of the year. Photo courtesy Emeril’s Homebase.
You can serve them on a platter, but they’re most impressive served in a vase, as shown in the photo. If your vase is too deep, fill the bottom with kosher salt accented with pink peppercorns or fresh green herbs to make an attractive base.
Yield: about 4 dozen grissini.
1. COMBINE yeast, warm water and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. If the mixture does not foam, start over with new yeast.
2. ADD the sea salt and flour along with the water and olive oil to the bowl of the mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until a very soft dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and beat, occasionally scraping down the sides, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 or up to 2 days.
3. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.
4. TURN the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it out into a 6-inch circle. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into thin strips about ½ inch wide. Place the strips onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
5. SLICE each piece of prosciutto in half to form thin strips. Spread a small amount of the truffle butter onto the prosciutto and then wrap the prosciutto around the top half of the grissini.
6. SERVE immediately, once wrapped with prosciutto. Take a breather and watch them disappear into the hands of guests.
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