Monday, December 15, 2014

Jean's Reuben Spirals: Memories of a Legend

Many of my favourite recipes have been inspired by others, and sometimes, shamelessly lifted in their entirety — but I do believe in giving credit where credit's due. Jean White made the best appetizers. That's a bold statement of fact. Living into her 90's, she had a few years to get it right. Her Reuben Spirals are hands down, my absolute favourite appetizer in the world. Served warm out of the oven, they smell outrageously delicious and taste even better. As the name suggests, they borrow some of the same ingredients as a Reuben Sandwich: corned beef and swiss cheese. Being an efficient lady, Jean's recipe can be made ahead of time, frozen until needed, then thawed, sliced and baked when you'd like. Wonderful. So was she. 

1 sheet of puff pastry rolled to about 10"x12" and brushed with Dijon mustard

Grated Swiss cheese is scattered over the puff pastry

Thinly sliced corned beef is layered over the pastry, 
then the whole thing is cut in half to produce about 2 6"x5" rectangles

Roll up one rectangle from the short end, jelly roll fashion into a log shape 

Once tightly rolled, seal the seam with water

Reuben Spiral rolls can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for delicious easy appetizers over the holiday season

Jean's Reuben Spirals
Makes 10-12 spirals per roll

1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
16 thinly sliced deli corned beef
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp caraway seeds, as garnish

On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry to a 12"x10" rectangle. Spread 1/2 cup of dijon mustard over the pastry and top with shredded swiss cheese, then top with whole slices of corned beef. Cut the puff pastry crosswise in half, making 2 rectangles. Roll up one rectangle from the short end, jelly roll fashion into a log shape and seal seam with water. Repeat with the other rectangle. 

Freeze by wrapping each roll in cling film, but thaw at room temperature 30 minutes before using. Cut each roll into 1/4-inch slices placed cut side up on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Jean likes them served with a martini! Each roll makes about 10-12 spirals.