Tapas on the Trail
Pack up some gourmet olives, wrap apricot halves in Serrano ham (the prosciutto of Spain), and bake a quick batch of blue cheese tortas[ to create a tapas party on the trail. Bring colorful bandanas to use as napkins and unbreakable wine glasses for Amontillado sherry to serve alongside.]
- Bleu Cheese Tortas:
- 1 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- Flour, for dusting board
- 1/2 pound crumbled bleu cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- 12 ripe apricots (if apricots are out of season, use fresh figs)
- 12 paper-thin slices Serrano ham or prosciutto
- 1/2 pound mixed gourmet olives, including dry-cured Moroccan olives
Up to 3 days ahead, prepare bleu cheese tortas.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Remove puff pastry from package and cut in 1/2 crosswise. Working with 1/2 at a time (refrigerate other 1/2 until ready to use), slightly roll out pastry on a lightly floured board just until about 1/8-inch thick. Scatter half the bleu cheese over the top of the pastry and sprinkle surface with pepper, to taste. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the pastry, then gently roll over plastic wrap with rolling pin to press cheese into pastry (cheese will not cover entire surface; just be sure it is evenly distributed).
Remove plastic wrap, cut pastry into 1-inch squares or diamonds with a sharp knife and transfer to ungreased baking sheets, placing about 1/2-inch apart. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool, then continue with remaining pastry, cheese, and pepper. To serve, offer bleu cheese tortas, apricots, and olives in separate containers. Offer sherry to sip alongside, if desired.
The day of the tapas party, cut apricots in half and discard the pits (if using fresh figs, cut figs in half lengthwise). Cut ham slices in half lengthwise. Wrap each apricot half with a piece of ham, winding the meat around the fruit and pressing the ends together so it holds; if desired, secure with a toothpick. (You will have 2 dozen wrapped apricots.) Transfer apricots and olives to airtight portable containers and refrigerate until ready to transport.
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