Recipe courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado

Pimento Cheese and Ham Snacks

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min (includes resting times)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 6 phyllo cigar snacks
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Ingredients

Pimento Cheese:

8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated

1/4 cup mayonnaise 

2 tablespoons cream cheese 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 

1 teaspoon dried mustard 

1 teaspoon maple syrup 

1/2 sweet onion, grated 

Half a 4-ounce jar pimentos, diced 

Snacks:

1/2 recipe Phyllo Dough (an 18-by-36-inch piece), recipe follows

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 slices uncured deli ham

Phyllo Dough:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Generous pinch fine sea salt 

1/2 cup room-temperature water 

1 tablespoon canola oil 

1 large egg, at room temperature 

Directions

  1. For the pimento cheese: Combine the Cheddar, mayonnaise, cream cheese, Worcestershire, mustard, maple syrup, onion and pimentos in a medium bowl and mix until fully incorporated. Reserve half the mixture in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator to serve with crackers or another use. Put aside the remaining mixture while you prepare the dough.
  2. For the snacks: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Brush the phyllo with butter. Halve the piece lengthwise, then cut each piece crosswise into thirds. You will have 6 pieces total.
  4. Place a slice of ham at the short end of a piece of phyllo. Spoon one-sixth of the remaining pimento cheese down the side of the ham closest to the phyllo. Fold in the excess phyllo along the long edges and then roll the the phyllo into a cigar, starting at the end with the ham and pimento cheese. Brush the phyllo with butter as you roll.
  5. Place the phyllo cigars a few inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Phyllo Dough:

Yield: 1 large (36-by-36-inch) sheet phyllo dough
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the water, oil and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and using a wooden spoon or a Danish whisk, stir the mixture until a shaggy dough comes together.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead until the dough is a bit smoother. Then "slap" the dough and turn it over and knead it until smooth; this could take between 5 to 10 minutes. You can also mix the dough in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. This takes about 10 minutes. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest a room temperature for 2 hours.
  3. Cover a table (at least 36 inches square) with a clean tablecloth. Sprinkle the cloth all over with flour. Gently press the dough into a rough 12-by-12-inch square and then gently pull the dough into a large square, about 36 inches. Use a pair of clean kitchen scissors to cut the thicker edges off the perimeter and discard them. Allow the dough to rest to dry out just a bit, about 5 minutes.
  4. Adapted from "Pie it Forward: Pies, Tarts, Tortes, Galettes and Other Pastries Reinvented" by Gesine Bullock-Prado © Abrams 2012. Provided courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado. All rights reserved.