Wednesday, January 6, 2010

embrace the pickle pinwheel

When I was coordinating the New Year's Eve menu with Juliette and Nathan, Nathan mentioned that he was going to make "somethin' from the country": ham and pickle pinwheels. It sounded a little strange but I just said, "Sure, I like ham."

Well, pickle pinwheels are my two new favorite words. I can't even explain how good these are. The name and the ingredients--deli ham, pickles, cream cheese--might make a person pause, but trust me on this: total deliciousness. The pickle is briny and tangy, the ham adds saltiness, and the cream cheese (I thought it was mayo) adds a hint of sweetness. Like a lot of salty foods, they go down easy with Champagne. Which is kind of contradictory, I guess, but whatever.

And they're actually really pretty, a bit like like sushi on first glance. But then you look closer and it's a pickle and ham. And then you eat one and your mind is blown.

Ham and pickle pinwheels
I didn't get Nathan's actual recipe, but this version, by Paula Deen, looks about right. Nathan mentioned something about "cheap deli ham" so don't feel the need to splurge on this recipe.

1 package precooked, sliced ham sandwich meat
1 large jar dill pickles
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

Spread softened cream cheese in thin layer on ham slices. Place a pickle on the end of each ham and cream cheese slice. Roll up jelly roll style. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.


Lesley said...

I love this idea! My husband is from the South, and I think he'd really like it too. Gonna try this the next time we have friends over.... or maybe just this weekend as a little app before dinner. Good excuse to pick up some champagne.

Chad said...

Doing this SOON. My mom used to make pinwheels like this with scallions instead of the pickles (I guess more common?), which a friend calls "Midwest sushi." But this looks like it might be better.

Cold Cuts said...

Those look amazing. AMAZING.

Laura said...

I too am in awe of the pickle pinwheel. I was able to taste this amazing circle of goodness for the first time at Thanksgiving this year. Yay!

Daniel said...

It was stupid how good these were. I like thinking of it as ham sushi. Instead of a California Roll, maybe it could be an Alabama Roll.

Lisa said...

Lesley: Thanks! Yes, Champagne is so good with these. But I also imagine the Champagne of beers would be pretty good too.

Chad: Midwest sushi! I love that.

Julie: Thank you!

Laura: Glad to know I am among fellow pinwheel freaks.

Daniel: They could be any state in the South, really: Arkansas Roll, Mississippi Roll, Tennessee Roll...

Jaeveberry said...

YUM! I may have to try it. This totally made me hungry right now!

Lesley said...

So my husband just informed me that he doesn't like pickles. He said: "I thought you knew that?" Rats! Guess I can try with plain old cucumber. Or... pickled jalapenos.

Lisa said...

Lesley: Shoot! Who doesn't like pickles? I could see doing this with little round spicy pickled peppers. Or maybe pickled okra or green beans if you can get your hands on them. Let me know how it goes!

Plastic Crocodile said...

Ive been making Midwest Sushi for YEARS! Grandma always made these. It is by far my most requested item.

Oh a tip is to roll them up and refrigerate them, then cut. that way the cream cheese doesnt ooze out.

Lisa said...

Plastic Crocodile: Thanks for the tip! I can see how that would make a huge difference.


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