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Monday, January 28, 2008

Snack Food Good Enough for a Super Bowl Party

Having friends over to watch a game or just hang out means I'll make a lot of different kinds of finger food. Lavash pizza with a dozen different toppings. Grilled bacon-wrapped shrimp. And my absolute favorite: prosciutto wrapped mozzarella and avocado.

The recipes I like the best are ones that are easy to make and have a lot of flavor, even though they use very few ingredients. What gives this simple dish it's rich flavor is dredging the mozzarella and avocado in olive oil that's been seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before they're wrapped in the proscuitto. Sandwiching that layer of seasoning between the clean tasting mozzarella/avocado and the salty proscuitto, makes all the difference.

The mozzarella can be wrapped by itself, so can the avocado, or you can put them together. It's entirely your call.

10 sheets of proscuitto, paper thin
2 large pieces of fresh mozzarella
1 medium avocado, ripe, skin and pit removed, thin sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

When you buy the proscuitto, ask to have the fat cut off and the slices cut paper thin. That means you only want one layer of proscuitto between the paper sheets, with very little overlap. Thin proscuitto will stick together, so ask the deli man to minimize the overlap.

Clean off the counter so you have room for several large plates. Take the mozzarella out of the water and gently pat dry. Put one slice of proscuitto on the cutting board and cut 4 equal pieces. Use a chef's knife and cut a ¼" thick slice off the mozarella. Cut that slice into 4 strips.

Slice the avocado into ¼" strips.

Pour the olive oil onto a small plate and season with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. How much is up to you.

Dredge each piece of mozzarella through the seasoned olive oil on both sides, then lay it on one of the proscuitto sections. Carefully roll the proscuitto around the mozzarella so it overlaps the cheese. The olive oil should allow you to stick the proscuitto to itself. Add a slice of avocado if you want, or wrap the avocado by itself.

Serve the proscuitto-mozzarella-avocado wraps with napkins and ice cold beer or white wine.

Serves 6. Preparation Time: 30 minutes.

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