Updated On: Apr 21 2010 05:48:55 AM EDT
These canapés have been in my appetizer repertoire for decades. Always good, they're made better with top-quality bread, which I have custom-sliced at my favorite artisan bakery, and imported blue cheese.
I usually double the recipe to have extras on hand in the freezer.
6 thick asparagus spears
¼ cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup (1 ounce) blue cheese
1 egg white
Six ¼-inch-thick slices white or wheat bread
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Trim the asparagus to be as long as the bread slices. Steam the asparagus in a covered steamer over boiling water until tender. Or, put the asparagus in a microwave-proof dish and add about 1 tablespoon water. Cover tightly and microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Drain well.
Combine the cream cheese, blue cheese, and egg white in a small bowl. Trim the crusts off the bread and use a rolling pin to flatten the slices. Spread each slice with about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture. Place an asparagus stalk atop the cheese at the edge of the slice and roll to wrap the asparagus.
Brush the rolls on all sides with melted butter and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the bread is almost frozen. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F.
Slice each roll into thirds and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is lightly browned and crispy. Serve warm.
Yield: 18 roll-ups
The baked roll-ups can be frozen in a closed container for up to 1 month.
Heat the frozen roll-ups in a 350° F oven for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.