July 20, 2011

Prosciutto Balls with Bocconcini and Tomatoes

Pu Pus (yes, pronounced "poo poos"). I'm not joking. Hawaiian for snacks, this is the term I grew up using to describe any sort of smaller, nibble-type snack. Basically, appetizers.

So sometimes when my Mom didn't have the usual homemade bread and cold cuts for a sandwich, she would pack our lunches full of pu pus. Pepperoni sticks cut up, cheese bites, etc. Sometimes when she didn't feel like cooking a big dinner, she would creatively decide it was a pu pu night. Gosh I feel embarrassed just thinking about how that sounds...

So, all grown up now, and the primary chef of my own household, I am responsible for coming up with all sorts of snacks, appetizers and nibbles for us, and our guests when we entertain. I like the cheese board, a homemade dip - for which I have many awesome recipes to share, and other bite-sized treats. I also like to serve a variety. This means that I need to have a few go-to pu pus that I can use to jazz up a cheese board, or complement a feta and sundried-tomato torta.

The follwing recipe is from Fine Cooking (I'm their most loyal follower and absolutely love their website and magazines!) and I just love how easy it is to whip them together and how amazing they taste. I have now served them to quite a few different groups and I've never, not once, had leftovers.

Whoever thought pu pus could be so yummy? (Did I take that too far?!)

8 pieces of prosciutto, sliced lengthwise in 2
16 pieces of fresh basil, sliced lengthwise in 2
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 cocktail boccochini cheeses, halved
Your best extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Lay the sliced prosciutto on your chop block. At the bottom of each strip, lay 2 pieces of sliced basil. 

2. Make a ball by pressing the cheese and the cherry tomato together. 

3. Generously salt and lightly pepper the balls before rolling up and finishing with a toothpick.

4. Refrigerate for up to one hour. Let sit on counter and drizzle with oil at least 10 minutes before serving. 

Serve and prepare to take your praise!