Chile Cheese Surprises

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese -- shredded
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter -- room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure New Mexico hot red chile -- ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt -- optional
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers --fresh or pickled -- finely minced
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 12 whole pimento-stuffed olives
  • 12 pecan halves
  • 12 medium cooked shrimp -- shelled, deveined--tails removed

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F.
To prepare pastry:
Combine cheese, butter & ground chile, taste; add salt if desired. Work in minced jalapenos until evenly distributed; mix in flour & milk. Roll out pastry to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut pastry into squares, rectangles or triangles to fit around olives, pecan halves & shrimp; wrap pastry around fillings. Place on an ungreased baking sheets & bake 10 - 12 minutes or until pastry feels firm when pressed.
Makes 3 dozen appetizers.

NOTES : Authors notes:
Make these as feisty or as tame as you like. Rosy cheese pastry, flecked with confetti dots of green chile, surrounds stuffed olives, nuts or shrimp, making festive looking treats that are great for holiday get togethers & just as good at any other time of year. They freeze well too.