This recipe for ham rolled around gherkins and cream cheese is a bit Americanized because of the use of cream cheese, although it’s becoming more well-known in Poland these days, known simply as Philadelphia after the brand that made it famous. Roll-ups, however, are quintessentially Polish, as evidenced by this herring rollmops recipe and beef roulade recipe, and they appear on appetizer spreads in all the regions of Poland. If I had to give a Polish name to this appetizer, I would call it szrazy z szynka (ZRRAH-zih zih SHIN-kah). This is a good appetizer recipe for tailgating or a potluck.
Yield: About 3 dozen Ham Roll-Ups
- 1 pound thinly sliced Krakus ham
- 10-12 green onions, finely chopped
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese (or 1/3 less-fat cream cheese)
- Midget gherkins (optional)
- Thin slices Swiss cheese
- Pencil asparagus spears
In a medium bowl, beat together 8 ounces softened full-fat cream cheese or 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, 10-12 finely chopped onions and enough milk to make it spreadable.
Take one slice of ham. Spread the cream cheese on the ham, up to 1 inch from the edge (the cream cheese spreads when the ham is rolled).
If desired, place 2 midget gherkins end-to-end on the edge of the cream cheese. Roll up like a jellyroll.
Cut roll in half and secure each half with a toothpick. Refrigerate covered with plastic wrap.
If desired, instead of using cream cheese, you can lay down a very thin slice of Swiss cheese followed by a few pencil-thin asparagus spears and roll up.
Make this the night before so the flavors of the cream cheese and onions develop overnight.
Note: You may have a little cream cheese filling left over with 1 pound of ham, so you can increase the amount of ham, if you like.
Source: Recipe adapted from one by Theresa Kulasa Child of Valparaiso, Ind.