If you are looking for cheese based Christmas appetizers, here is a selection of ideas proposed by Grana Padano. The unmistakable taste of one of the most famous products of our boot is perfect for preparing Christmas appetizers of great character, but at the same time ideal for all diners!
Christmas trees of puff pastry, ham and Grana Padano
Ingredients for 4 people: 1 roll of rectangular puff pastry, 100 g of Grana Padano, 150 g of cooked ham, 1 egg
Method: Roll out the puff pastry and sprinkle it with half the grated Grana Padano. Place the slices of ham on top and cut out many strips 2 cm thick with a knife. Fold the strips on themselves and stop them with a skewer, placing the saplings on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush the saplings with a beaten egg, sprinkle with grated Grana Padano and bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 15 minutes until cooked and golden.
Ingredients for 4: 210 g of multi-grain flour, 100 g of Grana Padano from 9 to 16 months, 50 ml of whole milk, 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil, 2 eggs, 20 g of pine nuts, 50 g of toasted almonds, 8 g of flax seeds, 3 g of nutmeg, 5 g of powdered ginger, 2 g of black pepper, 4 g of salt, 1 yolk
Method: Put the two eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl and mix. When they are well mixed, add the remaining ingredients: the sifted flour, grated Grana Padano, pine nuts and whole almonds, flax seeds, nutmeg, ginger. Season with salt and pepper and start kneading to incorporate all the ingredients well and obtain a compact and fragrant dough. If the dough is sticky, add a couple of tablespoons of flour to perfect the consistency: the secret is that the dough should not stick to your hands. Divide the dough into two equal parts from which you will obtain two loaves of about 3-4 cm wide and 1 cm high. At this point, place the loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush them with the lightly beaten yolk. Cook the two loaves in the preheated oven at 180 ° C for about 25 minutes, until they are golden on the surface. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. It is at this point that our biscuit "loaves" will turn into real cantuccini, or rather with the cut! Using a knife with a serrated blade, cut the nooks diagonally. Spread the cut biscuits on the baking tray previously covered with parchment paper.
Let the biscuits bake in the oven while still hot at 180 ° for about 10/15 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes in order to brown both sides of the biscuits evenly. Take them out of the oven and serve them.
Christmas biscuits with butter and Grana Padano
Ingredients for 4 people: 200 g of Grana Padano, 200 g of flour 00, 200 g of salted butter, 1 egg, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, pepper
Method: In a bowl, mix the soft butter with the flour and the finely grated Grana Padano. Knead first with a fork and then with your hands, until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover with cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut out the shortbread biscuits with a star-shaped pastry ring and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. With a toothpick, make a small hole on one of the tips of the stars and leave it until the end of cooking to prevent it from closing, brush the biscuits with an egg yolk and decorate with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake the shortbread in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. As soon as they have cooled down, thread the cord and hang the shortbread biscuits on the Christmas tree.
Baci di dama with Grana Padano
Ingredients for 4:
For the pasta – 35 g of grated Grana Padano, 50 g of 00 flour, 50 g of ground almonds, 50 g of softened unsalted butter, 15 ml of whole milk, salt and pepper
For the filling – 150 g of ricotta (or cream cheese), 50 g of grated Grana Padano, 20 g of chopped pistachios (or your favorite nuts), optional chopped herbs, salt and pepper
Method: For the dough, sift the flour and knead all the ingredients well until it becomes a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Prepare balls of about 5 g each (2 or 3 cm maximum in diameter) and place them on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In the meantime, turn on the oven at 180 ° C. Bake the Grana Padano biscuits for about 7/8 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool and prepare the filling. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese (or ricotta) with the grated Grana Padano. If the cream is too dry, add twice as much cream (for greater softness use whipped cream). Season to taste and, if you want, add chopped herbs, such as chives or dill, to the mixture. Put the cheese mixture in a pastry bag and fill half of the lady's kisses. Place the other halves on top of each of these and press gently (they will look like lips kissing, hence the funny name). Use the excess filling that goes over the edge to attach the chopped pistachios, gently rotating the baci di dama. Put them in a bowl and your grana padano baci di dama are ready to be enjoyed.
Grana Padano Riserva flan and golden yolk in brioche bread
Ingredients for 4 people:
For the flan – 250 g of liquid whipping cream, 4 whole eggs, 250 g of grated Grana Padano Riserva Over 20 months, salt and pepper to taste
For the fondue – 200 g of liquid whipping cream (35% fat), 100 g of Grana Padano Riserva Over 20 months, 1 pc of Maldon salt
For the golden yolk – a slice of brioche bread, an egg, oil for frying
For the flan – Heat the cream to 80 ° C. Blend together with the eggs for a few minutes. Finally, add the grated Grana Padano. Filter with a sieve and fill some buttered aluminum bowls for about ¾ of their volume. Steam at 85 ° C x 20 '. Alternatively, in a water bath at 120 ° C x 35 '.
For the fondue – Heat the cream to 85 ° C, turn off and add the grated Grana Padano. Filter with a sieve and keep warm at 75 ° C, until ready to serve.
For the golden yolk – Grate a slice of brioche bread; separate the yolk from the egg white and bread it in breadcrumbs. Leave to rest for 2 hours at 5 ° C and fry just before use.
Preparation of the dish – Put a spoonful of warm fondue on the bottom of the plate and place the Grana Padano flan.
Place the golden egg yolk on the flan and serve hot.