Light Holiday Appetizers

Meridan Zerner from the Cooper Clinic shares a few lighter appetizers for your holiday parties.

Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus with Prosciutto

This is an appetizer worthy of a special occasion. Simply roll up prosciutto and asparagus in phyllo dough and bake. The results are a crunchy, easy appetizer all will enjoy. You can also chop the prosciutto and sprinkle it on the phyllo.

Serves 10 (serving size: 3 pieces)
Total time:  45 Minutes

3 ounces  thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 30 long, thin strips   
30 asparagus spears, trimmed   
10 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed   
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Wrap 1 prosciutto strip around each asparagus spear, barber pole–style. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying); coat phyllo with cooking spray. Cut crosswise into thirds to form 3 (4 1/2 x 9–inch) rectangles. Arrange 1 asparagus spear across 1 short end of each rectangle; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Arrange rolls on a baking sheet; coat rolls with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, asparagus, and cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until phyllo is golden and crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Make-ahead tip: Arrange assembled rolls on a baking sheet, coat with cooking spray, and cover; store in the fridge for up to four hours. Bake an hour or two before the party.

Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie

Melted chocolate binds cookie crumbs for the crust-and makes it extra delicious. Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the rum.

Crust Ingredients
30   chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers)   
3 ounces  bittersweet chocolate, melted   
1 tablespoon  canola oil

Filling Ingredients
3/4 cup  sugar   
1/4 cup  cornstarch   
1/4 cup  unsweetened cocoa   
1/4 teaspoon  salt   
1 3/4 cups  1% low-fat milk, divided   
2   large egg yolks   
4 ounces  bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped   
1 tablespoon  white rum   
1/2 cup  fresh raspberries   
10 tablespoon  fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. To prepare crust, place wafers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add 3 ounces melted chocolate and oil; process until blended. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes or until set.

2. To prepare the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a large saucepan; stir with a whisk. Add half of milk and 2 yolks; stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chocolate, and stir until smooth. Stir in rum. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours or until set. Serve with raspberries and whipped topping.


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