Have you ever made pinwheel sandwiches? They’re the ones where you slather bread with toppings then roll up and slice like sushi. Very popular for chubby little toddler fingers, not to mention young-at-heart adults.
I recently saw a blog featuring pinwheel sandwiches (sorry, can’t remember which one) and had the hair-brained idea to go one step further and use puff pastry instead of bread. I thought I was mighty clever heading to the supermarket to buy some frozen puff pastry, except when I grabbed it out of the freezer I got a big shock.
There on the front of the pack was a picture of a pastry pinwheel. Oops! Subliminal marketing? Baby brain? (Oh OK, I can’t blame that anymore). Sadly, I then realised I was not the genius I thought I was. Oh well, I still took it home and got cooking!
There are a lot of flavours going on here, with sweet and savoury ingredients kind of competing to steal the show. Unfortunately, none of them win, because all the elements combine to make a delicious mouthful.
Even though there are spices and garlic and orange juice and chicken and spinach (phew!), there is a definite harmonious marriage. I hope I haven’t turned you off with that ingredient list, but if you do turn up your nose a some of them, feel free to substitute – I’d love to hear what you come up with! I’m a shameful tweaker when it comes to recipes, so I’d expect nothing less from my readers. That’s what makes cooking fun, right?
This recipe actually came to life because I had some leftover roast chicken to use up but I suspect it would work with other leftover cold meats like ham or salami too, if that’s what you have on hand. The green element is flexi too, you could try rocket, silverbeet or sorrel, just to name a few.
This makes two pinwheels, so if one is enough for you then simply freeze the other one uncooked, and bake at another time. Plus, it can also be eaten at room temperature, so is great for picnics or school lunch boxes. Actually, if you are looking for other picnic fare, then check out my healthy sausage rolls, egg boats or potato and ricotta croquettes. Enjoy!
Do you sometimes think you invented something but then find out someone beat you to it?
Spinach and chicken pastry pinwheel
- 2 sheets reduced fat puff pastry
- 350g spinach, washed and stems removed, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 200g cooked chicken, shredded (leftover BBQ or roast chicken is perfect)
- 1 teaspoon root ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 100ml Vitasoy soymilk (or regular cows milk)
- 100g feta, crumbled
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten plus one extra egg, beaten
- 1/2 orange, juiced and zested
1. Place the pastry sheets onto the bench to thaw. Make sure you keep the plastic backing on them as this will make it easier to roll the pinwheels later. Heat the oven to 200C.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes until softened and just starting to brown. Add the garlic, ginger and cinnamon and stir well. Cook for 1 minute more then add the spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes until wilted.
3. Add the chicken, soy milk, feta, orange juice and zest and stir through. Take off the heat and leave for a few minutes to cool slightly. Stir through the two beaten eggs and season well with lots of cracked pepper and a little salt.
4. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and place both the puff pastry sheets side by side. Spoon the spinach mixture evenly over both pastry sheets in a thin layer. Carefully roll the pastry up from one side, using the plastic to help you roll it neatly by slowly peeling it away with each turn. Much like you would roll a roulade or swiss roll.
5. Make sure the seam side of both rolls is on the bottom, then brush with beaten egg and bake for 30 minutes until puffed and golden. Allow to cool and firm up for 5 minutes before slicing thickly with a serrated knife to keep the pastry in tact for each piece. Serve with salad or steamed vegetables.