Holiday season is in full swing now…And as the Jewel check out lady and I both say, it’s not the holidays without bricks upon bricks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. One of my family and friends all-time favorite appetizers I put is an old family recipe that somehow became “mine” over the years. It’s called Ham Appetillas or shortened Ham Apps or by some those ham roll-up thingies with the cream cheese.
My family has had them at every gathering for as long as I could remember, and I started making them pretty young with my dad. You have to make them the night before you need them (or at min 3 hours prior to), so from as early as I could remember, I would help my pops with them. My motives as a kid were not out of kindness, they were in line to lick the mixing beaters, bowls and steal pieces of ham and maybe the half a can of olives. The joke was on me though, and somehow the appetizer became “mine”, and I was the one in charge of bringing them to events. Now, I make them at min, three times a year – T-day, my husband’s fan’s Christmas and my fan’s Christmas. Sometimes, I make them for other things too, but I get a lil cream cheesed out eventually and need a cream cheese post holiday detox.
This recipe is really VERY simple. And because you have to make them the night before, it’s actually less stress for you the day of the event, even if you aren’t hosting and just bringing them. The most important thing is to take the cream cheese out at min an hour before starting to allow it to get to room temp! Otherwise there really isn’t much to it. It’s also evolved since it has begun. I think this is the best version to date.
This version is doubled – I have to double it for my family get togethers. But I am going to list out the normal amounts of ingredients which usually makes 8 tortilla rolls. One package of 8 count tortillas. I LOVE the Maria Ricardo’s from Whole Foods, but whatever tortillas you use I am sure will be fine. Try not to cheap out on them too much though because you don’t want them to fall apart. Six green onions (scallions as some may call them). One third of a cup of Hellman’s mayo. DO NOT USE MIRACLE WHIP! My fam used to make these with the Hellman’s light – you can do that, but I think the regular is better, and it is the holidays so who really cares about the extra cals. Same with the Phillie Cream Cheese…you can do the light version but might as well full fat it up. You will need two bricks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. The best ham for this is Black Forest ham from the deli counter. Boar’s Head makes a great Black Forest and so does Whole Foods. If you cannot find Black Forest, PLEASE avoid any honey hams…that is not the flavor you are going for. Try to do a smoked ham or something basic and clean. You need one pound of the ham. Finally, grab a can of pitted large black olives and some kosher salt.
***Remember – take your cream cheese out at min an hour before to allow it to get to room temperature. This is important it because it allows the cream cheese to mix with the other ingredients better!***
Place softened cream cheese bricks in mixing bowl.
Trim the ends of the green onions and cut into thirds.
Place the green onions in a food processor and pulse until they a chopped well, like the above picture. Then you can add them to the bowl. I also tossed in a few shakes of Kosher salt at this point.
Drain the can of olives to remove the liquid. Place half the can in the food processor and pulse until chopped well. Place in mixing bowl.
Add the one third of a cup mayo to the bowl.
After about a min mixing on medium speed, I stop it to to scrape the side of the bowl down.
Then I mix again. When everything looks REALLY combined, I scrape all the mixture off the paddle.
Once the mixture is done, place a tortilla on a cutting board and get the ham out.
Cover the whole tortilla in about a quarter of inch of mixture – this can vary depending on if you are the end and a lot of a little left.
Place the ham on the tortilla – depending on how it’s sliced by the deli the number of slices can vary. As you can see in this case, I used three, cutting one in half to get the whole tortilla covered.
Then you roll it up, wrap it in cling wrap, and place off to the side, where eventually you will have a pile. Once they are all down, put them in the fridge for at LEAST three hours; however, I’m going to be honest, I ALWAYS do it the night before.
Shortly before the event, remove from the fridge and cut them about three quarters of an inch thick along the roll. Remove the cling wrap before cutting.
Servings: 8 – 10 people
- Mixing bowl
- Stand or hand mixer
- Food processor
- Cutting board
- Cling wrap
- Plate to arrange on when done
- 2 bricks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 6 green onions (scallions)
- Half a can of pitted black olives
- 1 lb of Black Forest or NON-honey ham from the deli
- 1 package of good tortillas
- 1/3 cup of Hellman’s Mayo
- Few shakes of Kosher salt
- Allow cream cheese to soften by taking out of the fridge at least an hour before use. It should be at room temperature
- Place the two bricks into a large mixing bowl
- Trim ends of green onions and cut into thirds
- Place in food processor and pulse until chopped finely. Then put into mixing bowl
- Add a few shakes of kosher salt
- Drain can of black olives. Place half in the food processor and then pulse until the olives are chopped finely. Put them into the mixing bowl
- Add in the 1/3 cup of mayo to the mixing bowl
- Mix on medium
- Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl down – then mix again on medium. Mixture is done when it’s VERY combined
- Spread mixture on to a tortilla about a 1/4 of an inch thick
- Place the slices of ham over the mixture to cover the tortilla. You may have to cut the ham to get the whole thing covered – see the picture above for reference.
- Roll the tortilla up
- Wrap it in cling wrap and place to the side
- Repeat steps 10 through 13 until all the tortillas are done
- Once completed store in fridge for at min 3 hours but preferably over night
- Before the party, cut the tortillas up into 3/4 of inch slices and arrange on a plate or tray, pictured above!
That’s it my friends! I really hope this old family recipe is as loved at your gatherings as it is at mine. Now go enjoy your holidays armed with this soon to be new classic.
Wet Hair, Don’t Care