Hilary and Aaren would kill me if I didn’t post this recipe soon. So here we go. But don’t think you are going to get the recipe without a story.
One of the cookbooks I use quite frequently (mainly because it has a lot of my mother’s recipes in it) is the Severna Park Newcomers Club cookbook from roughly 1998. It may not have made the N.Y. Times best seller list, but it does have some good stuff in it. So when we were trying to figure out a Southwestern-y vegetarian appetizer that could be served cold or at room temperature, I leafed through it. Turns out there is a recipe for “Mexican pinwheels,” submitted by the mom of my high school boyfriend. Nice!
I guess you COULD use the pre-shredded cheese you can buy at the store, but that is coated with something weird that makes it a yucky texture and apparently prevents it from melting properly. So I suggest grating your own, if possible. Or getting a professional cheese grater, like the beefcake pictured above, to do it for you.
The first time my mom made these — for the party — they were really good. So good that I asked her to make more. But they were even better the second time, because she added a special ingredient: Chili powder. It doesn’t make them spicy, but it gives a little bit of smoky flavor. You can leave it out if you want.
Mexican pinwheels (Adapted from my high school boyfriend’s mom)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 4.5-ounce can green chilies, chopped and drained
1 2 1/4-ounce can black olives, sliced and drained
2/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons chili powder
8 8-inch flour tortillas
Combine cheddar, cream cheese, sour cream, chilies, olives, green onions, garlic and chili powder. Spread a half cup of the mixture over each tortilla (leaving a little bit of room on the far side to allow for spreading). Roll the tortillas like you would a jellyroll. Cut into slices and serve with salsa.