4 tablespoons olive oil
750g onions, sliced
125g cream cheese
100g sharp cheddar, grated
1 loaf sliced sandwich bread
50g butter, melted
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Everyone loves the classic NZ snack or party food, Southland cheese rolls, but I’m not keen on the additives in the packet soup that’s usually used for them. Here I have taken the concept and made it a little more sophisticated, but equally as delicious. Caramelising the onions takes time, but you can do this in advance and it is simple. Great for taking to parties or barbecues, baked on a tray for easy transportation!


1.Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium/low heat.
2.Add the onions, a good sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour until they become very soft and golden.
3.Put the cream cheese in a bowl and stir to soften then stir in the warm onions and cheddar.
4.Set aside (you can make the filling the day before).
5.Heat the oven to 180°C.
6.Brush a baking dish with a little of the melted butter.
7.Spread about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture on each slice of bread, and then roll up firmly, placing joined- edge down on the prepared dish.
8.Brush the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the smoked paprika.
9.Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith, Photography Aaron McLean, Styling Sara Black

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