Tag Archives: puff pastry

Camembert Stars

9 Nov

Camembert StarsSo Halloween has come and gone and in my book that means it’s time to start getting excited about Christmas! I adore Christmas and lets face it – what’s not to love?  You get family and friends time, pressie time and most importantly to me FOOD TIME!  But with all those times happening,  the one thing I tend to be quite short on is time itself.  Enter my best friend when it comes to canapés – store bought puff pastry.  I think it’s okay to admit you don’t make your own puff pastry because let’s face it, with the exception of sweaty contestants on the Great British Bake Off, NOBODY makes their own puff pastry.

You can do wonderful things with puff pastry that are super easy and yet still manage to knock the socks off of the people you are feeding.  Take these savoury palmiers or seeing that it is almost the silly season, these melty-cheesey puff pastry stars that only need 4 ingredients.

CS INGTo make twelve stars take:

  • two sheets of puff pastry
  • a camembert round
  • a chutney of your choice (I went for an apple and walnut because it felt quite Christmasy, but cranberry or sweet chilli would also work beautifully.)
  • and an egg.

CS PrepPreheat the oven to 200°C and then dust the surface you are working on with a quick shake of flour and place one sheet of puff pastry on top.

C Egg WashBeat the egg and brush it liberally onto your pastry. Don’t throw the egg wash away -you’ll need it a bit later.

CS CheeseCut your cheese into twelve bite sized chunks. This will only use about half the round of camembert – save the rest for crackers!

CS fillingPlace about half a teaspoon of chutney on your egg washed sheet of pastry and then place a chunk of the cheese on top of that.

CS CuttingPlace the second sheet of pastry on top of the first one.  Then using a star-shaped cookie cutter cut out twelve stars.

CS Wash and toppingPlace your stars on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  Use the rest of the egg wash to wash the stars and if you want sprinkle them with some sesame seeds to give them some character.

CS GBD

Bake until golden brown and delicious – about twenty minutes and then bite into the most amazing melted cheesy bit of gooey goodness. ENJOY!

Cheese and Sundried Tomato Palmiers

4 May

pal finished

So when a glorious three day weekend  stretches out in front of you promising to bring with it warm sun drenched days, you know that you need to make the most of it.  By making the most of it I do mean sitting in the garden with potent fruity drinks and scrumptious nibbles with friends and family.  What you don’t want to be doing is spending your whole day in the kitchen making the nibbles and that’s where this recipe will serve you well.  It has an amazingly high return for remarkably little effort. I’ve used a sun-dried tomato pesto, cheese and basil filling, but you really could use almost anything.  I’ve used sausages removed from their casings, you could try it with basil pesto and feta, a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon or jam, and I’m really interested in trying it with lemon curd, but enough of my rambling,  get out there and enjoy that sunshine!

Pal ingTo start take:

  • 1 roll of puff pastry (of course if you make your own it will be delicious, but your effort to enjoyment ratio will be greatly diminished)
  • about half a jar of sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 200gm of cheese (I used a mature cheddar, but use whatever takes your fancy)
  • a few basil leaves

Pal pastryLightly dust the surface you are working on with flour and then roll out your pastry to roughly 30m by 40cm-ish.

Pal tomatoeSmear on the sun-dried tomato pesto leaving  a 1 centimetre border around the edges of the pastry.

Palm cheeseTop the tomato with the cheese and the basil.

pal rolledTaking the length of the pastry, roll one half of the pastry to the middle and then repeat with the other side to create something akin to a book scroll. Wrap the (sc)roll in cling film and place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Then preheat your  oven to 180°C. pal sliced

Remove the pastry from the fridge and thinly slice into palmiers.  How thick or thin you slice them really does boil down to taste, but I aim for slices that are between 0.5cm to 1 cm thick.

Pal baking trayPlace your pamiers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown!  Enjoy.

Pal baked

Salmon en Croute

18 Aug

So the BH hasn’t been feeling well for the last two days.  Not well as in running a temperature of 39°C and unable to eat ANYTHING except for BRAT – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce  and Toast.  That’s two whole days of really boring cooking.  I tried gamely to eat the same things in sympathy, but I’m afraid I cracked this evening.  I needed both real food and to actually cook something that had more than one ingredient.  The problem was I needed to cook for one and in looking after the poor invalid I didn’t have time to go to the store, so I had to make do with what was in the fridge or freezer.  My needs being the mother of this creation, I give you my first attempt at an individual Salmon en Croute.  I don’t think it will be the last either.  This is honestly one of the easiest dishes I’ve put together and maybe it was the two day BRAT diet, but damn – it was tasty.

Take:

  • 2 fillets of lightly smoked salmon
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 100 gm of spinach leaves
  • 200 gm of cream cheese
  • 1 tps paprika
  • the zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 egg (to make an egg wash)

If the salmon still has the skin on carefully remove with a really sharp knife and cut each fillet in half then preheat the oven to 180°C.

To make the cream cheese filling, add the cheese, spinach, lemon zest, paprika and salt and pepper to taste into the bowl of your food processor.

Process until smooth and creamy.  If any visible spinach stalks remain, remove them before continuing.

Now we get to assemble.  Roll out a piece of pastry until it’s large enough to cover the fish.  Then place two heaped tablespoons of the cream cheese filling in the centre of the pastry and place the salmon on top.

Brush the sides of the pastry with egg wash and then fold the two longer sides in. Then fold the two short sides in, so the pastry completely covers the fish and the filling.

Score the top on the pastry to allow the steam created from the cooking salmon to escape and place on a baking tray.  Brush with the remaining egg wash and bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown.  Seriously rich, seriously good!

Chicken Pie

27 Feb

Sorry, it’s been a while since I last posted.  Time  has not been my friend this week and speaking of weeks, this week is British Pie Week!  Now my better half, BH, has a more than serious little pie addiction.  In fact I still believe one of the reasons “we” chose to settle in the UK is how readily available pies are here.  You’re smiling and saying she must surely be joking, but this is a man who spent an entire road trip in search of the perfect chicken pie.

It of course, had to be a chicken pie.  The chicken pie is to savoury pies what the apple it to sweet, the pie standard if you will.  The judging criteria were strict, that it had to be tasty went without saying. The pastry had to be fluffy and light. There had to be more filling than sauce and solid chunks of chicken rather than tiny shredded bits. Potatoes, peas and any other ingredients used to bulk up the filling were a strict no-no.  The final factor was that it had to be awesome hot as well as cold.  The winner, by the way was the Steam Whistle Stop Shop in Sedgefield.  Below is my attempt, not to recreate the winning pie, but to meet all the criteria and kick its arse!

First rustle up some ingredients.  In the interest of saving time at a later stage, I always make enough filling for two pies and freeze half.

  • 1 kg of chicken, I use both thigh and breast meat (cut into chunks)
  • 1 pkt of bacon (sliced)
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 onion (finely diced)
  • 1 carrot (finely diced)
  • 1 stalk of celery (finely diced)
  • 1 leek (finely diced)
  • 5-6 sprigs of thyme
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 gms of flour
  • 1 heaped tsp of paprika
  • 1 heaped tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 heaped tsp of salt
  • 500 mls of chicken stock
  • a glug of olive oil
  • 150mls of white wine
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry

First add a good glug of olive oil to a deap pan and fry the bacon until cooked, but not crisp.  Set the bacon aside in a bowl and fry the mushrooms in the bacon fat.  Put the cooked mushroom in the  bowl with the bacon.  Then add the salt, dried thyme and paprika to the flour and dredge the chicken chunks in it.  For maximum shaking fun and minimum mess, I like to do this in a zip lock bag. Fry the chicken pieces,  on a medium heat, in batches until GBD, that’s golden brown and delicious!

Set the chicken pie chunks aside in a separate bowl to the mushroom and bacon.  Now look at your pan.  The flour has left it looking crusty and impossible to clean, right?  Don’t despair.  This is what’s going to make the tastiest sauce ever.   Lower the heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Stir until all those browned bits dissolve into the wine.  Add the onion to the wine and let it soften for about 5 mins.  Then add the rest of the aromatics, the leek, carrot and celery, cover the pan and cook for about 10 mins. Add the left-over dredging flour and slowly stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice and zest.  Add the bacon, mushrooms and chicken back to the pan and allow to simmer for about ten minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool.

While the filling is cooling, preheat the oven to 180°C and then cut the pastry sheet in half and roll out two circles.  Line a greased, floured pie tin with one of the circles and, once the filling has cooled, fill the pie pan with half the filling. (Freeze the other half. )

Brush the pastry with egg wash and top the pie with the second circle of pastry.  Crimp the edges, cut a few “breathing holes” into the pastry and brush the top pastry with egg. Use the left over pastry bits to cut out shapes to decorate the top of the pie and pop it into the oven for 40 mins.

Once the pie is done, take it out of the oven and serve it with something fresh like a tomato salad and green peas to make you feel less like crying when you think of your cholesterol levels.

So, how did my pie compare?  Well thanks to the holy trinity of lemon, thyme and wine invoking memories of roast chicken, BH was impressed with the taste.  Adding bacon helped with this criterion, because bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better.  We scored well on chunks and the lack of bulking ingredients.  I’d like to take credit for the fact that BH liked the GBD pastry, but my friends at Jus-Rol, get credit for that.  In fact it was almost a clean sweep, but we were disqualified right at the end as there was insufficient judging material to judge the pie cold.  I guess I’ll just have to make another one, but I think that’s the way BH wants it.  Can I claim a moral victory?

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

The Banting Cook

Banting recipes – low carb, sugar free and gluten free. Banting recipes I have tried - those that have failed and those that have been a success! I am not a dietician, I'm just a gal who loves to cook banting food, and keep it as good as possible! Obviously all recommendations throughout this and other posts are not intended as an alternative, treatment, or prevention of diseases, medical treatments or advice. The reader takes full responsibility for counting nutritional information such as carbs, while trying any and all recipes :-)

Primal Perks

Passionately sharing info about the paleo/primal, high fat/low carb diet and lifestyle

With All My Affection

A Montreal Lifestyle Blog

Mrs Stanton's Makes

Bake. Craft. Review. Create.

China through the Eyes of a Chinese-American.

Trying to make my difference in the world by teaching English in underdeveloped China for the next two years as a Teach for China Fellow.

Carlygrey

Photography and Adventure - Greater Things to Come

The epicurean kitten

Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance, Epicurus

Whole to the Core Blog

Being fit and healthy. Living the Abundant Life

Kate's Travel Tales

A technological advance on quill and ink on parchment in airmail envelopes

Love.Food.Asia.

the taste of asia

alifemoment

Colourful Good Food & Positive Lifestyle

adorable life

eat,craft,travel,love...in short live your life and njoy

MY FRENCH HEAVEN

Food, Photography & Joie de Vivre

Nourishing Jessica

People who love to eat are always the best people

LOOK WHAT I MADE ...

A handcrafted life is a happy life.

Leni & Viv

Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Food Inspiration from Our House to Yours