Showing posts with label puff pastry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label puff pastry. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Apple Leek Tart #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: You may have noticed recently that I’m on a puff pastry kick. It’s yummy stuff, easy to work with, and it produces great visuals. Plus, I had a handful of coupons for the Pepperidge Farm frozen stuff and stumbled into a sale. Thus are obsessions nurtured.

A couple of Sundays ago, I had the idea for this tart, using only ingredients we had on hand. Emboldened by the success of the plum tart a few weeks back, I didn’t search out a recipe, creating this myself. So if you want to use what you have on hand, consider yourself free to vary it any way you’d like!

A note about the spices: I was given a box of blends from World Spice Merchants, the fabulous shop in Seattle just below the Pike Place Market that so influences my Spice Shop mysteries. I wanted something with an earthy, fall-like taste, a bit of a kick, and maybe a hint of cinnamon, which pairs so nicely with both onions and apples. So I started opening jars, sniffing, and sticking in a finger. I settled on Besar, also known as bzar, from Emirati cuisine, which Amanda Bevill, owner of World Spice, describes in her cookbook, World Spice at Home, as a “savory and aromatic” blend of cinnamon, cumin, fennel, coriander, black pepper, guajillo chili flakes, and turmeric. (There is a recipe for Besar in the book.) A classic Garam Masala would be equally lovely, as would a curry or a tablespoon of Italian herb blend. Or just use a good quality cinnamon, perhaps with a pinch of cayenne or another red pepper.

The frozen pastry takes 20-30 minutes to thaw; you can thaw it while you get out your other ingredients and saute the veggies. I used a spring leek (in October—go figure) and Red Delicious apples. Hey, I fought the bear for them, I’m using them! But any firm apple would do nicely. The prosciutto is entirely optional.

Serve with a green salad. I liked it with a light Chardonnay, but a Pinot Gris or a light red would be nice, too.

Bon appetit!

This is a busy month for new releases here at the Kitchen! Congratulations to:
Krista Davis, for Not a Creature Was Purring (Wagtail #5, Berkley);
Daryl Wood Gerber, An Eclair to Remember (series debut, Crooked Lane); and 
Sheila Connolly, A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11, Berkley), and the trade paperback of Cruel Winter (Crooked Lane, County Cork Mystery #5)

Apple Leek Tart

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and rolled smooth
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, sliced
½ white or yellow onion, chopped
2 small or 1 large apple, cored and sliced
1 teaspoon Besar, Garam Masala, or cinnamon with a pinch of cayenne
3 slices (3X8") prosciutto, cut in ribbons
½ cup shredded Gruyere

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the oil in a medium pan. Saute the leek, onion, and apple until the onions are translucent; the leeks should still have color and the apples beginning to soften. Add the spices and mix.

Roll the pastry dough just enough so soften the fold lines. Lay it in your baking sheet. Top with the vegetables, leaving a half inch frame around the edges. Bake 15 minutes. Cover with the prosciutto and grated cheese; bake 5 more minutes. Cheese should be melted and pastry lightly golden on the bottom. Let rest about 5 minutes before cutting and serving, to let the layers settle. Cut in sixths.

Serves 3, because you'll want two pieces! It could also be cut in smaller pieces for an appetizer.











From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mummy Pizza Puffs #Halloween #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: We've never made a big deal of Halloween at our house, but now that we know how easy these mummies are to make and how yummy to eat, that may change!

We own the one decoration, painted by a former secretary’s sister eons ago. Our community is wide-spread and rural, so the village – aka downtown – hosts the children, who roam from shop to shop collecting treats in the late afternoon, where they are safe and much enjoyed. I confess to being among the adults who make a point of going downtown to watch the fun. Toddlers who can barely walk make adorable jack o’lanterns and butterflies, and I love seeing the older children’s imaginations on parade.

Last year, my offering was the Veggie Skeleton with Brain Dip, and before that, Jewel Bay Critter Crunch, from Butter Off Dead, the third Food Lovers' Village Mystery.

Puff pastry, on the other hand, is a family fave. It’s super easy to use, yummy, and always looks like it took more work than it actually did, a bonus in my book. These mummies made us howl with laughter, and what beats that?

This recipe came from the Pepperidge Farm newsletter. As Krista said of her Scary Scones, it's all about the eyes! Or maybe, for this recipe, the guts.

Happy Halloween!

Mummy Pizza Puffs

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
6 tablespoons red spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
18 slices pepperoni
12 slices pitted ripe black olives


Heat the oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Sprinkle the flour on a cutting board. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the floured cutting board; roll lightly to smooth the seams. Cut sheet into 3 rectangles, along the fold lines. Cut each rectangles in half crosswise, making 6 (about 3x5-inch) rectangles. Place the rectangles onto the baking sheet.

Spread 1 tablespoon sauce on each pastry, smoothing it to the edges. Top each with about 2 tablespoons cheese and 3 slices pepperoni.

Unfold the remaining pastry sheet on the floured cutting board and smooth with rolling pin. Cut into 3 rectangles along the fold lines. Stack the 3 rectangles and cut crosswise into 12 strips, each about 3/4-inch wide.

Arrange 6 pastry strips on each pastry, placing them slightly askew over the filling to resemble a mummy's bandages. Seal the edges as best you can; don’t worry about this detail, because they will pop open anyway and look hilarious. Brush the mummies with the egg mixture. Place 2 olive slices on each mummy for the eyes.

Bake for 22-25 or until the pastries are golden brown, checking to be sure the bottoms are golden. Let the mummies cool on the baking sheet or on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Makes 6 mummies. (And who's been able to say that since the last pharoah died?)

P.S. from Mr. Right: Reheat mummies on the stove in a covered pan, 3-5 minutes. The pastry will stay crisp and heat through. The same trick works for left-over pizza and french fries.









Happy Haunting!

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Hobo costume circa 1968. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper #recipe @LeslieBudewitz


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I can hear you from here. "Plums, with black pepper?” you’re asking, that note of incredulity in your voice.

Yep. Black pepper. You’ll barely taste it or the sea salt, unless you badly overdo them. So why use them? The seasonings pair beautifully to accentuate the tart-sweet flavor of the plums.

About the amount of sugar: The original recipe, which came from Bon Appetit, called for 1/4 cup sugar. Wildly too much! I used about two teaspoons—we like our baked fruit a little on the tart side, and I knew from the bite I’d snitched while cutting the plums that these were a little on the sweeter side. I used Italian prune plums, because that’s what we had. Red plums would also be lovely, as would apricots. If you like your fruit a little sweeter, or your plums are quite tart, you could toss them with the sugar in a bowl until you get the taste just right.

The original recipe also didn’t say anything about rolling out the pastry. Now, I’m no math whiz, but even I know you can’t get 6-4" squares out of a 9X10" sheet of pastry. It’s easy to roll out a bit lengthwise; you won’t need to roll much.

This is a super yummy addition to brunch, though it could also be a dessert. Your choice! Puff pastry is quite easy to work with---don't be daunted! Just remember to let it thaw at room temperature 30-40 minutes before you try to use it.

The Pepperidge Farm puff pastry packages have been coming with a 75 cent coupon in them, so I’ve been buying up the stuff when I spot a decent price. Expect more puff pastry recipes in the next few months!

Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 pound plums, pitted, cut into ½" wedges (If you’re using Italian plums, cut in quarters)
1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Roll the thawed pastry into a sheet roughly 9" X 12". Cut in half from the short side, then in thirds along the long side, so you have six squares, roughly 4" X 4". Place the squares on your baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Top with plums, leaving a ½" border. Sprinkle with sugar; season with a few grinds of pepper. (I used 3-4 on each tart.)

Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through, until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Just before serving, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Makes 6.











From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Italian Easter Pie Palmiers: Little Heart-Shaped Quiches by Cleo Coyle




Every year at Pasqua, my beloved Aunt Mary would make an Italian Easter Pie. Her version of this rustic pie was amazing to me because it was so satisfying yet so simple. She called it a "pizza," but Americans would recognize it as closer to a white calzone.

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She would fill her rustic Easter pie with ricotta; diced ham; fresh parsley (always fresh!); strong, grated Italian cheese; and raw eggs for binding. She'd mix up a delicious, slightly sweet dough using just her hands on a big bread board. Then she'd roll our the dough, mound in the filling, fold over the dough, seal it, and bake it. After it was baked and chilled (yes, chilled!), we would cut thin slices and eat it at all hours, for breakfast, lunch, snacks, as an appetizer before dinner, or a savory dessert after.

My Aunt
Mary Capaccio
I greatly miss my Aunt Mary. She came to the USA from Italy with my mother. During my childhood, she lived with us and was like a second mother to me and my sister. Aunt Mary passed away over ten years ago, and I still yearn for all the wonderful foods she made for our family. Although I do try to duplicate her recipes, it's the cooking from her heart that I miss the most.

That's why I am once again sharing this Easter recipe with you today, which folds all the flavors of her Easter Pie into a little palmier. The French palmier (a cookie made of sugar-dusted puff pastry) is actually named after a palm leaf, but the shape reminds me more of a heart and that seemed just perfect for my memory of Aunt Mary and her Easter Pie. 

I can also testify that a bite of this palmier (after it is baked and chilled) will give you an almost identical taste to what my aunt made every Easter.

Buona Pasqua, Aunt Mary!

Happy Easter, everyone!

~ Cleo



To download this recipe 
in a free PDF document 
that you can print, save, 
or share, click here.


Cleo Coyle's Italian 

Easter Pie Palmiers


Little Heart-Shaped Quiches


Makes 10 savory palmiers

Serve as an appetizer or snack; taste can be compared to a quiche.


Ingredients

1 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk)
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley (fresh!), finely chopped down to 1/4 c.
1 sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (or 10 x 10-inch homemade)
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 thin slices of good quality ham or prosciutto

Method

Step 1: Mix the filling - In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, grated Romano, and finely chopped fresh parsley. (I just use a good handful, which is about 1/2 cup. When you chop it finely, the volume measure goes down to 1/4 cup.) This filling should be very well mixed--be sure to work in all of the grated cheese and parsley. Set aside in the fridge to keep it cold.

Step 2: Prepare the pastry - Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The paper is mandatory. Not only will it help prevent your palmiers from scorching on your pan's hot spots, it will help you fold the puff pastry when the time comes. Lay the puff pastry out on the parchment paper. Use your favorite recipe or go with the Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry sheets. If you've never used these before, see the photo below...


Two folded sheets of puff pastry come in one package. Take out one sheet and allow it to thaw about 30 minutes (or you can cheat and microwave it on low for no more than 10 seconds to thaw it slightly). Now unfold the dough. If there are any cracks, wet your finger and press the dough together to mend it. TIP: Handle the dough as little as possible and keep it cold during the assembly process by returning it to the fridge to re-chill.

Step 3: Brush and layer - Lightly beat the egg and brush it over the entire sheet of puff pastry. Then mound the ricotta cheese mixture onto the egg-washed pastry. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the filling into an even layer. Now lay your thin slices of ham (or prosciutto) over the top layer of ricotta and fold.



Step 4: Fold - You want to fold this 10 x 10-inch sheet like a letter, into thirds, and then a final time so that the two folded layers are stacked. I like to use the parchment paper to lift and fold, which prevents my hands from warming the puff pastry.





Step 5: Chill and slice - Chill the dough for at least 20 minutes and then cut into 1-inch slices. 

WARNING: The chilling is necessary for the best result. If the dough is warm, it will begin to give and bend as you cut it, and you're palmiers will not hold their pretty shapes. Set the slices on their sides, leaving room between each to allow space for expansion while baking.

Step 6 - Bake and cool - Bake 15 to 20 minutes in an oven that is well pre-heated to 400 degrees F. The Easter Pie Palmiers are done when the pastry has puffed and turned golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the palmiers to cool a bit before carefully transferring to a rack. Allow these savory goodies to cool to room temperature before eating. If you want to experience the true taste of a traditional Italian Easter Pie, then chill these a bit in the fridge, take them out, and...eat with joy! Love, Cleo





To download this recipe
in a free PDF document,
click here, and...



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Happy Easter, Everyone!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 


Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

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