Jul 26, 2008

The magic of Puff Pastry

Puff Pastry is one of my favorite things to work with. It can make almost anything seem more difficult than it really is. You can find Puff Pastry in your local grocery store by the frozen fruits and pies. Make sure you don't confuse Phyllo Dough for Puff Pastry - they are NOT the same. Keep some in your freezer and you can whip up a delicious dinner or lunch in no time. Below I will share two of my favorite Puff Pastry recipes (more to come later I assure you).

Creamy Spinach and Chicken Puff

I loved this growing up. I have adapted it slightly to make it a little more delicious.

1 large chicken breast, filleted (sliced length wise to prevent it from being too thick)
1 10oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1 pkg cream cheese
1 sheet of Puff Pastry

Serves 4
Prepare your pastry sheet according to the package directions (usually it has to thaw for a time). On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pastry dough to make it slightly larger and to smooth the bumps it has from being folded. Try to keep it in a rectangle shape. Next, mix well the drained spinach with the cream cheese. Set aside. Take your filleted chicken pieces and lay them down the center of your dough, the long way, so that they only slightly over lap in the middle. Then cover chicken with creamy spinach mixture. Fold up the sides of your dough over the mixture so that they over lap. Press to seal (can use a little water too). It should look like a long tube. Pinch down the short ends to prevent anything from spilling out. Carefully transfer (could do this before assembling too) onto a baking sheet. I usually use stoneware for this. I have heard to lay it seam side down, but if it isn't sealed well, you could have a mess on your hands. I just leave the seam up. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or more. What you are looking for is a good rise and puff from your pastry. If it hasn't puffed, give it more time.

Ham and Cheese Puff

This recipe was one I could have sworn I saw in Kraftfoods Magazine. But I looked all over their site and couldn't find it. So I put together what I thought the general idea was, and came up with a pretty good lunch or appetizer.

1 Puff Pastry sheet
Sliced ham from the deli
chive and onion cream cheese
Dijon mustard (optional)

Serves 2-3 for lunch or more for an appetizer
As above, prepare your pastry according to directions (usually has to thaw). On a slightly floured surface, roll out your dough to lengthen (keep rectangle shape) and work out most of the creases. Spread with a layer of cream cheese. Top with ham slices. Make sure to leave an edge all around your pastry. You then could spread a very thin layer of Dijon mustard over the ham, if you know everyone eating likes mustard. You could use regular mustard too if you prefer. I usually leave it plain and then put mustard on myself later in case someone doesn't like it. So now roll up the dough tightly, making it one long log. Cut the ends off. Then slice 1-2 inches wide down the whole roll. They should look like pin wheels. Place on a cookie sheet to bake. Bake 400 degrees for about 30 or more minutes. These won't puff as much as the above recipe, but they will puff a little. Look for the pastry to be cooked and crisp. Serve with a fruit salad and mustard to dip!

1 comment:

littlefamilyJLD said...

These sound so good, Rachael!
I'm excited to find some more recipes on your blog. I only wish you were closer so I could be your taste-tester!