Posts Tagged ‘Pastry’

Kale and Swiss Cheese Quiche

March 12th, 2012

Kale and Swiss cheese quiche

Oh, quiche.  I love you so, and yet I rarely make you.  I don’t know why, as you aren’t exactly a complicated dish to prepare.  Bake some pastry, saute some veggies, whisk some eggs, and voila!  Dinner (after a quick stint in the oven) is served!

1 round of pastry (see here for my usual recipe)
3 cups finely chopped kale
1 leek, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3 tbsp flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk

Roll out your pastry and fit it into the bottom of a pie pan.
Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes at 400º while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cook the kale and leeks in the olive oil until softened – about 7 minutes.
Mix the veggies, cheese, seasoning and flour in a large bowl.
Take the pie crust out of the oven and lower the temperature to 350º.
Pat the cheese and veggie mix into the bottom of the pie.
In the same bowl you used for the veggies and cheese, whisk together the eggs and milk.
Slowly pour the egg mixture over the quiche fillings.  At this point, you can also sprinkle on some bonus cheese, if desired.
Bake the quiche for 30-40 minutes, or until the egg at the middle is set.

Goat Cheese, Pea and Pesto tarts

July 31st, 2011

Goat cheese, garlic and pea tarts

Sometimes random, leftover ingredients can come together to make the tastiest little dishes.  This was one of those times.  I had a handful of fresh market peas, some local goat cheese and half a package of puff pastry sitting in my fridge.  Pulled together with some of last week’s garlic scape pesto, they make a delightful little appetizer.

Half a block of puff pastry
Garlic scape pesto (basil pesto would do in a pinch)
Soft goat cheese
Fresh peas

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the block of puff pastry into a 12×9 inch rectangle.
Slice the rectangle into 12 equal squares.
Spoon a scant teaspoon of pesto onto the centre of each square.  Top with another teaspoon of goat cheese, then sprinkle on some peas.
Fold two opposite corners of the square into the centre, covering the toppings.  Fold the other two in the same way.
Gently lift the tarts into the cavities of a muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Let cool on a cookie rack before serving.

Pesto Palmiers

April 14th, 2011

Shower snacks

Last weekend, I played the chef for a friend’s bridal shower.  We were expecting around 25 people and I wanted the food to be bright, springy, but most importantly, easy to prepare.  I opted for a trio of dips – hummus, baba ganoush and a creamy salsa – and a few little pastry nibbles.  The bride-to-be’s aunt hosted the party and made her signature Greek salads-on-a-stick.

My favourite snack of the afternoon, both in terms of its ease of preparation and its tastiness upon completion, were the pesto palmiers.  A single brick of Tenderflake puff pastry makes about 3 dozen palmiers.  I made two bricks-worth, which was enough for the party and even a few leftovers – those were saved for the next day, quickly re-baked, and served with big pints of beer.  Delish.

1 brick frozen puff pastry
1 jar good quality pesto

Thaw the puff pastry overnight in the fridge.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out a 10×12 inch rectangle of pastry.
Spread a thin layer of pesto on top of the pastry, going right out to the edges.
Fold each of the long edges of the rectangle 1 inch towards the middle.  Repeat until the folded parts meet together in the centre, then fold one on top of the other.  You should have a long, somewhat V-shaped, rolled-up log of pastry, with the pesto on the inside.
Slice the log into 1/3 inch slices.  Lay the slices out on a baking sheet, making sure to leave plenty of room for expansion.
Bake the palmiers at 375ºF for about 8 minutes, or until just turning golden brown.

Notes:
Here’s a super-cute French video that shows the recipe for the original, sweet version of these palmiers:

 

Asparagus Tart with Goat Cheese

April 10th, 2011

Asparagus tart

What to do with a bunch of asparagus and some leftover whole wheat pastry dough?  Make a lunchtime tart, of course.  This came together very simply – a quick rolling of dough, sprinkling of cheese, laying out of the asparagus and it was ready to pop in the oven to bake.  The resulting combination of flaky pastry, gooey cheese and nutty asparagus was perfect with a side green salad and a cup of hot tea.

1 batch whole wheat pastry dough
1 bunch of thin asparagus spears
1/2 cup shredded goat cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
salt & pepper

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough.  You want a rectangle large enough to hold the long asparagus spears.
Roll up the four edges of the rectangle, creating a low border to hold in the cheese.
Sprinkle on the goat cheese, lay out the asparagus, then top with the Asiago and a fresh grinding of salt and pepper.
Bake at 375º for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
Cut into quarters and serve.

Notes:
The pastry will be flakiest if you leave the dough in the fridge overnight and roll it from very, very cold.  Don’t overwork the dough when rolling or it will be tough.
The goat cheese I used is a hard cheese, more like a Swiss than a feta.  It is infused with garlic and nettle, which adds to the flavour of the tart.  If you’re using plain goat cheese, I’d add a sprinkling of fresh thyme along with the salt and pepper to add some smoky depth to the tart.

Blogiversary Pie

August 19th, 2010

Stone fruit pie with ice cream

Today marks my sixth blogiversary.  I started up this site on August 19th, 2004.  It began under the name “Paige’s Kitchen” and was basically just a way to archive my recipes and share them with friends.  With the addition of WordPress and some splashy colour photos, the blog became what it is today.  It’s been quite the adventure, and I look forward to seeing where I go with it in the future.

Now go make some peach pie.

1 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
4-5 tbsp icy cold water

2 peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
2 nectarines, cut into chunks
4 apricots, cut into chunks
1 cup raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white flour
1 tsp ginger

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the largest pieces are the size of small peas.
Add the cold water and toss together gently with a fork.
Turn the pastry out onto a floured counter and gently knead into a ball.
Roll the pastry out into a rough circle and slip into a pie plate.

In another bowl, stir together all the fruit and filling ingredients.
Dump the filling into the pie crust and flip over the edges, leaving the middle of the pie exposed.  (see below)
Bake for 40 minutes at 375º or until edges are golden brown.
Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving with ice cream.

Summer pie

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