Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ode to Puff Pastry with Recepies

I love Puff Pastry because

when things turn from bad to worse -
my toddler is throwing a tantrum, my hubby is late from work, my cat ate too much grass outside and looks like he's going to choke -
when I'm completely and utterly exhausted to flip through cookbooks and take-out sounds as bad as it looks -
I take the pastry out and set it on the counter.
Then I retreat into my protective shell for about an hour (that's how long the pastry'll take to thaw).
Next I turn on my imagination and let recepies' stack take a short vacation from being thumbed through.
I chop and slice and mix and add a spice or two (or four) and some cheese.
The oven is preheated to 400 degrees (Farenheit).
I get back into my protective shell for a short 30-minute wait.
And then, as I take this beautiful pastry - savory or sweet or both - out of the oven, things miraculously change somehow.
My toddler is on his best behavior, my hubby is back from work and even my silly cat gives an appreciative "meow".

I love this flaky goodness - Puff Pastry!

Now is a good time for those recepies, don't you think? Well, last week I was running out of dinner ideas, time, and energy all at once. Besides, my fridge was nearly empty. I thought about making another pasta dinner. Well, I can live on pasta for weeks since there are so many yummy ways to serve it (more on this some other time). But my hubby thinks that 2 pasta dinners a week is plenty enough...

Anyway, I remembered that I had a package of Puff Pastry in the freezer with 2 puff pastry sheets in it. That'd be enough for a main course and a desert - perfect! So here's what I did:

Puff Pastry Savory Tart

I topped a sheet of puff pastry with thinly sliced purple onion, home-grown cherry tomatoes and basil, and fresh corn (sliced off the cob, of course). I sprinkled it with some leftover heavy cream and crumbled goat cheese.

Puff Pastry Desert Tart

I had a few tablespoons of ricotta cheese in the fridge (another stample I absolutely love) which I mixed with the remaining heavy cream, and a dash of cinnamon. I spread the mixture evenly on the puff pastry sheet. I then arranged the toppings - sliced grapes, fresh figs (not something we have regularly, but they were on sale), and chopped plums. I then drizzled some honey over the tart.

It took both tarts approximately 25 minutes in 400 degree oven. And they looked, smelled and tasted GRRRREAT! Needless to say, my toddler loved the idea of a "pizza" and a pie for dinner!

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