Puff Pastry Recipes

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Smoked Eggplant Tart Recipe Recipe

Smoked Eggplant Tart Recipe

06.05.13 by Jackie

I had one leftover smoked eggplant from the weekend. I used large, heavy, firm eggplants that I brushed with a bit of oil so the oil could absorb the smoky flavor from the hot charcoals. This evening, I peeled the paper-like skin and processed it with sesame chutney (til chutney in Urdu). I fried a shallot, added a little mound of butter, then added ground beef, fresh dill and tomatoes. This preparation made the perfect filling for a savory tart.

If you do not have a grill, you could replicate similar flavors using an Indian cooking method, which was my husband's grandmother's. Simply heat a piece of charcoal, preferably natural charcoal, directly over a flame until it's bright red and transfer it to small metal tin that you place in the center of a saucepan filled with the puréed eggplant. Drizzle a little oil over the hot coal to provide smoke, then immediately cover the saucepan with a lid to trap the smoke and let infuse into the spread.


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Grilled Eggplant Tartlet Recipe Recipe

Grilled Eggplant Tartlet Recipe

04.08.13 by Jackie

I love grilling vegetables. They can be served as is as a side dish or coarsely chopped in a salad. They also can act as the basis of flavorful spreads. Recently, I opted for the latter and created a smoky eggplant spread flavored with onion, garlic, grape molasses, tahini, a few herbs and sea salt; to ensure the eggplant would blend smoothly in the food processor, I added delicious Chardonnay cider I discovered at Trader Joe's. The result is out of-this-world delicious. You could stop the work right there and serve the spread in a bowl with lavash bread or pita bread, but I fancied it up by using it as a filling in mini-tartlets

This appetizer is not only cute, it's very easy to prepare. I let the girls prepare the eggplant spread and assemble the one bite-sized appetizers while I was preparing dinner.  I had two goals in mind. First, it kept them occupied and they had fun at the same time, instead of asking "is dinner ready yet?" The second main reason is that now since they now know how to make this, they can help out with very little supervision whenever we have guests over. I find it very valuable to get the girls involved in the kitchen. They appreciate food more when they know where it came from, and as I keep reminding them, they'll be thankful to know basics when they're on their own at college. 


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Bouchee a la Reine Recipe (Vol Au Vent Pastry Recipe) Recipe

Bouchée à la reine is a classic in French cuisine. You might also have heard the same dish called "vol-au-vent". During the holidays, it's often filled with sweetbreads and morel mushrooms, which is exactly what I did in this recipe. 

Sweetbreads, known as "ris de veau" in French, are a delicacy and are almost impossible to ruin or overcook. The outer part is crisp and the inside remains soft, fine and tender. If you're looking for a special meal for the holidays, this might be it!


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Crimini Mushroom Tart with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Earlier this week, Kris from Full Circle offered to let our family try out their farm-to-table delivery service. This evening right after yoga class, I received our first harvest order and I couldn't wait to cook with these farm-fresh ingredients. My husband Lulu harvested ripe tomatoes from our garden and it couldn't have been a nicer coincidence than to pair them with the crimini mushrooms and green onions that were in the Full Circle container. I cooked the onions and mushrooms in freshly-made beet juice and roasted the tomatoes in garlic and fresh thyme. I didn't have any pastry dough in the freezer so I improvised one using an old recipe. The result is a healthy, tasty savory tart; it came as no surprise, since the best quality ingredients were used!

What you see in the photo is what I received for $41.95. If you want to try out Full Circle which just launched in the Bay Area, take advantage of the LivingSocial sneak peek promotion: "If everyone who wanted easy, healthy meals raised their hands, the vote would be unanimous. Clap those hands for today's deal from Full Circle: Pay $10 for a Seed farm box of fresh, local, and organic produce, which is about 15 to 20 servings (regularly $21); $13 for a Sprout farm box, about 20 to 25 servings (regularly $26); $16 for a Garden farm box, about 30 to 40 servings (regularly $32); or $21 for a Harvest farm box, about 45 to 50 servings (regularly $42). The customized farm box can be delivered to your door or picked up in cities throughout the Bay Area. Full Circle works with local organic and family-owned farms throughout Northern California. You don't have to stretch your arm toward the sky, because with this deal, those easy, healthy meals are well within reach." Give it a try and sign up!

Full Circle

 


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Caramelized Banana Tart with Hazelnut Cream Recipe

It's Persian New Year! I was at my local Persian grocery store today and I noticed an abundance of whole hazelnuts being sold. They looked beautiful, so I bought a large bag of nuts, which were eaten fairly quickly by all the family. I turned the remaining nuts into a fine mill and made frangipane tarts in the evening.

To make the dessert look ultra fancy without being too complicated, I topped the hazelnut cream with bruléed bananas. Caramelizing the bananas brought out additional flavors that really complemented the hazelnut cream and the flaky puff pastry.

My cousin's husband Hoss from Ohio is Persian, so we called him to send him our best wishes. But unfortunately, he changed his number and didn't tell us. The person who picked up was utterly confused. So Hoss, if you're reading this, "Happy Nowruz"!


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