Southern Deliciousness

Submitted by Christi

I’m always looking for things that I can have on hand to entertain when guests (expected and unexpected) drop by.

I have seen several puff pastry recipes lately that sound really yummy. I like having puff pastry around because it makes things easy and delicious.
Here is a recipe from Ina Garten:

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

* 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
* Good olive oil
* 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
* 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons dry white wine
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
* 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
* 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
* 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
* 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

Directions

Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

Okay, so, what if you took the puffed pastry and did the same treatment and varied the filling. You could change the size. Smaller for appetizers or bigger for a pizza type treatment.

How about changing the filling to:

  • honey, blue cheese and figs
  • pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes
  • marinara sauce, mozzarella and basil
  • cream cheese, ham and pineapple

This could go on and on.  This is what I would call great party fare! What would you put in the pastry?

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2

Be sure to check out all the wonderful recipes posted for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

Today’s Lagniappe: Ham and Cheese Tart
Another use for puffed pastry

2 sheets of frozen puffed pastry, thawed
1 stick of butter, softened
2 tablespoons creole or spicy mustard
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 to 1/2 lb. sliced ham
1/2 lb. sliced Swiss or Cheddar cheese (whichever you prefer)

Roll out one of the pastry sheets, smoothing out the seams. Combine the softened butter, mustard, onion and poppy seeds in a bowl. Spread the mustard mixture over the puffed pastry, leaving about an inch boarder. Layer the ham on top of the mustard mixture also leaving about a one inch boarder. Follow with the cheese slices the same way.

Roll out the second pastry sheet to fit the first sheet. Brush an egg wash on the border of the pastry sheet with the mustard, ham and cheese. Put the second pastry sheet on top of the first sheet with the mixture and seal using a fork. Cut a few slits in the top layer of pastry to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Cut in squares and serve.

10 Responses to “Southern Deliciousness”

  1. Pat Says:

    Sounds so good! Thanks so much for the recipes.

  2. Kristen Says:

    I would love a slice of that tart right now: YUM!

  3. Shirley Says:

    Sounds yummy.

  4. Elaine Says:

    Yes, I agree with you that having puff pastry on hand is great for entertaining. The goat cheese tarts look delicious and pretty simple too…oh and I like that you listed some variations too. Always good to have. Thanks.
    Elaine 🙂

  5. ButterYum Says:

    I love the keep puff pastry in the freezer… your tart sounds fabulous!

  6. Poppedijne Says:

    This is a true classic and they always taste very nice.

  7. Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut Says:

    What would I put in the pastry? I’d probably have to try all your variations — they all sound good!

  8. Mary Says:

    This is a delicious tart and I love the other suggestions you had for varying the filling and presentation. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  9. Mrs. P. Says:

    Any recipe that starts with puff pastry is a winner in my book, lol. This looks wonderful!

  10. Christi from Charm & Grace Says:

    Yum, yum. The pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes sound like a wonderful filling. I love your blog and particularly that you share these wonderful and delicious recipes with us!

    🙂 Happy weekend,
    (the other) Christi

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