Thursday, October 22, 2009

Speaking of Hor d’oeuvres…

I have a friend who has a “girl’s night in” every summer in her backyard. She asks everyone to bring either a bottle of wine or a hor d’oeuvre. Her backyard is beautiful. The weather is beautiful. The company is great. I look forward to this party every year. I usually opt to bring an hor d’oeuvre. One year I brought this brie dip, and another year I brought some Giadia’s red pepper aioli. This year I couldn’t decide what to bring, so I brought two different hor d’oeuvres. Both chorizo puffs and sun-dried tomato pesto palmiers looked good to me.

A friend recommended Hors D’oeuvres by Eric Treuille and Victoria Blashford-Snell. I love this book! It is set up in a way so you can mix and match—If you don’t like the filling of a certain recipe, you can exchange it with another recipe. I think it is the potential of this book that I love so much. That being said, I didn't change the recipe much.
Chorizo Puffs
I love working with patachou dough. It is easy and delicious. I usually make traditional “cheese puffs” with Gruyere cheese, but chorizo makes most anything taste good, so I couldn’t resist this recipe. I did add some cheddar cheese to change the recipe up a bit.
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter
3 eggs
¼ lb Spanish (cooked) chorizo, casing removed and finely chopped.
½ cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place water, salt and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a boil and remove from heat. Add the flour to the pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until combined. Return the pan to the heat and beat until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute. Remover the pan from the heat and beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure that each egg is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next one. Beat until the mixture is smooth, glossy and slightly sticky. Stir the chorizo and cheese into the pastry. You can then drop the dough in teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, or you can do it like I do and put the dough into a zipper bag, cut a small hole on the corner of the bag, and pipe the dough onto the greased baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Makes about 35.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Palmiers
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (reserve oil), and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tablespoon reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water
Preheat oven to 400°F. For the pesto mix tomatoes, garlic, reserved oil and 2 tablespoons Parmesan until well combined. Roll the pastry to 6X14-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges with a sharp knife. Spread the pesto evenly over the pastry. Roll up ends tightly to meet in the middle of pastry. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Brush with beaten egg on all sides. Cut crosswise into ½ -inch-thick slices. Place slices on a greased baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden, 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan when hot from oven. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 20.

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