Way back in the day, when I thought I could do anything with food, I decided to try to make my own puff pastry. It seemed silly to me to use cold butter, so I melted it and started rolling layer after layer of beautiful dough. I ended up with some pretty nice rolls, but no resemblance whatsoever to Puff Pastry or Croissants–no flaky layers at all! After doing some more research, I learned that the whole secret to the flakiness is the ice cold chunks of butter that you roll over and over into layer upon layer of papery goodness. And that the process sometimes takes hours. So much for the cooking “Genius”! That’s the day I discovered something God had made JUST FOR ME: Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry! If God wanted me to make my own, He never would have allowed that little white package in the frozen bread section to call out my name. That was sometime in the 80’s or 90’s, and we have been best friends ever since. Here are two nice appetizers I make with one package. (The pak contains two sheets)
1 sheet Prepared Puff Pastry (thaw according to pak directions)
Drizzle with olive oil and spread the oil lightly with a knife. On top of the OO, spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese. (Here you can be creative–any kind of spreadable cheese will do. I have even sprinkled grated white cheese as the bottom layer (see above). (Rondele is a nice option) On top of the cheese place sliced tomatoes in nice rows so that you can cut neat squares when serving. I have even sprinkled little chopped cherry tomatoes. Use your imagination. NOTE: I like to marinate the tomatoes in a nice Italian dressing for a little while before you place them. Not required, but it makes a nicer flavor profile.
On top of the tomatoes sprinkle some more parmesan or similar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees according to package directions. Cut into squares to serve.
HAM AND CHEESE PINWHEELS
1 sheet prepared Puff Pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm) Trader Joe’s has it too…
The picture above is the sheet before it is rolled up (like cinnamon rolls). Simply spread a thin layer of good mustard on the sheet, and top with a couple of layers of good ham and top that with grated cheese of your choice. Roll longways into a long log. Slice about 3/4″ wheels. Bake on a cookie sheet according to pak directions . May add a little more cheese to the tops before baking. Please feel free to change out any ingredients you like on this. Be creative! This is SO easy and SO delish……ask me how I know!