Party Pastry Pieces

 

Party Pastry Pieces

I may have talked these up a little there – really these are just great little Hors d'Œuvres made from pastry.  This is another hand-written recipe found in the back of a recipe book – I think from my Mum from the early 1980s.  Commercial Puff Pastry is a wonder of the modern age and not to be sniffed at.  The skill and time required to make true puff pastry with that densely buttery French flavour is simply unattainable for most of us – so where is the shame in buying a good quality fresh or frozen puff pastry?  The trick is to dress up your horses doovers (as we call them) so they are appealing, a bit different and above all delicious.  Below are a few options working with the basic puff pastry base.  Keep the pastry cold while working then bake in a hot oven (200-220°C) and you will get a great result with little effort!

Pesto Pinwheels

1 sheet Puff Pastry
2 tablespoons pesto (traditional or tomato pesto, or both to make red and green pinwheels)
3 tablespoon parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Nigella seeds
 

Lay the pastry sheet flat, spoon over the pesto and sprinkle on the cheese.
Along one edge, add a line of Nigella seeds.  Roll the pastry from that edge (to ensure the seeds are in the middle) keeping the pinwheel quite tight.

Cut into ½ cm rounds then refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until required.
Baste with a little oil and cook in a hot oven for 5-8 minutes, or until golden and puffed up.

 

Salami Squares

These are a great drinks Hors d'Œuvres as they are salty and delicious.  As they cook the fat from the Salami bastes the pastry, infusing it with deep flavour.

2 sheets of Puff Pastry
Salami rounds - Very finely sliced, preferably the small diameter salami
Fresh oregano leaves
1 Spanish onion, cut into rings
Olive oil (herb-infused is great)

Cut the pastry sheets into quarters.  Brush lightly with olive oil.

Place a round of salami on each square of pastry.  Place an onion ring and an oregano leaf onto each pastry.

Bake in a hot oven until just browned.

 

  Tomato Feta Parcels

Tomato, Feta and Olive Parcels
 

2 sheets of Puff Pastry
100 grams Feta cheese
2 ripe tomatoes, or semi-dried tomatoes
16 black olives, halved
Basil leaves

 
Cut the pastry sheets into quarters.  Brush lightly with olive oil.

Place a piece of tomato on each square and crumble over some Feta.  Add the olives and a few torn basil leaves.
 
Fold the corners of the pastry up into a little parcel, pinching them together in the middle.

Brush with a little extra oil and bake in a moderately hot oven for 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of your parcels.  Allow the pastry to brown slightly.

 

 

Bacon and Cheese Triangles

 
2 sheets of Puff Pastry
2 rashers of bacon, cut into strips
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons vintage cheddar cheese
Black pepper
Sprigs of thyme
Melted butter

Fry off the bacon and onion in a little oil then allow to cool. 
Cut the pastry sheets into quarters and spread over the mustard and a little pepper.  Add a teaspoon of the bacon mix to each square and top with the cheese.

 
Fold the corners of the pastry over into a triangle and use a fork to press the edges down well.  Cut a few little slits into the top of the pastry, brush with melted butter and scatter over the thyme leaves.

Bake in a moderately hot oven for 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of your parcels.  Allow the pastry to brown slightly.

 

 

Prawn and Chive Parcels

A little posher than the others....

1 sheet of Puff Pastry
12 Large prawns
4 thin slices of prosciutto, each cut into thirds
3 spring onions, cut lengthways into matchsticks
Bunch of chives, cut into matchsticks
Nigella seeds
Zest of a lemon
Melted butter
 

Cut the pastry sheets in half, then into ribbons about 3cm wide.

 
Par-cook the prawns in a little melted butter until they are only just starting to lose opacity, allow to cool.
On each ribbon of pastry add first a piece of prosciutto at 90° to the pastry strip (form a cross).

Add a prawn onto the prosciutto, then a piece of spring onion a little lemon zest and a few chive matchsticks.
Roll the pastry strip around the parcel, folding it over like a ribbon and holding the ingredients in place.

Baste with a little melted butter and sprinkle on a couple of Nigella seeds.

Bake in a hot oven until the pastry is well puffed and golden.

 

 

Camembert and Salmon cups

 
If you have a mini muffin tray, now is the time for it to shine!

2 sheets of Puff Pastry
150 grams smoked salmon
150 grams Camembert or Brie cheese
Chives, finely chopped
Capers
 

Cut the pastry into rounds and press into greased tray.
 

To each cup add a small piece of salmon, sitting slightly proud of the cup.  Then add a small piece of cheese, a few chives and a caper.  Bake in a hot oven until the cups puff up and are slightly golden.
 

These are best made in a mini muffin tray or patty pan tray, however you can make them flat on a baking sheet – just use a tiny amount of cheese or it will run everywhere.

 

 Bacon and Mushroom Squares

Bacon and Mushroom Squares

 
2 sheets of Puff Pastry
6 button mushroom, very finely sliced
Shaved parmesan cheese
2 rashers of bacon, very finely chopped
Few spinach leaves, finely chopped
Thyme sprigs

 

Cut the pastry sheets into quarters, roll the edges of the squares up slightly to form a rim.

Sprinkle over the parmesan, a few pieces of bacon and a little pepper. 

Place a couple of pieces of mushroom, spinach and few thyme leaves on each square.

Bake in a hot oven until slightly golden.