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Monday, November 23, 2009

Puff Pastry Pillow with Creamy Blue Cheese Filling - Blue Monday




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It was damp and blustery today, the kind of chill that burrows into marrow and sends shivers up the spine. We had been out and were wet and cold. Ever the provider and minder of the hearth, Bob lit a fire and made some toddies while I tended to a decidedly low-brow supper. I pulled tomato soup and puff pastry from the freezer and grabbed the last of our wonderful Crater Lake Blue from the cheese keeper. The intent was to make a meal we had often years ago. My younger persona was a purist who made everything from scratch. We won't speak today about how far I've fallen, it's enough to know that I planned to make something we had had before. Julia Child, in The French Chef Cookbook, had a recipe for French puff pastry that was made from instant-blend flour. It was used to form the base of a Roquefort Cheese Case that would make your socks go up and down. It was also my first experiment with puff pastry and like all of Julia's recipes, if you could see it through to the end, you were guaranteed success. Tonight, however, was not meant to be a test of nerve or skill. We wanted something delicious that could be enjoyed with grace and a modicum of effort at the low table in front of the fire. There would be no rolling or turns of pastry every hour on the hour. That effort was being circumvented by the use of commercial puff pastry. Not just any puff pastry mind you, I planned to use Dufour Classic Puff Pastry which is arguably better than any of its domestic competitors. So, a job that once took all day to accomplish could be done within an hour. Those of us who learned to cook with Julia love her, but we have all come across her maddening tendency to let you know halfway through a recipe that you now need a cup of veloute or mornay or brown sauce. Surprise! Back then recipes were not written with the clarity you see today. At any rate, this was one of those famous "Julia" recipes. Sure enough, halfway through her instructions you'll find you need a thick white sauce to make her Roquefort Cheese Case. Because I'm honoring Julia in the breech, I've modernized her lovely recipe and have include instructions for making white sauce within it and I am, of course, using commercial puff pastry for the shell. This makes a lovely first course or light entree. If you like any of the blue cheeses I think you'll love this recipe.

Puff Pastry Pillow with Creamy Blue Cheese Filling...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
Thick Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pastry Case:
1 (14-oz.) package thawed puff pastry sheets
Cheese Filling:
8-oz. blue or Roquefort cheese, crumbled
2/3 cup thick cream sauce
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) To make cream sauce, melt butter over low heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Blend in flour and cook slowly, until butter and flour cook together for 2 minutes without turning color. Whisk in milk; blend until smooth. Cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3) To make pastry case, lightly sprinkle work surface with flour. Roll one sheet of pastry to a rectangle that is 1/16-inch thick. Sprinkle cold water on a cookie sheet. Tap off excess. Transfer dough to cookie sheet. Roll out second sheet of dough. Let sit, covered, until needed. Prick center of dough at 1/4-inch intervals with a fork to keep dough flat while baking. Spread crumbled cheese down center of dough strip, leaving a 1-inch margin on all sides. Cover with cream sauce. Fold margins of dough up over filling on all four sides. Brush all margins with water. Cover with second strip of dough, trimming as required, and seal layers together, pressing firmly with fingers. Brush with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees F and bake 30 minutes longer. Serve hot. Yield: 6 servings.

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

48 comments :

Helene said...

This looks great. I love the idea of a Blue Cheese filling in Puff Pastry.

Coleen's Recipes said...

Fantastic photos!! I am not a blue cheese fan, but I can think of a lot of other cheeses I could use. This is a GREAT idea.

Anne Fannie said...

I want one of those, like right now!

Happy Blue Monday!

~Ann

My Little Space said...

Pastry bake always my favourite! I've taken this before and I should try to make these soon.

chubskulit said...

Mouth watering!

I have Blue Lips for BM. Happy Thanksgiving!

Federica said...

mmmm..davvero sfiziosi!

Joops said...

Creamy and Yummy!

Happy Thanksgiving! Please check out Our last days in Korea

Debinhawaii said...

How lovely and hoe decadent--I love blue cheese.

Hootin' Anni said...

Now THIS would go so well, just perfectly, with a hot steaming bowl of soup. Yes indeed!!!

I do hope your week will be great for you Mary....for you and your family. I send along with this comment, my best wishes for you and yours...happy Thanksgiving!!

gengen said...

wow this is a yummy one. Happy blue Monday.

Jane said...

This recipe not only looks wonderful, but sounds divine! Your writing is so colorful...I can almost feel the chill. So glad it's vicariously...

Enjoy the day!
Jane (artfully graced)

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Oh Mary!!! You've got me thinking about lunch already and it's only breakfast time! That puff pastry looks beautiful AND delicious! Thanks for sharing and...Have a Happy Blue Monday! Coralie

(Come read the story of my 13th birthday!)

Susan said...

Love your story from the past. This looks absolutely delightful. Beautiful.

JLS Hall (Joysweb) said...

Looks and sounds really delicious! It's been many years since I tried any of Julia's recipes, but I do remember those "surprise" moments midway through - always maddening but funny, too. Thanks for another yummy recipe, and Happy Blue Monday!

Knitty said...

That sounds delicious! Happy Blue Monday and Happy Thanksgiving!

Marice said...

awww this makes me really hungry!

u may view mine here

SmilingSally said...

Trust me to ask an obvious question, but how do you get that pretty impression on the top? Happy Blue Monday and have a Happy Thanksgiving, Mary.

George Gaston said...

Mary, sometimes the simplest of ingredients make the most delicious meal. I adore a hearty blue cheese and having it wrapped in warm puff pastry must truly warm the soul. Thanks for this wonderful comfort recipe.

June said...

I would say this definitely is a "perfect bite". I can't wait to make it, though I'll be with you in using pre-made puff pastry. Thanks so much.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Mary, this sounds like another winner. I can just taste how good this is. The thing I like best about coming to your blog is that you truly are an EXPERT on cooking. I don't think Julia has anything on you. And this modification sounds divine.

Happy Blue Monday to you and thank you for always giving us such great recipes and explaining things for our understanding. You make me feel as if I can cook and cook well! :-)

Happy Blue Monday...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Jamie said...

Mary, you are truly poetic in both your writing and your cooking. I have always loved both blue cheese and goat cheese in puff pastry - in france they are often sold in cheese shops - but have so wanted to make my own. Thank you for diddling around in the kitchen to give me a wonderful - and surely perfect - recipe. Beautiful as always!

Mary said...

Sally, you asked about the medallion in the center of the pillow. I rolled out dough scraps and cut the medallion with my apple slicer/corer.
I used some of the egg wash to attach it to the case.

Karen said...

Your blog actually makes me want to cook! I enjoy seeing what you come up with everyday. The puff pastry recipe looks so good. I'm going to try it!

Happy Blue Monday!

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

Hi Mary!

This sounds so delicious! Both hubby and I are big fans of a good blue cheese anything! LOL

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mimi said...

We love blue cheese and Julia. Great recipe.
Mimi

heartnsoulcooking said...

I love your blue cheese filling, what a GREAT!!! recipe.
Geri

ellen b. said...

Mary that just looks heavenly :0)
We love our blue cheese around here. Well hubby and I do...my kids think it stinks...
If I don't get around later this week have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

storyteller said...

Oh my ... these look and sound deliciously sinful and more work than I'm likely to put in the kitchen these days. I do wish you lived next door so I could smell and perhaps taste these lovely delicacies that you share. Thanks for your visits and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh my God that just looks heavenly!

The Food Hunter said...

looks delicious.

Maria Berg said...

I want to sitt there infront of the fire with you and try it but blue chess is not my cup of tea BUT I do have something for you,
http://mariaberg-foto.blogspot.com/2009/11/award-from-me-to-you.html

Love Maria

dhemz said...

am drooling...can I have some!

Judy said...

This looks wonderful. Who doesn't love blue cheese and puff pastry?

Karen Lasen said...

This looks wonderful and sounds even more so. Quick question - do you have a internet source for the Dufor's Puff Pastry?(all my local grocery stores carry Pepperidge Farm and there is no butter in them. Haven't been able to make the quick puff pastry recipe so I've been avoiding Napoleons, etc.
I'm in Washington State.

Mary said...

Kare, try this ....

http://www.dufourpastrykitchens.com/distribution.php

Vicki said...

Hi, Mary,
This sounds like a wonderful meal for you and your husband. The pastry looks so delicious. Pastries are a real weakness of mine. Thank you so much for stopping by Bunny Cottage. May you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving. Vicki

lk (Healthy Delicious) said...

holy cow that looks good!!!

Alessandra said...

I love puff pastry and blue cheese :-)
I also add greens (like cooked silver beet or spinach) in the filling (under the cheese).

I like the name 'pillow' :-)

jeanne said...

Hello Mary, thank you for your kind words and comments about my friend's son and now my cousin. I appreciate it so much. My friend's son is better and my cousin is sadly not going to make it.

Your post today is a very enjoyable read. I could use a hot toddy right now. As for the pastry it sounds perfect. We are a big fan of blue cheese. Mmmmmm so good. I think it is great that you take a Julia recipe and make it your own.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Hugs, Jeanne

. said...

Blue cheese filling...Aaaah!
Alfazema

Erica said...

Mary this looks so perfect. I've never had Blue Cheese filling before, but I love the idea. Thank you for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving....I can hardly wait to see what you are going to make. :-)

Karen said...

Puff pastry and blue cheese by the fire. What a perfect light meal. This sounds delicious and I always enjoy reading your stories :)

Beverly said...

Oh my goodness, Mary!

This is it. I'm telling my husband we are putting our home up for sale, and moving next door to you. ♥

Happy Thanksgiving.

pigpigscorner said...

The filling sounds great with the flaky pastry! yummy!

Lori said...

This looks so yummy. So artistic.

Katy ~ said...

This is pinky-in-the-air beautiful.

free online adventure games said...

Thanks for the story! I think a lot of us would feel less guilty about using a commercially bought puff pastry and not make from scratch. Gives a lot more encouragement to try this recipe. I love cheese!

Joy said...

That looks so yummy! Happy Blue Monday!

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