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