Puff Pastry must contain butter to be worth eating
There is real puff pastry that is made with butter, folded over and over, rolled out and folded again. The pastry puffs due to the layers that are made with the butter and flour, the folding and rolling, and refolding. Butter has some water and the steam releases to make it puff as it heats up. The not-so-real puff pastry that comes in flat sheets is made with shortening. It does not puff, nor does it taste particularly good, in my estimation. When it comes to cooking, I live and die by the words of Julia Child, “With enough butter, anything is good.” Goodness, I do miss her. Anyway, skip the stuff with shortening and find the puff pastry made with butter or DIY Puff Pastry.
In the US there is a brand called DuFour. It is available in the freezer section of most grocery stores in the dessert section. If you cannot find it, make it from the recipe listed above. You will be so glad you did. In Germany we found precut squares that were the prefect size for creating the many shapes that got stuffed in our kitchen.
And to give credit where credit is dues, this one was done by M2 (daughter for those of you who are not familiar with my children, Millennial 1 and Millennial 2).
Fill it up, but not to the brim
Puff pastry can be filled with all sorts of cheeses, vegetables and seasonings. Go to town on being creative and let us know what you created.
With simple everyday ingredients, adding puff pastry elevates it to entertaining or just making a little change to the evening meal routine. Some classic favorites made with puff pastry are Chicken Pot Pie, Asparagus Cheese Tart, Mushroom Vol Au Vent, and Lobster Pot Pie.
- 1 sheet all butter puff pastry (or see DIY Puff Pastry above)
- 2 fl oz/60 ml olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced
- 8 oz/225g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 oz/ 120g sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan.
Add sliced onions. Sauté until translucent.
Add zucchini and mushrooms. Add thyme. Cook until most of the moisture is gone and the vegetables are softened. Allow to cool before filling the puff pastry otherwise the butter will melt.
Preheat oven to 400°F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut puff pastry into 4' squares.
Roll out slightly to make into a 4.5" square.
Place several tablespoons of vegetables on the square and sprinkle with cheese.
Fold, roll or make pockets with the pastry (see the shapes M2 made above).
Place the filled puff pastry shapes on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown.
Serve with a salad, or sausages, should there be a carnivore at the table.