Foodiva's Kitchen: Puffed Up Lurrvve Pastry

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Puffed Up Lurrvve Pastry

I just looked back at my last three posts and these are what I made and blogged about:
  1. a purple-colored pie,
  2. black-colored sushi, and 
  3. frozen pink-red colored fruit named after a fiery animal!
Pretty random, don't you think? Ahh yes, colorful too. I very much like to play with color, and the natural colors of food allow me to go crazy with my some of my, ahem, creations. Then there's the taste factor. I have to make sure the flavors go together too, and not just have a visually enticing dish. Otherwise, my nibbles will be like those 3rd and 4th runners-up in beauty pageants... unmemorable and never to be heard of again.

Yesterday, I decided to experiment with puff pastry, not for the first time but probably the first time in many moons, or light years. Long time ago, anyway. I made it from scratch (yeah, I wish!) store-bought frozen puff pastry. For the record, I have NEVER attempted to make puff pastry in my entire life. The thought of rolling, folding, rolling, layering the butter in between the dough sheets over and over and over again scares the apron off of me! I mean, I can't even pronounce the darn dough in French - Pâte feuilletée - my eyes read the words, yes, but my brain and mouth wouldn't compute. My tongue just cannot seem to wrap itself around all those dashes, umlauts and silent "e"s and "l"s. The fact that I never progressed beyond the Beginner's Level at the Alliance Francaise has something to do with this, I suppose. I totally reek in French, sad... because I do love their culture, food, chicness and all that. 

Diva D, my fellow home dweller, on the other hand, HAS made puff pastry in our Red Kitchen! This momentous occasion took place a few weeks ago, and although the puff pastry was not perfect, she was very patient and persistent in her efforts. Below was the result - breakfast Croissants. Completely unglazed, because I'd forgotten to remind her about this step... 

The pastry was light and flaky and was simply fab! I was both proud (that Diva D did it on her own with only a cookbook and YouTube as references) and ashamed (that I still can't get over my puffpastryphobia). How did it get to be this way? 

That was a slight detour from my recipe for this post. Yesterday, I had sent some of these baked puff pastry parcels to the office (not mine, since I no longer work there) and my ex-colleagues dug in and well, really dug them. Only one problem, I had no clue what this dish was called when queried by friends! You see, I'd only just invented the munchies in my head, then in my kitchen, but the recipe itself had not yet been committed to paper.

Postman's Surprise? No, Puffed Up Lurrvve sounds much better!

Since there are so much good flavors and even more love in this pastry parcel, how about we just nick it "Puffed Up Lurrvve?". LOL! The names get crazier each time. Admittedly, the puff pastry was ready-made but if you're interested in making it yourself, here's a recipe by Chef Carla Pelligrino of Rao's in Las Vegas. If the culinary terms detrempe and beurrage don't put you off, maybe the level (Difficult) and prep time (almost 2 hours) will. You get a medal for bravery if you complete this task, just please let me know and yeah, you're completely entitled to rub it in.

Well, I did make the filling....does that count? I used bulgur wheat, and mixed it up with beef rashers, Feta cheese, yellow capsicum, black olives and seasoned it with garlic, shallots and coriander leaves. Delish-shuz! Here's the low-down:

Puffed Up Lurrvve Pastry
Makes: 18 pieces

2 sheets frozen puff pastry (10"x10")
125g bulgur wheat
600ml water
4 strips beef rashers
100g Feta cheese, crumbled
8-10 canned black olives, pitted and sliced
2 yellow capsicums, roasted, deskinned and diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 shallots, diced
4-6 stems coriander leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to season
1 egg, for glazing

1. Preheat oven to 200C, and thaw frozen puff pastry for 5-10 minutes before using.
2. Boil the bulgur wheat for 15 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed, then drain. While it is still hot, add the beef rashers, garlic, shallots, coriander, capsicum, olives and mix gently until evenly distributed. When the mixture has cooled, add the Feta cheese and mix further. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
3. Cut each pastry sheet into 9 equally-sized squares while still slightly frozen, then place each small square in a muffin cup (below).

4. Place a heaped tablespoon of filling into each pastry cup, then pull the 4 corners of the pastry towards the middle to "seal" the parcel. Brush top with beaten egg to give it a golden glaze when cooked.

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