Winter has finally hit Cape Cod. With our first snow flurry and single digit temperatures, I felt it was time to create new twists on some old recipes, to warm and delight the cockles of our guests’ hearts: a summer favorite bundled up and served on a puddle of roasted red pepper sauce, giving it just that bit of flair. From the comments I heard, I believe we struck it right with this recipe.
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Hot Chicken Salad Bundles with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Prepare the Chicken Salad
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Mix all of the chicken salad ingredients together in a bowl and set aside
- Roll out two puff pastry sheets to 11 x 11” and cut into 2- 5 x5 “ squares (removing one inch of the border – the pastry needs to be this measurement to be thin enough)
- In the center of the square put about a ½ cup of chicken salad and draw the sides up to create a bundle, twisting and pinching the top to secure.
- Place the bundles on a parchment lined pan and brush with egg wash
- Cook for about 15 min. or until golden and cooked through
Meanwhile prepare the pepper sauce
- Heat the oil in a saute pan.
- Add the shallot and cook until soft.
- De-glaze the pan with white wine and cook 1 minute longer
- Add the stock and the drained roasted red peppers. Cook 5 min.
- Cool slightly, and puree in the blender
- Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and transfer to a small saucepan to reheat a few minutes before serving.
Making croissants from scratch can be a time consuming project, but with this easy recipe, you will be able to make the flaky pastries in a matter of minutes. Chocolate can be substituted for almond paste in the filling if you prefer. Just substitute a mini Hershey’s dark chocolate bar in place of the almond filling. This is a great project to make with your children over the holidays or for any special occasion.
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Easy Almond Croissants
- Thaw the pastry sheets at room temperature (keeping them covered) for 40 minutes or until they're easy to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface and roll out slightly to a 15 x 10” rectangle.
- Cut each pastry sheet into 6 long triangles – see picture.
- Make a 1/2 “ notch in the center of each wide end of the triangle. Spread 1 tablespoon almond mixture in the center of the wide end of each pastry triangle to within 1/4-inch of the edge. Starting at the wide end, roll up the pastry triangles toward the point. Place the pastries, point-side down, on a baking sheet. Curve the ends of the pastries inward to form a crescent shape and pinch the ends slightly to seal. Brush with the egg.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.
** Note: one can of this filling will fill about 22-24 croissants
The current revival of iconic American diners stirs my teenage memories, when I spent as much time as possible in my father’s restaurant which had its beginning as a small diner. A local landmark in our town, it grew into a large upscale dining establishment complete with banquet facilities, catering to many special events.
As a diner his menu consisted mainly of American favorites with a sprinkling of Greek and Mediterranean dishes. One of the most popular luncheon specials was a phyllo crusted meat,spinach,feta cheese pie similar to spanikopita, baked and served in an oblong dish. This is a revision of that dish which includes eggplant, fresh tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. The filling can be made and frozen in advance for a time when a quick emergency meal may be needed.
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Meat and Spinach Pot Pies
For the filling
- Brown and crumble meat in olive oil. Add onions, eggplant, seasonings and cook till tender 12 to 15 min. Then add spinach, garlic, tomatoes and fresh herbs, simmer for 5 min. Pour in sauce, simmer until all ingredients are well blended.
For the puff pastry topper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Flour a work surface and lightly roll out the puff pastry. Cut the size and shape of 1 large casserole or up to 6 individual bowls or large ramekins, using sharp paring knife. Place the dough on a nonstick baking sheet and wash with egg.
Place the hot filling into selected baking dishes sprinkle cheeses over all- top with crust and bake til golden...