Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Appetizer Worth Mentioning Soppressata and Cheese in Puff Pastry

I joined the Fairbanks Cookbook Club last month and the first cookbook we chose was "Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? I must admit I was a little leary because Ina has always just been a little too fancy and involved of a chef for me. I'm just a simple, down-home cook who enjoys cooking basic, feel-good, healthy foods. I have been, however, pleasantly surprised by all of the recipes I have tried in this book. Even though she is a little heavy on the salt in some places (thank goodness I adjust before adding it all!), it has been a pleasure trying these recipes and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to get a copy. Putting in a plug here for those of you who live in, or close to Fairbanks, please support our locally-owned bookstore, Gulliver's Books--who give so much back to the community and public education. ISBN: 978-0-307-23876-4 $35.00 is a lot in my opinion to spend on a cookbook, but this one, you will find, is well worth your investment.

Here is a link to Gullivers: http://www.gullivers-books.com/ (While here, also look for their step-by-step recipe for Hungarian Mushroom Soup served only on Thursdays and is to die for!)

This recipe will make a fabulous appetizer, or a great addition to a brunch or lunch with a side salad. As an appetizer, expect about 8 servings, as an entree with a salad, expect 4-6 servings.

1 package (2) sheets frozen puff pastry (defrosted)
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
12 thin slices soppressata salami (3 1/2") diameter. I had to use a different salami from the deli section.
6 oz. Guyere cheese, grated
1 egg with 1 TBSP water, beaten to brush the crust.

Set oven to 450. Roll out a sheet of pastry to 10". Place pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread with Dijon leaving a 1" border. Top with salami, then grated cheese. Brush the 1" border with a little of the egg wash. Roll out next sheet of pastry to 10" and cover the ingredients with this sheet. Brush the pastry with egg wash. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife. Cut all four sides to make even (this also SEALS your pastry.)

Bake 12 minutes. Place another parchment paper over the top of the pastry, lift and flip the sheet over to bake the other side. Remove the parchment paper and bake the unbaked flipped side 12 more minutes or until brown and flaky. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Honestly, I am all about changing up recipes whenever I can, tweaking them to make them my own. But this recipe stands apart and I wouldn't change one thing.

Other recipes I've tried and enjoyed from this book are: Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts, Stilton and Walnut Crackers, Buttermilk Ranch Dressing with Bibb Lettuce, Roasted Vegetable Frittata, Baked Fontina, Lemon Chicken Breasts, Roasted Shrimp with Feta, Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower, Flat (Green) Beans with Pecorino, Potato Basil Puree and Cranberry Apple Easy Cake

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