At the ripe old age of 5 my parents filmed me cutting my cake in true mid century fashion. I was wearing the prettiest pressed white shirt, a red plaid skirt that had matching suspender straps, and my hair -- oh my hair -- it was in the tightest pony tail ever created. I could barely move my face.
BUT! The show must go on, and even though there's no sound on the video, (Gimme a break. It was awhile ago...and no, I'm not showing it to you. This is thankfully a food blog..) ...you can see me ruffling up my nose and squinting to hear what's being said to me because back then you had to provide your own lighting for the video. Seriously, a billion candlepower shone back from this light bar, and you couldn't see anything when they were shining on you. Hence, the squint. After a moment you see me smile in acknowledgment and begin to dance. Immediately I begin to rock and roll and sway back and forth. For a moment, I'm even smiling and enjoying myself, and you've never seen such an adorable few seconds of spazz-i-ness.
Oh, dear. Good thing I could sing. And now cook, apparently! Because no one has ever called me a spazz in the kitchen. UNLESS you saw me creating these Twisted Artichoke, Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato in Puff Pastry Appetizers. I twirled and swirled in all different directions. Around, inside, in reverse; every way you can imagine. The result? Pretty danged good looking food I think. Garnered a few fans, as well because they tasted amazing.
And it was super easy to make!
Which left me plenty of time to go visit my Chiropractor before the party started. Ow.....
RECIPE: Twisted Artichoke and Herb Cheese Puff Pastry Appetizers
1 package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (2 to a box)
1 3.5 oz container herbed goat cheese spread (I used Alouette)
1/3 C sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
Large handful of fresh basil, julienned
About 2/3rds of a 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts drained and chopped.
Drizzle of a sweet balsamic vinegar, like fig or cranberry flavored, about 2 T
1 egg beaten
Flour to dust surface and a little butter to great sheet pan
This is so quick, easy and tasty it will easily be considered one of your top five crowd pleasers.
Get out a large baking sheet about 11 by 17 or larger and lightly rub surface with butter.
First, thaw the puff pastry. Roll out each sheet to about 10 inches by 16. On the first sheet, take a spatula and spread about ¾ of the container of herbed cheese all over the pastry sheet. You can use more if you’d like but if the sheets are stuffed too much it is hard to roll them. Now, sprinkle on the chopped sundried tomatoes, the artichoke hearts and half the basil. Drizzle a little fig vinegar on top. Probably about 1 T. Fit the other sheet on top, trying to match the edges as best you can. Now slice vertically so that the slices are 10 inches high, which results in about 14 evenly spaced strips. Pick up each strip and begin to twirl them, like you would if you were twirling streamers. Then begin to roll them in a circle, like the photo above, so they’re all twisty and fun!
Arrange all of them on the sheet. Brush with the egg wash. Put the sheet pan in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This is an important step. A cold puff pastry product will cook better, and not puff out all wild. You want pretty twisties, not exploded ones!
Now preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Cook them for about 25 minutes, until browned. Serve warm with another drizzle of balsamic and garnish with the basil!
The Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheets come frozen, and you will want to leave them out on the counter for about 45 minutes before beginning. That means you #fabin40 is more like fab in 80. Sorry.
I recommend you use the sun dried tomatoes in oil because the dried ones in the produce section are usually a little chewy and since this isn't being cooking inside something moist, or for a long amount of time, the soft ones in the oil work best.
Feel free to add a protein like cooked bacon or ham to make these more of a meal..or more irresistible, whichever holds true for you!
Finally, these really won't keep. Eat until they're gone which won't be difficult at all!
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style is one of combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.