Pastry and cheese. And cured meats. And cheese. And shrimps and cheese. These are a few of my favourite things.
As part of this new blog endeavor of mine, I needed quite a bit of help. I’m not so good with the inter-webs, nor am I artistically inclined at all. So I solicited the help of a friend of mine who is both internetally savvy and a beautiful designer. In return for his help, I provided a thank-you in the only way that feels right to me –food (and wine.)
So listen, I’m all about eating right – fueling your body with the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and active and blah blah. But I refuse to deprive myself (as will become abundantly clear if you continue to follow this blog) and I always reward myself for a hard day’s work with food (and wine.)
This is the first time I’ve replaced the standard pizza dough or flat bread with puff pastry and let me tell you….it won’t be the last. It was such a delicious and surprising treat. I was worried it wouldn’t feel as substantial as a cheesy piece of pizza but I was wrong. It was light, and fluffy, but still had the chew and the gooeyness of a piece-a-pie. Choose whatever toppings make you happy and off you go. Here’s how I made mine. Oh, and one quick thing: I’m not usually a recipe follower. Or a recipe maker. So bear with me. This is foreign to me.
1 package of store bought puff pastry sheets (unless you are a kitchen magician and make your own puff pastry in which case you are on the wrong blog)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup of buffalo mozzarella – sliced
7-8 big fat basil leaves – roughly chopped
About 1 cup of an assortment of your favourite Italian antipasti from the deli counter. I used artichokes, roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes
9 large cooked shrimps – halved. (you can substitute for roasted chicken if you’re not insane about shrimp like I am)
How to do it:
1) Preheat oven to 375
2) Roll out your puff pastry so it’s about the size of a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3) Bake for about 25 minutes in the nude. As in, the pastry just on its own. If you’d like to do it in the nude too, I say go for it. Anyways,you want to give that pastry a chance to fluff up before you put the good stuff on it, otherwise it will be a big dried out mess. Tasty. But dry.
4) Once it’s starting to brown on the corners, take it out of the oven. Don’t let it cool too much. Like maybe wait 30 seconds (a couple sips of wine)
5) Take your shrimps and your antipasti and scatter in whatever way feels right to you. Try to get to all the corners. It’s going to look really pretty. Just wait.
6) Toss it back in the oven. Just kidding- place it carefully back in the oven.
7) Wait another 20 minutes. A few more glasses sips of wine.
8) Remove from the oven and place the sliced cheese and chopped basil on top.
9) Toss it back in the oven.
10) Give it another 5 minutes until the cheese is melty (but not too melty – or it will get that stringy plasticky texture. Barf)
11) Remove from the oven and let it cool for about five minutes before you slice it. FUN LITTLE TIP: Use scissors instead of a knife. It’s way easier. This applies to regular pizza too.
I also did a version with goat’s cheese, thinly sliced pear and prosciutto. The sweet and the savoury is something that really speaks to me. Do it exactly the way you would the first, but leave the cheese in for closer to 10 minutes because it gets this toasty brown thing going on that gives it a delightful little crust that’s quite special. Enjoy!