Alright friends, things are getting down to the wire. Christmas is T-minus 3 days away. I'm flying out to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl tomorrow, so there's not much cooking going on in the Sweet Cayenne kitchen. I always try to clean out my fridge and run out of everything before I travel - it can be a good idea in some ways, but a bad idea when you come back and there's absolutely NOTHING TO EAT. Sadness.
Even thought my food supply is steadily dwindling in anticipation of our Tuesday departure, I miraculously had a few ingredients that could be used for participation in this month's Recipe Redux them: Grab a Book and Cook. For the month of December, Reduxers have been challenged to grab their nearest cookbook and "healthify" the recipe on either page 42 or 142.
My Ina Garten "Back to Basics" cookbook is by far my very favorite, so of course I grabbed it first! Ina's recipes are timeless, foolproof, simple, and delicious. Every recipe always turns out, and her instructions are unfussy and easy to follow. I happened to have everything I needed to tweak and make the recipe on page 42 for "Savory Palmiers." Puff pastry - check. Savory filling - check. Ooey gooey melty cheese - check. Hungry husband - check!
For those of you who may not be familiar with palmiers, they are traditionally a French cookie that's made with a sheet of puff pastry dough. The dough is covered in a thick dusting of cinnamon and sugar, then the dough is rolled from each end until the two rolls meet in the center. You then slice the log of dough the way you would for cinnamon rolls, and the finished product looks like a cookie with two pinwheels that meet in the center.
Ina's savory filling consisted of pesto, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and pine nuts - yum! I didn't have any of those on hand, but figured the salty, brininess of olive tapenade would pair well with sharp white cheddar cheese. These are perfect to serve alongside tomato soup or on a platter for a festive, easy to prepare appetizer. Another wonderful thing: you can make them ahead up to the point where you have rolled the dough. Slice and bake when you are ready - as Ina would say, "how easy is that!"
Olive and Cheddar Palmiers
- 1 sheet of puff pastry thawed
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese such as Cracker Barrel
- ½ cup prepared olive tapenade
- Lightly flour a clean work surface. Roll the sheet of puff pastry out to measure 9 ½ by 11 ½ inches. Spread the sheet with the cheese, then sprinkle the diced green olives on top.
- Roll each of the short ends of the dough towards the center of the sheet until they meet in the middle. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes or until you are ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the roll into ¼ inch thick slices and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot!
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