Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chutney Cheese Puffs: Recipe


I'm a cheater, in the kitchen anyway. While I may not be a fan of mac and cheese from a box, I positively love using gourmet specialty products. What kinds of products? Jams, mustards, chutney, tapenade, Chinese sauces, so many things! Two of my favorite secret weapons are in the freezer--phyllo dough and puff pastry.

You could easily write a book on all the things you can make out of phyllo dough and puff pastry. I suggest the title "How to Succeed in Baking Without Really Trying". Once you learn how to handle them, the possibilities are endless. They even turn something mundane into something special. For example you could make a stew into an elegant pot pie. You could turn a fruit compote into pastries. You could make fancy little appetizers to serve hot from the oven. How fancy? I suggest little napoleons or tartlets. It's really easy.

A few weeks ago I had a lot of goat cheese languishing in the fridge. I had promised my friend Alison I would develop some recipes for her fabulous chutney and it dawned on me that using puff pastry I could make a delicious pastry with nothing more than goat cheese, puff pastry and chutney.

As it turns out, I am a real chutney fanatic. I am happy to have 4 or 5 jars in the fridge at once. But I should make a distinction--there are chunky chutneys and mushy chutneys. Mushy goopy chutneys have their place; they are saucy and work great in sauces and dips. But chunky chutney is what you want for this recipe so either pick up some of McQuade's Chutney or make some yourself. Runny chutney is not going to work for this recipe.

Note: The size and number of puffs you make is entirely up to you. You can make one or 101. You can make them bite sized or larger.

Goat Cheese Puffs

Ingredients

Puff pastry (frozen is fine)
One jar of chunky style chutney, I recommend McQuade's
Goat cheese, one log, chevre style

Instructions

Allow the puff pastry to defrost according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut and lay out puff pastry into squares and place equal amounts of chutney and crumbled goat cheese in the center. For large puffs, use approximately 2 teaspoons of filling per 3 inch square of puff pastry. For small puffs use approximately 1/2 teaspoon of filling per 2 inch square of puff pastry. Brush the edges of the square with water and fold over to create a triangle, pressing edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes or until brown. Serve warm.

Enjoy!