Tuesday, December 23, 2008

After a long time....

Here is a sampling of what we've been up to since we last wrote:

We are still making our way through the Cake Bible -- we have made a lovely genoise and have it freezing to be completed (with pictures) sometime in 2009.  Somehow the holiday season took over and while we've been eating -- obviously, we're still here -- we've not been good at taking photos of said comestibles.

One thing I did try, and photograph, was a puff pastry filled with smoked, shaved ham and gruyere cheese.  This was quick to put together and a great mix of flaky crust, melty, gooey cheese and a smoky bit of ham. It was really impressive out of the oven.  We had it cut into 4 pieces.  Served with a salad it would be a nice light lunch or dinner.

I got it from Barefoot Contessa, here is the recipe from the foodtv.com website:

Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry
by Ina Garten
Prep Time: 25 min Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 pound black forest ham, sliced
1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere cheese, sliced
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to 10 by 12 inches. Place it on a sheet pan and brush the center with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place a layer first of ham and then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.

Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to 10 by 12inches. Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up the edges. Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press together lightly. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve hot or warm.

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