The fine folks at Foodbuzz recently teamed up with an amazing new sponsor: Pepperidge Farm! I’m sure many of you out there have at least one Pepperidge Farm favorite, be it their fun Goldfish snacks, incredible Sausalito cookie, or the always classic Milano. They’re not all about snacks though, and those of us in the Tastemaker Programhad the opportunity to give their puff pastry sheets a try on the house. It took me awhile to be well enough to hobble to Safeway to pick some up but I was finally able to do so this weekend and proceeded to get my bake on. My only problem, however, was deciding what to make. I mean, seriously! With puff pastry the possibilities are endless!
After reining in some of my loftier ideas which involved ingredients I neither had nor would be able to afford anytime soon, I decided to make something easy but definitely tasty. Using some red potatoes that were starting to eye me more than they should have and some lovely green leeks, I created a fun little appetizer that would be fun to serve at a holiday party or any special food event you might be having. And except for the sinful little puff pastry this simple mixture is wrapped in, this is probably one of the lesser evils of a holiday spread.
Now you’re probably wondering how a puff pastry recipe can be so inexpensive; most of the time these flaky treats can cost up $5/each at a store or restaurant. But that’s the beauty of making things at home! With 1 package of puff pastry sheets that costs around $5 at most major grocery stores, half a leek and just a few baby red potatoes, you can make one dozen of these tasty little pockets. The whole recipe works out to about $8.50, making each of these just around $0.70! Gotta love that! And because they’re filled with good stuff and not just fluff, they will definitely be satisfying.
Just a couple things to note on this recipe: you MUST make sure that everything is finely chopped and resist the temptation to use a lot of filling per pocket. Puff pastry does just what it says: it puffs! And if you’re making something that’s supposed to be completely enclosed within the pastry, it’s imperative that you give the pastry enough room to expand. Of course, there’s no need to be stingy; just be careful not to overstuff and seal your litte puff pastry pocket well so that none of the good stuff escapes. And now for the recipe!
Red Potato & Leek Puff Pastry Pouches (makes 12 appetizers; total cost of recipe: ~$8.50; cost per puff: $0.70!)
1/2 medium leek, finely chopped (both whites & greens, about 1/4″ pieces)
6 baby red potatoes, finely diced (about 1/4″ pieces)
1 1/2 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
1/8 c parmesan cheese
1 egg + 1 T water
Thaw the puff pastry sheets according to package instructions. Preheat the oven to 400° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet then add the minced garlic. Cook over medium high heat until lightly browned & fragrant. Add the diced potatoes and stir fry quickly, seasoning with the salt & pepper. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes or until the potatoes just become tender. Turn off the heat and add the chopped leeks and the parmesan cheese, mixing together well. Cover and set aside.
Cut the pastry sheets into three long strips along the fold lines, then cut each strip in half. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the potato & leek mixture in the center. Fold one corner of the pastry over the filling, then fold the opposite corner on top of that, tucking the fillin into the center as much as possible. Take the other two corners of the pastry sheet and pinch together, twisting the two ends together at the top for a decorative look. If there are any gaps in the dough, gently pinch them closed with your fingers to completely seal the pouch. Lightly beat the egg with the tablespoon of water until just combined. Brush the egg wash on top of the pastry pouches and then place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the pastries have puffed up and turned golden brown. Remove from oven & allow to cool a bit before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, and enjoy!