This is a totally unintended quick and cheeky post. No beautiful “how to” pictures as the work was going on after dark and that rarely makes a digital camera happy.
Using leftovers is an active theme for this time in the wheel of the year. Firstly there would have been the question of how long the stored food would last and then, would spring arrive in time for there to be fresh food after it did run out? Questions about spring’s arrival have been translated into events like Groundhog Day here is North America as an unsecured food supply 400 years ago made it an extremely important question, that in many ways still exists today. (Stepping down from my soapbox now.)
I ended up with a third of a piece of puff pastry the other day after making some turkey stew, so in the spirit of the season, this is how it was turned into pastry sticks to accompany yesterday’s Leek & Potato soup.
You will need:
left over puff pastry, about a third of a piece
Fine herbs, enough to sprinkle over the leftover pastry
aged Gouda, enough to sprinkle over the leftover pastry
Many similar recipes call for Parmasean cheese which was not in the house. We did however have an aged Gouda that was getting harder and harder. All the better for microplaning!
With gratitude for choices, delight in options and willingness to call it a night, take a deep breath and begin.
Fine herbs are a premixed combination of parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil that is used with foods that cook quickly.
Use what you have on hand, parsley, sage, oregano or thyme are still available in my garden but you may be under snow. Remember this is being done in the spirit of using what is at hand, so if pepper is all that is sitting on the shelf, you are still good to go.
Since the thawed puff pastry had been sitting in the fridge, it was sticky. Gently unroll and separate from its paper. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and trim any edges that are outside the square to rectangle shape that needs to be created. The shape does not need to be perfect as it will be rolled up, cut and twisted but if there is something sticking out of an appropriate shape, a trim is in order.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle the pastry with herbs and grated cheese, leaving an open edge so the pastry will easily stick to itself. Starting at the opposite side roll up the pastry. Using a rolling pin roll out the pastry until about double in length before folding in half lengthwise.
Cut into strips about 1/2 inch in width and twist before putting on a parchment covered tray. Repeat until all sticks are finished. I got eight from the leftover puff pastry.
Trim any bits that are sticking out. It is probably possible to do that with your fingertips.
Bake for 15 minutes and then keep checking until the sticks are a lovely golden brown. Done.
Best served warm as the cheese will tend to harden up as it cools. They can also be popped back into the oven for crisping up if there are any leftovers. The same process can be used with left over shortcrust pastry as well. So keep the leftovers!