Monday, November 8, 2010

Savory Palmiers

This weekend was Parents' Weekend at my school. The one weekend when the classrooms are filled with not just students but also their families and when the parking garage is already full by 9 a.m. that it takes you 20 minutes to find an empty spot and you're late to class. Each department also holds a reception for the parents to meet the professors. This year, the Shakespeare Society* decided to hold a reception as we have a good number of freshmen members. As treasurer of the Shakespeare Society (and also because I love to cook and bake), I decided to contribute some food. My housemates made brownies and bourbon hot dogs and I made savory palmiers. Easy finger foods that can have many different flavors. I went for three: pesto, marinara, and ham and cheese.

Pesto Palmiers

I actually only made one flavor in the shape of palmiers so I guess I should also say savory pinwheels. It was really difficult to roll the pastry up tightly so they didn't turn out perfect, but they were still decent looking and apparently they were the first things gone at the reception! I would have loved to have been there, but my mom and my sister were arriving in town just as it was starting and I had to be home to meet them. And then of course, after a long 6-hour drive, they wanted to rest first and get some ice cream so I only heard about how the reception went. I'm just happy it went well.

The weekend with my mom and my sister was filled with great food and I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't even think to bring my camera anywhere we went. I just realized that most of my meals this weekend have been french toast, pancakes, and scrambled eggs. Too much breakfast food! ;D I also stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast last night with my mom and my sister. If anyone plans on visiting Staunton, Virginia, stay at the Staunton Choral Gardens bed and breakfast. The lady is lovely. Breakfast is a 3-course meal and the rooms are clean and really comfortable and the beds are huge! All three of us slept on a queen bed to keep warm. It's always sad to say goodbye to family, but alas, homework awaits and I must keep up with the work.

*A note about Shakespeare Society. It was founded by one of my housemates, who is ALL ABOUT Shakespeare. We put on plays and take field trips to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton to see shows. So far, we've done Love's Labour's Lost and Henry V and this year we will be doing Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing. It's really exciting and it's amazing how we all get along so well, new or old members. Maybe I'll put up some pictures another time. We have promotional posters too!

Savory Palmiers/Pinwheels

Savory Palmiers
From Ooh, Look...

- 3 puff pastry sheets

- 2 to 3 tbsp pesto

- 1/4 cup marinara sauce [next time, go for a thick sauce or tomato paste sprinkled with herbs]
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

- 2 tbsp mustard [optional; I omitted it]
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Thin slices of smoked ham

1. Thaw puff pastry sheets.
2. For the pesto: Spread the pesto over the pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
3. For the marinara: Spread the marinara sauce over the pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the Parmesan.
4. For the ham and cheese: Spread the mustard over the pastry. Sprinkle the cheddar and the Parmesan. Spread a layer of smoked ham over the cheese.
5. Place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry and flatten slightly with a rolling pin to embed the filling. Cut the pastry in half and roll up the short sides so they meet in the middle (double scroll shape). You can also leave it whole instead of cutting in half for a slightly bigger size. Use water to moisten the pastry and make the ends stick together.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for about 15 minutes.
7. Heat oven to 400F. Slice each roll into 1/2-inch thick slices and place on trays lined with baking paper. Bake until light golden, around 15 minutes.

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