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lazy vegetarians are everywhere. this is a collection of easy recipes and tips for dining out for vegetarians with little time or effort.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cheese puffs

Hors d’oeuvres can be extremely complicated to make and be very time intensive, which is odd since they are usually just bite-sized little snacks that disappear quickly.
I’ve managed to hobble together a cheese puff recipe that is not difficult and requires very little actual effort. 
The single longest investment of time is spent defrosting, which is still quite easy since you just take it out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for a while. 
These super-easy cheese puffs can be made with just cheese or with spinach and cheese, or like I usually like to do, mix-and-match. 
Preheat your oven to 400 and get out an ungreased cookie tray.  Parchment paper can be used for this, but I’m simple and just skip it.
You want to start with a good puff pastry from the grocery store freezer.  Let it defrost according to the package directions and then lay it out on a lightly flour-dusted countertop or cutting board.
Using the dough as it stands will give you a very thick and flakey crust, which is great if you want a larger final product that is more than one bite, but if you’re looking for smaller, bite-sized snacks, use a floured rolling pin to thin out the dough some.
Make an egg wash by scrambling the egg and the water in a small bowl or mug.
Brush the egg wash on the rolled out dough. 
Cut the dough to the size you want to make the snacks.  Try two inch squares for starters.
The cheese you choose makes this your own and can give you vastly different results.
I love some Havarti cheese, and it works really well with the pastry.  For the spinach and cheese ones, I like a classic shredded mozzarella mixed with the chopped spinach, maybe a little parmesan in the mix.
Slice and cut the cheese to fit well inside the dough you’ve cut.  An easy way to do this is to use shredded cheese and just make small piles.  Make sure the edges of the dough are clear. 
If you’re making the spinach ones, just defrost the spinach and drain all liquid, then mix with the shredded cheese and put it on the dough like the plain cheese ones.
Place a second square of dough on top of the small piles of cheese or spinach and cheese.
Gently press the edges to seal in the filling. 
Brush a layer of the egg wash over the top as well and place them on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.


Ingredients:

1 package of frozen puff pastry
1 package of cheese (any variety)
1 package of frozen chopped spinach
1 egg
1-2 tsp of water
Flour for sprinkling the counter

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