Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Party time!

I wanted to show photos of platters filled with tasty morsels of food but, sadly, the guests gobbled them up before there was time to organise the camera. So here are the remnants of our feast, a lonely plate of leftover savouries: caramelised onion tarts, potato and fetta pastries, and corn and ham mini-muffins.

The potato pastries were served by my colleague Susie at a work morning tea recently. They were rapturously received and we requested the recipe from Susie. She happily provided it, although she said that the dish was really too simple to require a defined recipe. She's right; you can mould the basic ingredients to fit your own requirements. Best of all, the pastries can be baked the night before and refreshed in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving.

Susie's potato pastries

I haven't given defined amounts for these pastries, as you can adjust the amounts to suit the number of servings you want to make. Each pastry sheet made about nine squares. For the party, I used four sheets of pastry and about three large potatoes.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can tailor the ingredients to suit yourself: perhaps substituting goats' cheese for fetta, or adding a sprinkling of finely chopped prosciutto.

potatoes (ones that are good for cooking)
marinated fetta (I used South Cape marinated fetta, which is absolutely delicious, as the cheese is marinated in herbed oil
sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry
sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Set out the puff pastry sheets to defrost.
Peel the potatoes and slice into thin slices. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the slices until just tender (about five minutes or less), then drain.

Lay a sheet of pastry on a lightly floured bench (to stop it sticking). Place slices of potato across the sheet (I got about nine slices to a sheet, but you could get more or less, depending on how big your potato slices are. You want a little border around each slice.)

Top the potato slice with some crumbled fetta, chopped rosemary, a sprinkle of sea salt and some grindings of black pepper. Pop into the oven and cook until the pastry is puffed and golden (about 20 minutes). Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Pastry pinwheels

These pinwheels came about because I had two sheets of puff pastry left over from the potato pastries. This must be the simplest snack ever and disappeared quickly, with the adults clamouring for them as much as the children!

I used pesto and parmesan for the adult versions, and promite and cheddar for the children's version but the adults loved the promite version just as much, so I would suggest making a mixture of both to serve.

Again, adjust the quantities to suit the number of servings you want.

sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry
home-made or store-bought pesto
Promite or Vegemite spread
parmesan and cheddar cheese
Spread pesto over a puff pastry sheet and sprinkle over finely grated parmesan. Roll up like a sausage and slice into 1-cm pinwheels. Repeat using Promite and finely grated cheddar.

Place pinwheels on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes, or until pinwheels are puffed and golden.

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