Thursday, 8 July 2010

Puff the Magic Dinner

Much as I love making pizza, it can be a step too far on a weeknight to start mixing, kneading, resting and rolling out the dough base.  While I sometimes have the organisational capacity to make the dough during the day, or even the night before, the suicide hour usually calls for a meal that can be quickly banged together and plonked on the table, with the confidence that it will taste great and keep everyone happy (for now, at least...).  This is, I suppose, a kind of midweek variation on a Roasted Vegetable Tart which I used to make all the time.  In fact, as I've remembered about it now, I'll have to make it again very soon!

Sheets of frozen, ready-rolled puff pastry are often on special offer at the supermarket and I always take the opportunity to stock up, as they make all sorts of meals that feel 'special' with not too much actual work.  Even I am organised enough to transfer a rolled-up sheet of frozen pastry from the freezer to the 'fridge before going to bed, so that I can use it the next evening.  Make sure you take it out of the fridge for a bit before you try to unroll it though, as the pastry is apt to crack it's too cold when you handle it.

Pesto Chicken 'Pizza' Tart

You can, of course vary this by changing the chicken for something else, such as roughly chopped salami, shredded lamb (though I prefer to use red pesto with lamb) or some sliced mushrooms.  You could even just 'do' a tomato and cheese version, I suppose.

1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
2 tbsp pesto (from a jar)
3 tomatoes, sliced
200g cooked chicken, shredded
100g mozzarella, grated

Preheat the oven.  I admit that I don't bother for most recipes, but with some things it really does seem to make a difference to the end result.  Unroll the sheet of pastry and place it on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Gently score a narrow border about 2cm from the edge, and prick with a fork.  Spread the pesto across this centre area, then lay the sliced tomatoes, in a single layer, on the pesto-smeared base.  Top this with the chicken and the grated mozzarella and bake at 180°c for 15 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden, with a lovely, browned and bubbled cheesy surface blanketing the delicious filling below.  Allow to cool slightly, then cut into slices to serve.

I like to accompany this with salad or a green vegetable; tonight I served steamed broccoli. Another reason why I love the puff pastry is that my family are learning to adapt to my no-potatoes-with-pastry edict (though, of course, I break my own rules on occasion), so no peeling needed.

Cath xx


Yer dad said...

Hi Cath,
Like the lamps!
As a fully paid up pedant reading the second paragraph of your previous entry, don't you mean out of the freezer and into the fridge?

Cath said...

Noted and error corrected. Many thanks for your pedantry, do please come again... x


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