Tag Archives: make ahead

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitThese Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits are a simple, no heat dessert that is perfect for the hot summer months. Creamy and crunchy with fresh strawberries and chocolate, these parfaits can even be made the day ahead.

The glass in the picture originally belonged to Mike’s grandmother. I love the delicacy of the flute and the green stem. It seemed like they were waiting for these parfaits.

The chocolate crunch can be made using any nut you wish. I chose almonds, but have used hazelnuts in the past.  To avoid the oven, I put them in a dry skillet over medium heat.  It is best to watch them, turning them often so they don’t burn.  You will notice I said “best to watch….. .” Since I don’t always follow my own advice I have sometimes burned them using this method so I didn’t wander too far away this time. Continue reading

Puff Pastry Crackers

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Puff Pastry CrackersI don’t know about you, but last minute everything seems to happen at my house. With little time to plan or think ahead, it makes it difficult sometimes when your guests expect something a bit out of the ordinary.

These Puff Pastry Crackers are the solution for 2015….or the first of 2016! Take one box of purchased puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is fine), a beaten egg and various toppings and you have the makings of instant crackers.

These Puff Pastry crackers will keep a few days in an airtight container. However, they are so easy to make ahead there is no need. Just top the, cut and freeze. Bake from the frozen state in a matter of minutes and you’ll have everyone thinking you are a genie in the kitchen!

Puff Pastry Crackers
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 egg, well beaten
Assorted toppings, such as
sesame seed
finely grated parmesan cheese with a hint of cayenne pepper
parmesan cheese, dried basil, oregano, a dash of garlic powder and a hint of      cayenne,
cheddar, cayenne and cumin
anything favorite flavor combination

Remove one piece of puff pastry from the box. Roll it out to about 14×12 inches. Brush it with the egg and top it as you please. Place in the freezer until frozen – this takes about 10 minutes. Remove it and cut it into the desired size of cracker. Keep in mind they will shrink somewhat when baked. Freeze again before going into the oven. Or keep them frozen for later.

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 375°F.

Line the tray with parchment paper and place the crackers on the tray about 1/4 inch apart. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until browned and risen.

That’s it! Now act like it was just a pain to make these crackers but your guests were sooooo worth it!!!

Yield:  It depends upon the size of the cracker.  But a lot!

Salmon Wellington with Lemon Asparagus Risotto Cakes

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Baked and cutThe recipe for the Salmon Wellington  is based on one that Marlene Sorosky, a food writer I have long admired, developed long ago.  I have changed a few things about how it is put together mainly to remove some of the bulky dough when it is folded over.  The combination of artichokes and mushrooms is a sure winner wherever it is used but by putting the salmon under it, is inspired.  Being a baker, I love the idea of wrapping anything in dough.  It’s like a surprise package for your mouth!  Because of all the wrapping, turning and cutting, I have included a ton of pictures to help guide you.  This may seem like a lot of work, but it is actually done over several days and is amazingly easy for such a fantastic presentation.

These are particularly good for entertaining as they must be frozen solid –  so you can make them a month in advance, wrap well and tuck away in the freezer.  By freezing them solid, the salmon won’t  overcook in the time it takes to bake the puff pastry.   It makes a perfect entrée for entertaining.  Thank you Marlene!

I am including the recipe for the Lemon Asparagus Risotto cakes I designed to go with the Salmon Wellington for a completely make ahead entree.

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