Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adventures in Puff Pastry

I had my girlfriends over for dinner and lots of wine drinking on Friday night and decided to experiment with puff pastry. My mom raves about the stuff and told me that Trader Joe's only stocks it this time of year, so I figured I should finally give it a try.

I decided to make an appetizer with it, and since my main course was veggie lasagna, I knew it had to be 'Italian-ish'. I want to start using eggplant more and happened to have fresh basil lying around, this was how I created Eggplant Puff Pastry Crisps. The dish was a hit! I think I'll make it and variations of it again over the holidays! Check out my recipe below,

1 package frozen puff pastry
1 eggplant
1/2 cup white wine (any kind you like)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
approx 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp butter + more to taste :)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
4-6 fresh basil leaves (julienned)

Cut eggplant into dime sized pieces.
Simmer wine, butter and minced garlic in a large skillet on medium for 5 minutes. Add thyme and chopped eggplant and let cook until all the wine evaporates and eggplant begins to brown. Add another tbsp butter to the pan and let eggplant cook up to 10 minutes or until it's caramelized. Remove from pan and let cool.

Defrost puff pastry and cut into playing card sized rectangles. Follow baking directions on puff pastry package. Remove puff pastry 1/2 way through the baking process and sprinkle each rectangle with 1 Tbsp of cheese and 2 Tbsp of eggplant mixture. Put baking sheet back in the over and allow puff pastry to finish cooking.

When pastry is golden brown remove from oven and sprinkle with julienned basil.

Serve warm.

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