Five Quick & Easy Savoury Ways with Puff Pastry

Whip up guest-worthy nibbles in no time with a packet of puff pastry.

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savoury-puffpastry

Whip up guest-worthy nibbles in no time with a packet of puff pastry.

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Shop-bought puff pastry is a good staple to have at home. It can be turned into pie-toppings and cinnamon swirls, but the ease with which you can make savoury snacks to wow your guests with is astonishing. Just make sure you buy an all-butter version – the flavour is superior and you spare your poor body the horror of trans-fats. All of them are a great way of using leftovers and great stomach-liners for a boozy party. Pop them all into a medium-hot oven and watch the puff pastry rise!

Palmiers

Palmier refers to the shape of the pastry, made from a flat sheet rolled up from either side with a filling. Of course there are numerous sweet versions, but the choice of fillings for savoury snacks is just endless – and also good for using up leftovers: any kind of grated cheese is great, add some chopped nuts for extra crunch. Tapenade also makes a great filling, as do chopped green or black olives, perhaps with some minced garlic for extra flavour. Anchovy paste or thick slices of ham and cheese also work well. A sharp blue cheese like Stilton also is a joy. And best of all: a child could do it.

Palmiers

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Sausage Rolls

This perennial party favourite can be sublime or horrible – depending on the ingredients. If you use all-butter puff pastry and a superior sausage, you are in control and onto a world of deliciousness: imagine Moroccan-spiced merguez made from lamb, try good old Cumberland chipolata, or lovely, garlicky salsiccia. For subtle smokiness use raw chorizo or push the boat out and use creamy morcilla (English/Scottish black pudding tends to be too crumbly and dry). It is a good idea to take the casing off the sausage first. A great kiddie-version can be made with Frankfurters as a filling. Brush with a little egg-wash for a shiny, golden crust. Do a variety of these for a drinks party and watch your guests swoon.

Sausage Rolls

Sausage Rolls

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Mini Muffin Quiches

Butter a muffin tray and line the muffin moulds with puff pastry, then fill to your heart’s content: thaw frozen spinach leaves, squeeze out water and add a little cream, feta, salt, nutmeg and minced garlic. Or fill with leftover salmon, adding some cream cheese and dill. Or make a mini-Lorraine with some beaten eggs, chopped bacon and grated Gruyère or Emmenthal cheese. Or fill them with leftover ratatouille and top with parmesan, with chopped mushrooms and cheese, with crushed, tinned sardines and leftover tomato sauce.

Mini Muffin Quiches

Mini Muffin Quiches

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Cheese Straws

These are even easier and quicker than the Palmiers above, but once again, they are a creative playground and just the way to use up that slightly sad-looking lump of hard cheese – be it Parmesan, Red Leicester, Cheddar or whatever happens to be around. Grate the cheese, spread on the sheet of puff pastry that you have brushed with just a little oil to make things stick, then jazz up with smoked paprika powder, white and black sesame seeds, nigella or poppy seeds, black pepper or some dried oregano. Cut them into strips and bake.

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

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Cheese Pockets

Cut out circular shapes of puff pastry to a size of your liking (you don’t need a cutter, a water glass will do), moisten the edges with egg white which will act as glue to keep these pockets together, place a little filling in the middle, fold over and brush with egg wash, then bake. There are as many versions of this as there are cheeses and you can be as creative as you like: Mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes and basil. Blue cheese with halved, fresh grapes, grated Cheddar with some chutney, pickle or onion marmalade. Fresh, spreadable cheeses like Boursin also work well here, as does cream cheese season with a little Grana Padana or Parmesan. Again – leftovers lend themselves to your creativity!

Cheese Pockets

Cheese Pockets

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