Puff Pastry Pizza

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According to Paul, this is one of the best things I’ve ever made. It’s hard for me to make such bold statements about my own cooking, but this is one dish that I have consistently craved since I made it. Just like my last puff pastry post¬†(which, funnily enough, Paul also declared as one of my best meals), this pizza was totally improvised using what we already had. Luckily, the combination of toppings worked out so perfectly. With frozen dough, this meal couldn’t be more simple to put together. Puff pastry pizza is such a great thing to have in your repertoire of quick, weeknight, throw together meals.

To make sure the pastry gets crispy, pre-bake until it’s ‘set,’ but not browned all the way. For this pizza in particular, I like it best when it’s crisp, but still a little soft and chewy in the middle. It’s up to you though! Char that thing up if that’s what you’re feelin’! After I pre-baked the crust, I spread some pre-made pesto and then topped it with salami, green olives, caramelized onions, mozzarella, and sage. Ok, and I threw in some extra garlic too. So easy, and seriously delicious. I really, really recommend this combination of toppings, but I can imagine so many other great combos too. Let me know if you have any topping loves/suggestions!

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Puff Pastry :: Savory Fillings

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On my way home last night I wandered around Trader Joe’s feeling pretty lost for dinner ideas. We only have like 5 TV channels, so some weekend mornings I watch PBS cooking shows, which I’ve actually been enjoying a lot recently! Super informative and no commercial breaks! The last couple of times I’ve remembered to watch all involved puff pastry. Julia Child made an almond pastry one morning and Hubert Keller made beef wellington last weekend. I was pretty set on buying some puff pastry, but when I called Paul for suggestions he reminded me that we have lots of meat in the freezer. We will be leaving Boston pretty soon too, so I decided to improvise rather than buying more meat. I came up with four combinations and they were all delicious. Paul loved them. Like, really LOVED them. These would be a great, easy thing to throw together for an impromptu get together or a any type of entertaining, really. Or just dinner for two. I’ve listed my filling ideas below! They are all basically different combinations of spinach, cheese, mushrooms, and pork (in various forms).

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Mushroom based: brown some mushrooms in butter and garlic. Let them release their moisture so that the pastry doesn’t get soggy. Start by filling a pastry square with the mushroom mixture. This will be great on its own. For some more variety and flavor add mozzarella, then either bacon crumbles, or small cubes of sausage. Or go for it all if you’d like!

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Pork Based: I used a filleted pork loin that I had precooked and frozen. Defrost and cut into small cubes. Pile them onto a square with a chunk of mozzarella and some of your mushroom mixture. For a nice cheesy crust, sprinkle a little mozzarella on the top of the pastry.

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Spinach Based: Chiffonade some spinach leaves. Similar to the mushroom based pastry, layer mozzarella and bacon, or sausage cubes.

Cheddar Based: If you have extra scraps of pastry after cutting your squares, use them to make cheddar and bacon pastry straws. Place thin slices of cheddar in the middle of the rectangle and then twist. They are great with or without bacon!

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Have fun experimenting with different ways to fold your pastry squares! They don’t have to look perfect when you put them in the oven. The puffiness helps make any fold look lovely!