Friday, February 25, 2011

Brinjal and cheese puff

I was going to make some spinach puffs with feta and pine nuts (kinda like the Greek spanakopita) but then I decided to try something different. Eggplant! Yes, a Baba Ghanoush-like filling with white cheese sounded good.

It didn't really matter because, quite honestly, almost any filling would taste great in delicious, buttery, home made puff pastry  .... right? Well, I think so anyways. You can tell I am still on a high from the success of making puff pastry from scratch .....*glow*

So anyway, I put the spinach away and took out the sole eggplant I had in my fridge.  It was nice and plump, and a gorgeous deep purple... just right for the roasting. Yes, the first step is to roast the eggplant.

Step 1.
Roasting the eggplant is easy. Simply place it in a roasting pan, prick it with a fork in a few places and stick it in the oven (pre heated at 200C) for about 40 mins. No oil or butter necessary.

Step 2
Once you've roasted the plant, cover it with plastic wrap and let it cool. Then, gently srape away all the black skin and place it in a colander to drain for about 30 mins. 

Step 3
The mash up! With a fork (or your hand blender/food processor), mash the eggplant. Don't let it get to be a puree ... leave a little chunky pices in there. If you want, get rid of some of the seeds as you mash (I did this). 

Add about 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, 3-4 tbsp of greek yoghurt, a handful of chopped fresh parsley (I used chevril) and season with salt and pepper. That's it. Your filling is good to go.     

Step 4
The accompaniments. What would go well with mashed eggplant? I decided on white cheese (or you could use feta). Note: you may want to ease up on salting the eggplant if you're using white/feta cheese as these cheese are pretty salty already.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Step 5
Making the puff. Roll the puff pastry while chilled (not frozen) as you want the butter to remain firm. Cut into rectangles or sqaures (depending on whether you want a circular puff or a square one. The size of your rectangles/circles really depends on how big you want your puff to be).

Spread the filling on the bottom half of your pastry dough, leaving a 1.5 cm border for the edges. Don't forget to add your cheese to the filling! Fold the top flap over and seal the edges tight with your fingers. Use a fork to press the edges clse and so you get a nice ridges pattern.

Step 6
Egg wash. Beat an egg and add 1 tbsp milk/cream (optional). Brush the puffs with the egg mixture.

Step 7
Bake for 15- 20 mins or till the puffs are nicely ... err... puffed and are beginning to get golden. 

Step 8
Devouring the puff. Whatcha waiting for? Eat it quick as puff pastry is best eaten hot outta the oven. 

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