|cheesy and golden!|
I am a keen follower of the Shetland Times, which you too can follow on Facebook, if you want to be kept up to date with the goings-on of this island archipelago. It must be the Scottish blood in me that just loves anything Scottish. And I love the way they write about events (and crimes) here. Recently, one of the contract workers had been found to be drunk (and swearing!), and was exiled from the islands. Don't you just love that? Let's suggest it to Mr. Abbott as a punishment for wrongdoers. Oops, I think he has already done that.
Anyway, I bought a Shetland cookbook earlier this year, from which I have made (and blogged) a couple of recipes. I had also taken note of this recipe, French obviously with that name, but included in our Scottish author's book. Well, how can you resist a Scottish version of a French dish? (A bit of a hybrid like Mary Queen of Scots who spent her childhood at the French court).
Our lovely neighbour and friend Princess Pia invited us over for a drink on the weekend, so I decided to MBT (make, bake and take) this across to soak up the booze:) The Princess is one very hospitable lady, so when newbies moved in next door, she invited them over for a drink one afternoon. They left 10 hours later! Yes you read that right. Ten hours! By that time, it was after midnight, so she collapsed into bed to recover. I think the longest we have stayed for a quick drink with her was 5 hours. See, she needs to get tough and chuck us all out at a respectable hour.
This is a great little snack to make when you may have been imbibing just a wee bit too much (or plan to). All that cheese and carbs - just soooo good as a boozy sponge. Grab a snag and you have a complete meal. I mean after all, your food bases are covered with the herbs in the mix!
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
100g. vintage/tasty cheddar cheese (Shetland if you can get it)
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
3 tsp lightly dried parsley (use fresh if you wish)
1.5 tsp lightly dried chilli flakes
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat your oven to 200C
Place one sheet of pastry on a lightly greased baking tray
Grate the cheese and dice the ham
Place the cheese, eggs (except for a tablespoon or 2), ham, parsley, chilli and pepper in a small mixing bowl and stir together well
Spread the mixture over the pastry sheet, leaving a centimetre's edge on all sides
Brush water around the edges (not too much!)
Fold the 2nd sheet of pastry in half lengthwise
Make equidistant slits along it, without cutting all the way to the edge (see below)
Carefully pick up the pastry sheet and unroll it gently over the base
Press it down around the edges
Brush with the left-over beaten egg
Bake at the top of the oven for 20 minutes or till golden and puffed
Serve straight out of the oven
Make sure the oven is preheated and that the shelf is at the top
Use other herbs if you like (the author suggests thyme or oregano)
Add different spices if desired
Grease the tray with butter rather than oil, so you get a crisp base
I think it is best to keep this pretty simple. The original recipe has no chilli or ham; I just knew it would be tastier with it. By using that much parsley, it was a bit like a vegetable rather than a herb, which I think gave it a nice flavour and colour.
|my wonky egg doodle|
|ingredients (I used Aussie cheese of course)|
|pastry sheets ready to go|
|spreading out the filling|
|gently unrolling the top sheet of pastry over the base|
|pat it down around the edges|
|a delicious plateful of golden pastry|
These went down a treat at Princess Pia's drinks gathering. Not one scrap was left. Success! Highly recommended if you want to please your friends at your next party.