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  • Puff Pastry with Caramelized Onion Cream Spread (Vegetarian)

    Posted on | December 20, 2009 | 25 Comments |

    Throwing a dinner party is stressful. How-much-ever one likes to cook, the day of the party will always be so chaotic that will make one wonder more than once, why the heck didn’t I just order some take-out! But at the end of the day it sure is more fun to serve something homemade than the best restaurant fare in town. A small word of praise from the dinner guests is all it takes to forget all that hard work and makes you want to do this all over again.  The trick to get the best of both worlds – the satisfaction of serving a home made meal without all the hard work – is to incorporate a few shortcuts. You don’t have to make everything from scratch; Sandra Lee has made a career out of semi-homemade cooking. While she is a butt of joke for chefs like Anthony Bourdain who once said that “Her death-dealing can-opening ways will cut a swath of destruction through the world if not contained”, I definitely don’t think it is a crime to go the semi-homemade route once in a while.

    For example, a store-bought frozen puff pastry sheet is a great time-saver and it is so darn tasty it is really hard to screw up a dish made with these magical sheets oh so light and flaky. One of my favorite ways to use puff pastry is as a flatbread topped with savory ingredients. All you have to do is to thaw the pastry sheets, lay it out flat on a large baking sheet, preferably on a parchment paper, so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom, bake for 10-15 minutes till crispy, then add the toppings and send it back to the oven for another 10-12 minutes to finish it up. Once done, you can use a pizza slicer to cut this into desired shapes and sizes, a quick appetizer is ready! Make sure to poke a few holes along the pastry before baking so that it doesn’t puff up too much.

    This picture was taken just after the first step, before it went back into the oven with all the toppings. I didn’t get time to take a picture of the finished product, it looked pretty much like this, a little browner.

     food 009

    The caramelized onion cream spread idea was from this website. This is a fantastic spread and will work even as a dip. The spread can be made a day ahead, just refrigerate till use.

    Puff Pastry Flat Bread

    Ingredients

    • 2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
    • 4 tbsp caramelized onion cream spread (recipe below)
    • Sauteed Mushroom-spinach-pine nut topping (recipe below)

    Method

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

    Unfold the pastry sheets and lay flat on the tray. Pinch the edges together to combine the two sheets, roll this area lightly with a roller to smoothen. Take a fork and poke all over the sheets lightly so that there is some way for the steam to escape while the sheets are baking and it won’t puff up too much. Place the tray in the pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes.

    Take it out of the oven and if it is all puffed up, let it cool down for a few minutes till it deflates. Now use a rubber spatula to spread the caramelized onion cream spread evenly. Now spread the veggie mixture all over the topping. Return to the oven and cook for another 12 minutes when the pastry is nicely crispy and the spread is browned a bit.

    Slice into pieces of desired size using a pizza slicer and serve warm.

    Caramelized Onion Cream Spread

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium sized red onions, chopped fine
    • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp crushed red chilies
    • 1 cup chicken stock (I used vegetable stock this time)
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream

    Method

    Heat olive oil in a large pan, add the onions, garlic, salt and sugar and cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the mixture is brown. Add the stock and cook till it is reduced to half stirring occasionally. Now add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Transfer to a blender and blend to form a smooth paste.

    Mushroom – Spinach – Pine nut Topping

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I used oyster mushrooms this time, use your favorite kind)
    • 1 6 oz bag baby spinach washed and dried thoroughly
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 tsp crushed red chilies
    • 3 tbsp pine nuts

    Method

    Dry roast the pine nuts and keep aside.

    In a large frying pan, heat oil and butter and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally till the mushrooms are well browned. Add the crushed red chilies and saute for a few seconds. Add the baby spinach and stir fry till the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the roasted pine nuts.

    Category: Appetizers and Snacks, Mushroom, Pizzas and Flatbreads

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    Comments

    25 Responses to “Puff Pastry with Caramelized Onion Cream Spread (Vegetarian)”

    1. Mamatha
      December 20th, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

      The caramelized onion cream spread sounds super delicious. The only thing I ever make with puff pastry is Indian-style puffs. I’ll try this recipe when we have company.

    2. elra
      December 20th, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

      This is such a wonderful idea Sig. Anything with puff pastry sounds good to me.

    3. Silvara
      December 20th, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

      I’m always looking for quick and easy appitzers and this looks delicious! Thanks – will try this out at my next dinner gathering :)

    4. Champa
      December 20th, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

      Nice recipe. People who don’t want to use the puff pastry sheets can make it with pie crust dough too.

    5. Siri
      December 20th, 2009 @ 7:32 pm

      Ooohh! caramelized onions on puff pastry – that is one lovely combination. going through semi-homemade way can sometimes be a great money and time saver! :smile:

      Happy Holidays Sig. :smile:

      Siri

    6. Veda
      December 20th, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

      hey sig!

      love the puf pastry sheets! unfortnately i have never seen them in India…anyone please enlighten me if u have found them! my fav way of using them is to make potato puffs…like the ones we get in bakeries here……and i agree sandra lee can go over board with same colour plates,table runners, crockery and stuff! i loved watching food network.

    7. Raaga
      December 20th, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

      If only one got puff pastry in India! yummy!

    8. CW
      December 20th, 2009 @ 9:53 pm

      I’m gonna serve this at our next dinner party. And then crib about how you made me slave over the stove for the filling and the spread.

      :-D

    9. nags
      December 21st, 2009 @ 2:18 am

      oh my! love the idea, especially how easy it is. TH is sure to love this :)

    10. Miri
      December 21st, 2009 @ 2:44 am

      WOW – that is one amazingly tantalizing appetiser, think I have to try this out on the holidays. especially since I have just found out a place which sells puff pastry – need to tell Raaga!

    11. Bong Mom
      December 21st, 2009 @ 6:33 am

      That is a lovely appetizer Sig, I use a lot of store bought starters for parties. One of my favorites is also the Phyllo shells.

      Happy Holidays to you guys too

    12. Parita
      December 21st, 2009 @ 9:38 am

      You got my attention with caramelized onion cream spread, love anything with caramelized onions!!!

    13. sra
      December 21st, 2009 @ 10:15 am

      Maybe we in India can deconstruct the puffs we find in the bakery and fill it or layer it with our own toppings? Hmm? :lol:

    14. Nalini
      December 21st, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

      Thanks for posting such a good recipe. Curious to see what else you prepared for the party.
      Great Idea!!

    15. Manasi
      December 21st, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

      Looks wonderful!
      I honestly see no problem with using puff pastry ( of a store bought component) for a guest dinner.. it saves time and effort that can be well utilized in something else.

    16. Divya Vikram
      December 21st, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

      I use these puff pastries only to make puffs. Lovely way to use them!

    17. jaya
      December 21st, 2009 @ 11:57 pm

      Sig,
      this looks great ..and yeah i too like semihomemade route to create recipes when i have company :smile: ……
      hugs and smiles

    18. Srivalli
      December 22nd, 2009 @ 8:30 am

      That looks and sounds wonderful Sig..but didn’t you not fold it or cover it as in the puffs that are normally made?..what has gone in makes it so interesting..

    19. Soma
      December 23rd, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

      Mmmmm Sig.. looks so good! will make it once I get back.

      Happy Holidays & Happy New year to you and your loved ones.

    20. Nirmala
      December 24th, 2009 @ 5:53 am

      Lovely and easy too. Have not tried store bought puff pastry yet. I am sold for the caramelized onion spread. Wishing you happy holidays and a prosperous new year to you and Siv!

    21. Pravs
      December 25th, 2009 @ 7:18 am

      I totally agree how stressful cooking for a dinner party can be…even though you enjoying cooking. With mushrooms,spinach and caramelized onion, it must be yum biting into the puff pastry. Happy holidays sig !

    22. Bong Mom
      December 30th, 2009 @ 9:14 am

      Happy New year Sig & Siv

    23. Silvara
      January 17th, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

      By the way – i made this when I had some friends from work over – they were so so good that I was asked the recipe lol. Def will make the filling/spread the day before though – meeting guests all flushed from the kitchen after typically leaving everything to the last minute is something that has gotta change.

      One thing tho – the puff pastry got a little soft with all the filling and was a bit hard to cut into pieces – is there something else you could use in order for it not to soften??

    24. devi
      January 20th, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

      its easy :lol: :razz: :smile:

    25. Anupama
      January 21st, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

      I loved your blog, and I can totally related to this post about giving dinner parties. Your recipes look fantastic.

      Anupama

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