Do you ever go into a room looking for something and once you get there you can’t remember what you’re looking for? You stand and wait, hoping the thought will come back. You leave the room, hoping it will return. Nada.
That’s how I am with items that I can’t find here in Mexico. I whine about them. I long for them. And then once they arrive in my grocery store, I promptly forget all the thousands of ways I was going to use them. I get so excited that my mind completely empties and I can’t remember which recipe I wanted this item for.
I haven’t seen puff pastry here in the ten years I’ve spent in Playa. Ten years to not have one of your most favorite, never mind one of the most versatile items to cook and bake with, is a sad state of affairs.
A few weeks ago, my mother told me that she found some beautiful puff pastry at one of our local Italian shops. I promptly went and bought some and kept it frozen until we had some company. And then it happened. When the time came to use it, I had no idea which recipe I used to use it all the time with it! It took a bit of searching to help me remember. And then, that recipe seemed a little too boring and I wanted to kick it up a notch. I wanted to be dazzled after so long!
Also at this Italian store came some really nice Italian sausage, another thing that I can’t get too much of here. That is how this recipe came together. It’s really quite simple. It only has 5 main ingredients: puff pastry, brie, onions, spinach, and sausage. If you want to omit the sausage and make it vegetarian, go ahead. I personally loved the combination but I know there’s always people who need vegetarian treats.
You can be very careful and measure and cut the rolled out pastry with extremely straight lines. But if you know me at all, you’ll know that’s not my style. Mine looked uneven but workable.
My pastry did not stay folded up as it baked but i didn’t mind. I found them to be cute and unique and didn’t stress when they don’t come out looking all uniform. This is how they looked before the oven.
Puff pastry likes to grow and curve and I was okay with that.
You can make the filling the day before or early in the day and fill and bake them before people arrive. They’re lovely right out of the oven.
Enjoy the puff!
- 4 Italian sausages, casings removed
- 8 ounces round brie cheese, rind removed
- 1/2 large onion, sliced or chopped
- 1 bunch fresh spinach (frozen can be used instead, just defrost and squeeze all water out)
- about 250 grams puff pastry
- about 1/4 cup butter
Put a large saucepan on medium heat. Break up sausages, add to saucepan, and cook until brown. Transfer to plate and cool. In same saucepan, melt 2 TAB butter. Cook onions on medium heat until light brown, but do not let burn. Transfer to sausages and cool. Break brie into small pieces and add to sausage and onion mixture. Heat a medium saucepan halfway filled with water. Rip spinach and put into water. Cook until spinach wilts, a few minutes. Remove from water. Drain and cool. Make sure you squeeze out any excess water from spinach. Chop finely and add to sausage, onion, and brie. Combine well. Season with salt and pepper. (You can do this the day before or early in the day, cover, and refrigerate).
On a lightly floured surface, prepare puff pastry (I had to roll mine out but I know many of you can buy it pre-rolled). Cut into small squares about 3-4 inches, whatever you prefer. Transfer squares to a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put a small amount of filling into the middle of the square. Pull up one side of the square and then the opposite. Repeat until all squares are finished. Brush with melted butter. (See pictures above)
Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and transfer to dish. Enjoy!
Serves 6-8 as an appetizer.