Once, when I first started cooking, I made a spinach pie recipe that involved a phyllo sheet crust. That damn crust was the hardest thing ever. Of course, I didn’t have a pastry brush back then, so I was smearing the butter on with a spoon and made a giant mess. But for years and years after, I didn’t make anything with puff pastry because I thought it was the same thing as phyllo and I was never, ever going to repeat my phyllo experience.
At some point, I figured out that puff pastry are phyllo are night and day. Puff pastry is one of the easiest things ever. I have not gotten over my fear of phyllo, but I’m quite happy to have cured myself of the confusion.
This recipe is delicious. It was super easy and a perfect appetizer with wine. The original recipe called for feta, but I used parmesan. My friend said how much he liked gorgonzola with carmelized mushrooms, so I think that would probably work well. Really, it’s pretty flexible so I plan on playing around a bit with cheese and herbs in the future. I also bet it would be nice with some ground walnuts in there. I had some issues making them look pretty so I probably didn’t fold it right, so my next attempt may just be rolling it up like a pinwheel.
Carmelized Onion Palmiers
Recipe printed with permission from I Shot the Chef
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 to 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 sheet of store bought puff pastry, thawed
2 tbsp cornmeal (I used flour)
Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until they just start to color. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking, stirring often until brown and caramelized. This should take about 30-45 minutes. Just keep an eye on them. When they are carmelized and golden brown,add the garlic and stir around for one minute. At this point, I added about a tablespoon of water so I could scrape up some of the carmelized bits at the bottom of the pan, but that’s optional.
Remove from the heat and add the cheese and thyme and stir until the cheese melts.
The original recipe recommended roughly chopping the onion in a food processor until it’s a little more fine but still chunky. I didn’t find I needed to do this, maybe because I had sliced the onions in a food processor to begin with so they were pretty small. Whatever you decide will probably be fine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Let cool completely.
Sprinkle your clean surface with cornmeal (or flour). Place the thawed puff pastry on the dusted surface and sprinkle the top with whatever you are using. Roll the sheet of puff pastry into a rectangle, just slightly thinner than it was originally. Be careful that it does not stick. Spread the onion mixture on the puff pastry, leaving about 1 inch around the edges.
Start rolling one of the short edges towards the middle. Then roll the opposite edge to meet up in the middle. This will make a log shape. Brush a little water in the center where the two rolled halves meet. Turn the log onto its side and press down slightly so the halves stick together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm up. This makes it much easier to cut.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the log from the freezer and slice into 1/4 inch disks. Place the cut side down on a parchment covered sheet pan. If they are deformed, don’t panic. Mine looked much better when they came out.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown and cooked through. Best served warm, but also good at room temperature.
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