Baking | Savoury Chicken Galette … Cherry Tomato with Green Garlic Pesto & Roasted Veggies with Smoked Sea Salt {Baking with Julia}

“Ingredients are not sacred. The art of cuisine is sacred.”
Tanith Tyrr

Savoury Chicken GaletteIt was a savoury chicken galette waiting to happen, or maybe wanting to be baked. It’s a result of blogger interactions, loads of food talk, some food cravings, events missed and repented, flavours virtually thrown into the air and talked about….Savoury Chicken GaletteI missed a picnic a few weeks ago with the Delhi food bloggers bunch. There was so much talk about food, what who was making, baking, getting,  that I had pangs …not hunger pangs but pangs of missing out on something good!  The Great Cookaroo threw in yolks after yolks to make her to go pastry cream from Dorie Greenspans Baking with Julia. I had the book on the shelf. A favourite from a favourite food blogger who gifted it to me from Bangalore. {Thank you again Suma!}

Savoury Chicken Galette Then there was talk of pickled green garlic pesto which immediately threw my tastebuds in overdrive … that sounded drop dead delicious. I wanted some! My chance soon came as a bunch of us met again at the Ty.phoo Tea & Food pairing eventSangeeta  carried a bottle of pickled green garlic pesto for me.

Savoury Chicken Galette with green garlic pestoSmothered on a toast the next morning, it had a comforting homey feel! It had all the hints of the green chutney sandwiches my dad often made … beautiful flavours that teased the palette. As I sat in the kitchen, the laundry machine whirring punishingly in the background, I reached out for Baking with Julia! The book is a winner. Read it, bake from it, drool over it, learn from it. I wanted to bake something savoury that morning, and settled for Cheese & Tomato Galette!

Savoury Chicken Galette The galette dough was done in seconds, a Flo Baker recipe from the book. Don’t you love a dough that comes together in a heartbeat, is fuss free, smooth, pliable and uses pantry staples? I didn’t even need to rest it since it held beautifully, winter ensuring a fridge like cold kitchen. {Feedback from batch #2: An overnight rest in the fridge yields a pliable nice dough too.}

Savoury Chicken Galette I used everything I had on hand! Pickled green garlic pesto, mozzarella, chicken salami, then some roasted onion balsamic jam, cherry tomatoes, smoked sea salt, pepper. Finished it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic greens.

Savoury Chicken GaletteThe green garlic pesto was a bit spicy / chili for the younger fellow, but hit all the right spots with the daughter and husband who love everything chili! You can find the recipe for the Pickled Green Garlic Pesto {or lehsun ka achaar} on Sangeeta’s blog. Use extra virgin olive oil to get a more pesto like feel to it {as she did for my batch}, and reduce the chilies if you don’t like it too hot! BTW, Sangeeta does great personalised  diet plans too, so do stop by if you need one!

Savoury Chicken Galette You can do pretty much anything with a ‘pastry canvas’ like this. To keep the younger one happy, I made a second lot with roasted bell peppers and onions {roasting done in the Philips AirFryer, 10 minutes was all it took}, topped with sliced chicken sausages marinated briefly in a honey-mustard-garlic mix. Keep it vegetarian with roasted veggies, caramelised onion & garlic jam and feta, maybe tomatoes.  It’s smooth, fun to roll out, and even more fun to ruffle over the filling to give it the characteristic galette feel.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking| Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts … ♥World Nutella Day♥

“You are the creative type. We all are – even if we don’t know it yet.”
Oprah

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts I’m late and I’m racing. It’s World Nutella Day today, the 5th of February. Though I had 2 jars of Nutella in the larder, I kind of got the dates all wrong. A tweet from the wonderful Michelle @ Bleeding Espresso, one of the WND co-hosts, caught my eye … and she said ‘You still have time. It isn’t until tomorrow’. Sara @ Ms Adventures in Italy is the other host of this delicious event.Tomorrow is already here, and I have battled to get this post rolling after an afternoon of baking with yummy Nutella.

Nutella is the brand name of a hazelnut flavored sweet spread registered by the Italian company Ferrero at the end of 1963. It is a tasty hazelnut spread that contains quality ingredients such as skim milk and a hint of cocoa. Nutella contains no artificial colors or preservatives.

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts

Nutella® spread, in its earliest form, was created in the 1940s by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. So Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy (northwest), to extend the chocolate supply.

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry HeartsI thought I’d just do a rectangular puff pastry tart with Nutella and strawberries, but then the inner passion took over. My sweet & spicy friend Meeta’s Monthly Mingle was on my mind. The theme  – Small Bites – Soul Food for your Loved Ones, hosted this month by the lovely food blogger, Astrid @Paulchen’s Food Blog. February is Astrid’s birthday month, and she says “I’d be more than happy if you surprise me for my Birthday with lots of suggestions for a luscious and seductive Valentine’s Day Dinner”! Nutella and strawberries offer quintessential seductive pairing; serve them in crisp puff pastry hearts, and I think you’d hit bulls eye!Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts The morning was a race to the finish as Saturday is an early morning soccer league match for junior. We made it to the game in time, and thankfully the lads team won. I drove back, dirty soccer kleats and boy. It was laundry time again! Oh the mundanities of life. Got back to find the teen had finished all the granola and asked if I could make more. {That post is coming soon… it’s a granola that changed my life!}. ‘LATER, I boomed!!  Nutella was the only thing on my mind.Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts Kebabs for lunch √. Happily polished off by the troops. Finally time for me and my Nutella. A creative streak kicked in while rolling the puff pastry, and out came heart cookie cutters. I have PLENTY of those in every size and avatar possible! Don’t even ask me why! I’m not a mushy person, and would never think of baking hearts for Mr PAB. Practical, level headed, creative and pretty stubborn am I, baking is my guilty pleasure. I baked hearts to feed the blog in honour of World Nutella Day!Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts I managed to make sweet little bites and tick it off my list-to-do for the day. Are you like me? Before I sleep every night, I have a list of things to do in my mind for the next day. Often it’s a fight to the finish as I try to get them  ticked off before the ‘dwarves’ come home from school. And often, they find me running breathless and tired to the bone, but I almost always achieve my targets.Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts I ran a small heart past the mister to check if it was fine to post. He ♥’d it… crisp buttery pastry, slightly tart strawberries and luxuriant chocolate cream! “Indulgent“, he declared … and so they are! I think these are fabulous served for tea, or would make for great V Day dessert served with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream for dessert! Happy Nutella Day!

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry HeartsNutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts
250gm rough puff pastry
1/2 cup Nutella
100gms strawberries, slice
2 tbsp apricot glaze
Pistachios
Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry HeartsMethod:
Roll out the puff pastry to 1/4″ height. Neatly stamp out 6 3″ heart shapes. {Reroll the pastry gently if required for the 6th shape}.
Take a slightly smaller heart shaped cookie cutter and mark a border about 1/2″ inside, not cutting the pastry right through.
With a offset spatula, or butter knife, spread about 1 tbsp of Nutella over the inner heart. Top with 5-6 slices of strawberries, overlapping slightly. Brush the sides with low fat cream {or egg glaze if you like}
Heat the apricot glaze till runny. Bake at 220C for 30-40 minutes till risen and puffed up.
Remove to a cooling tray. Paint over the strawberries as soon as the tarts come out. Garnish with chopped or slivered pistachios.

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Chicken Quark Crossover Puff Pastry … Savoury Comfort!

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort.”
Sheilah Graham

These savoury pastry puffs seemed just right for the severe cold spell our entire region is reeling under. The papers compare us to the North European freeze where our highs are hovering around 12C and lows around 3C {add to it some treacherous wind chill}… beating winter temperatures at Geneva, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris! Oooh just reading that feels even colder. The difference lies in the fact that we don’t have central heating as standard fitting in houses here like the West, and thus the chill is even worse. North India, winter chillSchools across the region have been shut for another 2 weeks as majority of the classrooms, school buses etc aren’t heated either. We’re just not equipped to deal with such low temperatures, and the poor are the worst affected. Extended power cuts, as the grids try and cope with the increased demand for power, add to the arctic freeze! Inconsequential things like my little blog suffers. When electricity finally shows up, important chores like laundry & turning on the oven take precedence over time spent online! These days I struggle to find time to post, blog hop etc…Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryI’ve finally found time to post this week, and this time it’s some savoury comfort food. I just had to share a delicious pastry we really enjoyed ‘hot and puffy‘ the other day. With puff pastry calling me from the  freezer, I wanted to make mince pies with my homemade mincemeat reserved from the Garam Masala Christmas Fruit Cake. I even had stars stamped out and frozen for the tops from some  earlier left over puff pastry I used in these Rustic Apple Galettes. BUT, the need that day was different. We craved something comforting, warming and cheesy, and my plans changed to savoury.Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryIt was a day of cleaning the fridge out … some leftover chicken from yet another batch of  Chicken, Bell Pepper Mushroom Jullienes and also a little left over quark cheese. Coupled with inspiration from a White on Rice sweet post on Homemade Strawberry Crossover Puff Pastries, I made these. A heart warming combination of chicken, sautéed mushrooms and roasted bell peppers, some creamy homemade quark mixed in with mozarella, embracing each other in a creamy delicious way… need I say more?Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryYes, these were indeed delicious! For a tutorial on how to make puff pastry and how to do crossover puff pastries, you must  stop by at the beautiful White on Rice blog. I got terribly distracted while making the cuts on the pastry and did it any old way, but they have a nice systematic approach in pictures for you to see.Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryI continue to use the Ottolenghi recipe for rough puff pastry, and it is wonderful. Haven’t needed to look for another as I love the results of this recipe. Have to add a disclaimer to say that it is very dangerous to have ready made puff pastry in the freezer you can even hear it beckoning to you in your sleep! That is one baking temptation I need to break! It’s a bit of a long task making the pastry, but once ready, it’s a real cakewalk, and a pleasure to have on hand!

Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryChicken Quark Crossover Puff Pastry
250gms rough puff pastry
50gm quark {homemade recipe here}
50gm mozzarella, grated
2 chicken breasts, cooked & chopped
100gms mushrooms, finely sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 stalks of garlic greens, chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
Method:
Filling
Sauté the onions, garlic greens and red chili flakes in 1 tbsp oil till fragrant, 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms and stir fry until they give up their water. Add chopped chicken and stir fry for 5-7 minutes on high. Season with salt and pepper.
Take off heat and add the quark and grated mozzarella and mix until the cheeses have melted. Cool completely
Assemble
Preheat the oven to 225C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Roll out pastry as thin as possible into a large rectangle, trim the edges, and cut into 6 equal portions.
With a pizza cutter, cut strips into 1/3rd of each side, leaving 1/3rd space in the centre for the filling.
Place 1/6th of the filling in the centre, and fold over the sides, pulling one strip from each side alternatively to meet in the centre. Secure with beaten egg yolk. Continue till all the strips are used up and the filling is covered. Brush lightly with the beaten egg yolk. Repeat for the remaining 5.
Bake till the tops are golden brown and the pastry is puffy, about 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm.Chicken Quark Crossover Puff Pastry
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

I’m sending these for the COMFORT FOOD EVENT hosted by Tamanna @ The Dazzling Kitchen
and also to Val @ More Than Burnt Toast for her event ‘Best Thing I Ever Ate

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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