Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Puff Pastry


Puff, the Magic Dragon" is a song written by Leonard Lipton  and Peter Yarrow. It was made popular by Yarrow's group Peter, Paul and Mary in a 1963 recording. The song achieved great popularity. The lyrics for "Puff, the Magic Dragon" were based on a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, a 19-year-old Cornell University student. Lipton was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled "Custard the Dragon", about a little pet dragon."

The lyrics tell a story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate Jackie Paper, a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood and leaves Puff alone and depressed. (Because of the line "A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys", the lyrics may imply to some that Jackie Paper dies.) The story of the song takes place "by the sea" in the fictional land of Honalee (the spelling used by author Lenny Lipton, though non-authoritative variations abound.) 
The Peter, Paul & Mary song "Puff the Magic Dragon" is frequently connected with the North Shore place name Hanalei for the reference to mythical Honah Lee.
The song gained national prominence in 1962 when it made it to number-two on the Billboard Top 100 pop charts. Unfortunately for the dreamers and pop culture makers of the North Shore the song has no ties to Hanalei. But when we were in Kauai (Hanalei Bay) many of the townspeople there still cling to the urban legend their town's name has prominence in the song. Both are pronounced the same way.
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea 
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee, 
Little Jackie paper loved that rascal puff, 
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. oh 

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea 
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee, 
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whenever they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.
_______________________________________________________________________________
So I got a little side tracked looking up Puff Pastry on Google. When you type Puff automatically Puff the dragon comes up first before Puff Pastry.

Puff pastry seems to be a relative of the Middle Eastern phyloo and is used in a similar manner to create layered pastries. While traditionally ascribed to the French painter and cook Claude Gelee who lived in the 17th century (the story goes that Gelée was making a type of very buttery bread for his sick father, and the process of rolling the butter into the bread dough created a croissant-like finished product) References appear before the 17th century, indicating a history that came originally through Muslim, Spain and was converted from thin sheets of dough spread with olive oil to laminated dough with layers of butter, perhaps in Italy or Germany. Since the process of making puff pastry generally is laborious and quite time consuming we are lucky it is so available in the grocery store freezer section. There are a multitude of possibilities of recipes using this product.

The following recipes would make great appetizers for any holiday gathering.
The appetizers were made in a mini muffin pan (2 inches in diameter)
Smokey Sausage Tartlets
  
Cook's notes:The directions called for cutting pastry into 2-1/2 squares. I found that to be too small and would suggest cutting 3 inch squares to cover the insides of the muffin pan. Makes about 24
Ingredients:
  • flour
  • 1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package Puff Pastry sheets (1 sheet) thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups diced kielbasa or andouille
  • 4 TB. orange marmalade or red pepper jelly or fig preserves
  • 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • dried or chopped fresh parsley 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • On wax paper coat work surface with flour. Roll one pastry sheet to a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. Cut out 3 inch squares. Press pastry squares into muffin tin 
  • In a bowl stir diced sausage, mustard and jam or preserves
  • Spoon about 1 TB.sausage mixture into each tartlet shell
  • Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm 
Puff Pastry Meatball Marinara Tartlets









Cook's notes: The recipe called for using a half meatball per appetizer. In the photo I tried a whole meatball which did turn out to be too large for the pastry square. I thought a 2-1/2 inch pastry squares suggested in recipe was too small and would suggest cutting 3 inch squares. Makes about 24
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package Puff Pastry (1 sheet thawed) 
  • 12 frozen fully cooked cocktail size meatballs, thawed and cut in half
  • 1/2-3/4 cup prepared  Marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian herbs 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Unfold pastry sheet and on a floured wax paper surface roll to a 10 x 15 rectangle. Cut out 3 inch squares and press into mini muffin pan. Press against the sides and bake 8 minutes
  • Place half a meatball into each tartlet top with 1 tsp. of sauce and sprinkle with dried herbs and cheese
  • Return to oven and bake 9 minutes longer 









Asparagus and Parmesan Rolls
Cook's notes: The recipe called for making your own cream cheese spread with dried herbs, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. I would suggest an easier alternative buying a soft garlic herb cheese using products such as Boursin, Alouette, Rodale or Light Philadelphia Garlic and Herb Cream cheese. I thought another alternative to using the recipe as an appetizer would be to serve it with a main meal like soup or with a chicken dish. 
Serves 12
Ingredients:  
  • 1 container of Garlic Herb Soft Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated  Parmesan cheese
  • flour
  • 1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package of Puff Pastry (1 sheet thawed)
  • 1 small jar of roasted red peppers patted dry on a paper towel
  • 12 asparagus spears(thin ones) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 beaten eggs
  • sesame seeds  
Directions:
  • Roll pastry sheet out on a floured wax paper work surface 
  • With shorter end facing you cut pastry sheet rectangle lengthwise
  • On each rectangle spread with cream cheese
  • Divide and arrange asparagus pieces down the center and add roasted peppers down the center
  • Sprinkle each rectangle with Parmesan cheese
  • Fold pastry sides to center
Now here is where the learning curve came into play. I overlooked an important direction :)
Seal edges and down the middle of the pastry and FLIP OVER on cookie sheet so seam is DOWN on the cookie sheet. Beat egg and brush over entire pastry and at ends. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and grate Parmesan cheese over top. 
Bake about 18 minutes till golden brown. Place cookie sheet on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Cut each pastry loaf into 6 pieces. 
Now the finished pastry tasted great but would have looked better had i flipped it over (seam side down) to bake. 
Bone Appetit!
  

No comments:

Post a Comment