Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I do like a bit of alliteration - probably a result of watching too many Sesame Street episodes with the kids. I also like simple recipes that look as if I went to a lot of effort! And I especially like recipes that get the thumbs up from the mini-critics.
“I do love pumpkin soup!” , mini-critic senior declared not that long ago, so pumpkin soup has made an appearance at least once a fortnight this winter. What’s not to love? Quick, easy, healthy and there’s room for endless tweaking.
In the April 2009 issue of the ABC Delicious magazine (my fav. mag), I came across a recipe by Belinda Jeffery for blue cheese and pecan snails. Teamed with the soup, this made such an impact that a new family favourite was born. (And the kids don't even realise they were eating blue cheese – I still haven’t told them, shhhhh….).
Of course, I couldn’t resist tweaking the original recipe a little bit, and when I discovered a lovely spiced pear paste (Maggie Beer), I had to put some into the snails. And pine nuts went in because I’d run out of pecans.
The recipe is actually a scone recipe made into a snail shape. Scones must be flavour of the month - fellow food blogger Y has done a take on scones too!
Blue cheese, pine nut and pear paste pinwheels.
(A TWS version of Belinda Jeffery’s Blue Cheese and Pecan Snails).
2 cups (300g) self raising flour
1 tsp caster sugar
80g chilled unsalted butter, plus 70g extra at room temp.
½ cup (125 milk), plus extra if needed
90 g creamy blue cheese, crumbled
2/3 cup (50g) finely grated parmesan
100g toasted pine nuts (or pecans or walnuts)
1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tsp water/milk
1-2tbsp spiced pear paste (optional)
Sift the flour, sugar and salt together. I rubbed the butter into the flour mix by hand. (The actual recipe says to use a food processor). Doing it by hand saves taking the food processor apart to clean. I find that the dough seems to need less chilling time, but can't say for certain.
Add the milk and mix lightly with a fork until a soft dough forms. It may need more milk.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth (not too long, just a couple of minutes or so). Roll out the dough into a rectangle.
Put the extra butter and cheeses in a food processor and whizz until well combined. To save washing up the food processr, the buter and cheeses can also be mixed together in a bowl.
If using the pear paste, spread evenly over dough leaving a 1 cm strip on the long side (for rolling up later) . Then spread cheese mixture evenly over the paste mixture. Sprinkle over with pine nuts then roll up like a jam roll. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper, then chill in fridge for 1-2 hours. I’ve managed to get away with as little as 20 mins. (The original recipe also says to brush the exposed 1 cm strip with the egg wash mixture but I have missed this step without too much drama as long as the roll is refrigerated seam side down).
Preheat oven to 200˚C. Carefully put the chilled log onto a cutting board and cut into slices. Arrange the pinwheels on a baking tray, leave a bit of space for spreading. Brush with eggwash, then bake until golden. Serve straightaway. (We’ve had it the next day as well. Refresh in a moderately hot oven for 3-5 minutes….yum!)