Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A Trio of Nifty Appetizers for the Holidays

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I do get sent the neatest things.  I was recently sent a variety of really nice appetizer pastries to use for the holidays.

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Pidy UK have recently launched a selection of their deliciously famous canapés for the retail market, the range contains a combination of their most unique and interesting shaped pastry vol-au-vents. All the products are made with their award winning pastry recipe that the Pidy family initially created in their little patisserie shop in Ypres, Belgium back in 1952.

Pidy is an innovative Belgian family food business established in the world of ready to fill pastry products. Pidy are a world leader in dry puff pastry and also competitive in short crust, fonçage dough, choux pastry and sponge cakes. With three production units in Belgium, France and the USA,  Pidy are able to offer the perfect day to day service and market support to their customers in more than 50 countries world wide. Pidy supply a range of products to the foodservice and retail industry which includes chefs, restaurants, cafes, bakery, patisserie, catering, retail and cash and carry.


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First up are these delightful little spoon shaped pastries.  They came 12 in the pack and were just the right size for one tasty little bite.    I created a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato filling for them, which turned out really nice.  The cups were crisp and just the perfect texture to go with the filling with no apparent outstanding flavors that would detract from whatever you put into them.  They worked out very well.

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*Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Spread*
16 servings

Don't fill your little cups until just before serving so that they stay nice and crisp.  Delicious.  All the flavors of your favourite sandwich in a small bite!  You can make the mayonnaise mixture ahead of time, as well as preparing your other ingredients and then just put them together at the last minute.

110g mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
1 (250g) package of cream cheese (8 ounces)
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
a couple of lettuce leaves, finely shredded
4 slices of streaky smoked bacon, cooked crisp and then crumbled
1 small tomato, de-seeded and chopped.
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced
40g strong cheddar cheese, grated (1/3 cup)
16 crisp appetizer cups

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Stir the mayonnaise, cream cheese and black pepper together.  Spoon an equal portion of this mixture into the bottom of each cup.  Top each with some lettuce, chopped bacon, chopped tomato, spring onion and cheese.  Serve immediately.
Alternately you can layer this in a nice shallow bowl for dipping or spreading on crackers, leaving out the appetizer cups.

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They also have a line of veggie pastry cups. These ones were shaped like little flower baskets and were a lovely pink/red colour.  Again there was no real jarring flavour from the cups.  They went very well with the pizza type filling I created for them.

Pidy’s newest retail range the Veggie cups are available in four flavours beetroot, carrot, spinach and celeriac and come in packs of 12. The four flavours capture the true nature, colour and essence of the vegetables as they are made with 30% real vegetable juice extract and no E numbers or artificial colours. The canapés are also made with Pâté à Foncer dough which is lighter and contains 50% less fat than standard pastry.

Again, they were very crisp and the shape and color made for a very pretty little presentation.

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*Pizza Cups*
Makes 16
Tasty little morsels that taste just like pizza.  Tasty one bites.  Don't fill your cups until the last minute so that they stay crisp.  You can make the spread, and chop the other ingredients and have them ready to throw together quickly when you are ready to serve.

110g of sour cream (1/2 cup)
1/2 250g package of cream cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 small pepperoni stick chopped coarsely
several lettuce leaves, shredded
half a dozen cured pitted black olives chopped
1 small tomato, de-seeded and  chopped
2 sun dried tomato halves, chopped
2 TBS finely chopped red onion
45g of coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
16 crisp appetizer cups

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Stir together the sour cream, cream cheese, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.   Spoon an equal portion of this into each of the appetizer cups.  Mix together the chopped pepperoni, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and sun dried tomatoes.  Sprinkle an equal portion over each cup.  Top each with a bit of Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Alternately this can be spread into a shallow dish and layered like a dip and served with crisp bread sticks or crackers.  I would double the amounts in this case.

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Finally I was sent these Vol-au-Vents Pastries.  Crisp puff pastry shells, perfectly baked and waiting for me to fill them with my chosen filling.   These were the perfect size for a first course and so I created a tasty spinach, cranberry, red onion and blue cheese filling to serve in them. 

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*Cranberry, Spinach and Blue Cheese Puffs*
Serves 8 as a first course
Deliciously different first course for the holidays. Pretty to look at and quite delicious!

8 puff pastry vol aux vent pastries, thawed and baked
2 TBS butter
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
a bag fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped (3 cups loosely packed)
75g of chopped sweetened dried cranberries (1/2 cup)
115g of blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
salt and coarsely ground black pepper

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Place the baked vol aux vents on a baking sheet.   Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.
Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the red onions and cook, stirring over medium heat until softened.  Begin adding the spinach a handful at a time, cooking just to wilt.  Stir in the dried cranberries and heat through.  Season to taste with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.  Divide the mixture equally amongst the pastry cups.  Top each with an equal portion of the blue cheese crumbles.  Pop into the oven to heat through and melt the cheese.  Serve immediately.

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Pidy manufacture a huge variety of products, including savoury pastries for main course, sweet pastry cases, dessert products, canapés and ready to fill pastries. For further details go to their website or follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

You can buy these fab products on Amazon.uk as well as in select farm and garden shops throughout the UK.

Many thanks to food PR agency CLIP Creative and PR for the samples.

5 comments:

  1. you really do the sponsors proud when asked to test things Marie, what delightful tasty bits here!

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  2. Thank you Laurie. I do put my heart and soul into these things as I do everything. I know a lot of bloggers just write about the stuff without actually using it, but I want to use what I am sent and then give you and them a fair and honest opinion on my findings!

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  3. They know who to send their things to:)
    I love these..the spoons are too cute and I spy fish ones..What a nice asst..

    Pity we don't have Pidy here:)

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  4. Those are too cute! I love the little spoons the best.

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  5. I just love those spoon shaped cases - what a terrific idea! I wonder if they have them here ... I'll have to check. I think your "Cranberry, Spinach and Blue Cheese Puffs" will be making an appearance on our Christmas table - they sound scrumptious and ideal for the vegetarian family members.

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