Makes 30 – 36 (2x3” or 3x3”) individual tarts from each puff pastry sheet
1 box puff pastry, thawed for at least 40 minutes on counter top
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Few grinds of black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup Parmesan, shredded
¼ cup mayonnaise
6 ounces Chevre or Montrachet goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup pine nuts
In a zip top bag, place the asparagus. Over top, sprinkle the garlic salt, pepper and olive oil and toss to combine well. Set aside for a few minutes. In a small bowl, combine together the Parmesan and mayonnaise and set aside.
Grill or broil the asparagus until just barely tender. Cut the asparagus into approximately ½ inch bits and set aside. Preheat oven to 375.
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry sheet and roll it to about 15 x 18 inches, or to fit a large baking sheet. Cut the large sheet into either 3 x 3-inch squares or slightly smaller 2 x 3 inch squares, using a sharp knife or a pastry wheel. Prick the centers well with a knife or fork. Bake the plain pastry for 6 minutes. Remove and quickly press down the centers of the pastry squares. Return to oven and bake another 6 minutes. Remove from oven and press down centers again.
While the first pastry is baking, roll out the second sheet, if using, and repeat the above instructions.
Using the back of a teaspoon, smear about ½ teaspoon of the mayonnaise and Parmesan mixture into the center of each partially baked square. Place about 1½ to 2 teaspoons of the asparagus pieces into the center. Sprinkle on about 4 – 6 pine nuts per square. Press about 1 teaspoon of the goat cheese crumbles onto the top. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 - 12 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the cheese has started to brown in patches.
Lay the puff pastry sheet so the fold lines are perpendicular to you (figure 1). Roll the pastry from side to side, mainly keeping the depth of the pastry the same. Each of the fold sections should measure about 5 inches wide, for a total of about 15 inches. Measure the sausages to see if two will fit end-to-end across the width. If not wide enough, roll a little more to fit. Cut the pastry into 6 equal sections.
Lay one sausage across one end (see figure 2, lower right). Moisten well the opposite edge of the pastry. Roll up and rock back and forth to press the moistened end well so it will stay together when baking. Slice the rolls into about ¼ inch slices and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serve hot or cool with a tiny dab of Mango Chutney.
NOTES: While andouille sausages are generally quite spicy, other types of sausage will work perfectly, also. Try using a really good chorizo, or even a polish kielbasa.
I used store bought Major Grey Mango Chutney. Any slightly sweet chutney will work just fine, or even a sweet and sour sauce.
Line three large mini tart pans with pie pastry. This can be done well ahead and the pastries frozen until time to fill and bake.
Check the figs to see if they are very dry or retain some moisture. Put fig bits into a relatively flat container and pour the sherry over. If they are not too dry, use the smaller amount of dry sherry to soak them. If they are quite dry, use the larger amount. Set aside for at least an hour, to plump. When ready to proceed with the recipe, pour off any remaining sherry into a cup; reserve liquid for later.
The amounts of the mushrooms call for sautéing them in two batches. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and put in half the shallots to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, to soften. Raise heat to high and add half the mushrooms, stirring very frequently for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have evaporated any liquids and are browned. Add half the rosemary and salt. Add in half the fig soaking liquid and cook to evaporate completely. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat this process with remaining butter, shallots, mushrooms, rosemary, salt and reserved fig liquid. Combine the figs with the mushrooms and combine. This mixture may be made ahead and kept refrigerated for 2 – 3 days .
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble the goat cheese and gently combine with the mushroom and fig mixture. You want the goat cheese to retain form; not make the mixture muddy looking. Spoon mixture into the tart shells. Bake the mini tarts for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until the tart shells are browned and the filling is bubbling. Serve hot or cool.
Cut ends off leeks, leaving only the white and lightest sections (about 4 to 6 inches) and slice in half lengthwise. Fan the layers under running water to clean out any mud or grit. Laying flat side down, cut them again lengthwise, then slice across into thin strips, making about 2 cups. Cut off about a 4-inch neck section of the squash, about ¾ pound. Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Laying flat side down, cut each section into three more lengthwise sections. Slice each of these across into thin pieces about 1 x 1 ½ inches, making approximately 2+ cups. Peel and core the apples and cut into 8 wedges apiece. Slice across the wedges into thin slices, making about 3 cups, total.
In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add in the leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the Sherry and cook to evaporate, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the squash and toss to combine; cook for another 5 minutes before adding apples. Add in salt and nutmeg and a few grinds of black pepper. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 10 - 12 minutes or until the squash and apple are very tender. Take off the heat and cool slightly for about 20 minutes. At this point, the recipe can be held in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Thaw box of Phyllo at least 12 hours in the refrigerator, or 4 hours at room temperature.
NOTE on Phyllo: Phyllo dough must be
handled with great care, since it is delicate and dry to the touch.
Carefully unroll as many sheets as needed and store the remainder
immediately. Place sheets not immediately in use between towels to
prevent drying. If weather is hot and dry, sprinkle a little water on
Preheat oven to 375. Add the Asiago cheese to the squash and apple mixture and combine gently.