Thursday, September 2, 2010
Gorgonzola Onion Turnovers
I, like many others, have read Julie and Julia. I loved the book, thought the movie was sub-par (because I read the book first and the book is almost always better), and longed after a few of the recipes.
This is the thing though, I'm one of those mostly vegetarians. I am a vegetarian who occasionally eats fish, a pescetarian. I have no qualms about this and have existed this way for years now. However, given the amount of recipes including animal products in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I couldn't bring myself to buy the cookbook.
Back to those cravings though. For months now I have been thinking about the Roquefort Turnovers that Julie Powell makes in Julie and Julia. I've googled them to look for a proper recipe and I'm not quite sure what I did wrong, but I couldn't find any. As I'm writing this post, I did a quick repeat google search and there are several Pastry Turnovers with Roquefort Cheese recipes.
Which makes this next part even more hilarious. Overcome by cravings for Roquefort Turnovers, frustration over not finding the recipe, and being adamant about not buying the whole cookbook, I scurried off to the bookstore while I was on call last weekend (there is luckily a bookstore right across the street from the hospital, convenient for situations such as these). Don't worry, no one was in labor - I did not abandon a laboring patient for a recipe, and won't however saliva-inducing it is. Once at the bookstore, I made a beeline for the cookbook section (my favorite spot to hang out, second favorite is travel). Thumbing through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volume 1, I found the sought after recipe. Carefully making sure no one was looking, I snapped a few pictures on my iPhone of the recipe, then put the book back on the shelf.
I know, I know, I should be more respectful of the printed word, especially in this day and age of E-readers that are quickly making bookstores like this one suffer. Normally I am, actually I purchase books here frequently. But this is one tempting recipe.
Now when I actually had a moment to make a version of this recipe, I decided to make some alterations. The closest gourmet cheese store at least 30-40 minutes from work, in the opposite direction of my home, so I settled with Gorgonzola instead of Roquefort. I also used a Vidalia onion instead of green onions and brandy in place of cognac (not sure how much the taste varies here). Oh and I used my now stand by pastry dough recipe from Chez Pim, which comes out deliciously buttery and flaky.
Even though it was 1030 pm when I finished, Partner in Crime and I popped one each in our mouths before bed, savoring in the warm cheese and onion filling and buttery crust.
Gorgonzola Onion Turnovers
Inspired by Julia Child's Pastry Turnovers with Roquefort Cheese (original recipe here)
1/2 recipe of pastry dough from Chez Pim's Perfect Pie Dough
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
4 oz Gorgonzola cheese
1-2 Tbsp whipping cream
3/4 Tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp black pepper
Makes 6 medium size pastries, or 10-12 small pastries (this can easily be doubled or tripled to create little pastry appetizers for a get together)
Prepare pastry dough according the above links directions. Be sure to do all the chilling and folding as that creates the layers of flakiness.
While dough is chilling for the second 30 minutes, prepare the filling. First saute the chopped onion in 1 Tbsp of butter. Once the onion is translucent, set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Mash Gorgonzola cheese with a fork in a medium size bowl. Separate 1 egg, adding the yolk to the cheese and setting aside the white to use later. Beat together the yolk and cheese until well combined. Now add the brandy and whipping cream (start with 1 Tbsp whipping cream) and beat together. The mixture should be a thick paste, add second Tbsp of whipping cream as needed.
Now add onions, a few dashes of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper and stir together. Set mixture in the fridge while you roll out the pastry dough.
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick rectangle. Using the pastry scraper or a knife, cut dough in 2 1/2 inch strips.
Make your egg wash, by adding another egg to the egg white and whisking together. Get out your pastry brush. Either butter baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.
You can make different shapes and sizes for these pastries. For small triangles, cut strips into 2 1/2 in by 2 1/2 in squares. Place a 1/2 Tablespoonful (more or less as needed) of cheese mixture in the center of square. Using pastry brush, spread egg wash along edges of dough. Fold over into a triangle and pinch edges together. Using tines of a fork, press along the edges. Brush egg was over the top of pastry and place on baking sheet. Repeat until add pastry dough is used up.
Bake in the top third of the oven at 425 F for about 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve warm.