Monday, September 22, 2008

12 Party Pleasers in Puff Pastry

I have to start this thing off proper with a shout-out to my friend Haim. He runs Frosty Insides, a blog about the contents of refrigerators. When I first saw the title I thought it was rants about being emotionally damaged, which I found odd since he's the coolest dude I've met this year. Luckily, it's another gem from a local food enthusiast. Check me out on last week's Freezer Friday.
There I was, on the final leg of my shopping trip at the Holiday Market. That's when I saw them. The alliteration was screaming at me from behind the frosty freezer door: "12 Party Pleasers in Puff Pastry."

I knew I had to write about them, with their fantastic use of Title Caps and alliteration. Plus, they were in the Kosher section. But, I almost walked away. As my distance from the curious item -- still in the freezer -- grew, my pace slackened. I stopped dead in my tracks. I had to go back for them.

I returned to the freezer aisle, much to the confusion of the couple in sweatpants who were deciding which "pizzas for one" to select. After at least 30 seconds, I found the little box that had caught my attention. I grabbed it and headed on my way, knowing I'd blow away my previously planned review of 7-11 hotdogs.

These little guys are "not recommended for microwave," so I took a rare opportunity to fire up the inside of my oven. This is an event typically reserved for Stouffer's French Bread Pizzas.

As the party pleasers became golden brown in my Whirlpool Super Capacity 465, I realized that they were somehow familiar. Then, it hit me. I had been served these items at my friends and fellow Vespa enthusiasts Amber and Nate's (yes we are many) house a few weeks ago. But, that was a few weeks ago, so I had to try them once again in order to provide the best possible review. Besides, I had already put them in the damn oven. So much for my plans to eat healthy now that I had turned 25.

Let's cut to the main course here, which ironically is an hors d'oeuvre.

After 15 to 20 minutes, I pulled the flaky, golden-brown morsels out of my oven. Although they had arrived in a tray with individual compartments, there was no guide to what was what and outward appearances were no help. It was time for a blind taste test.

With a choice between spinach and potato, spicy beef turnover and potato, I was pretty certain the first was of the potato variety. I expected it to be undercooked but it was just right. There were hints of garlic and the potato had perfect consistency. It was like a really nice spin on potato and onion pierogi.

Next up was potato and spinach, which was quite disappointing. I would describe its taste as boring. I could only bring myself to eat one.

Finally, I had decided that the large triangles were the beef turnovers. Amazing! I had inadvertently saved the best for last. The beef was somewhat in paste form and tasted like something from the Orient.

I won't recount my experience piece by piece, but I will say this: Party Pleasers in Puff Pastry made me very thirsty and the beef ones had a nice spice to them that lingered in the back of my throat. I really needed an Arnold Palmer iced tea with some gin in it to wash my snack down.

The real question: Would I promptly place these party pleasers in puff pastry on a table at a party for my guests to enjoy?

If I was for some reason hosting a party at my one-bedroom upper flat, yes. The fact that they made me crave booze is a sign of success. Plus, people would mistakenly think I was cultured and my vegetarian friends would probably enjoy the bland spinach puffs. As a service to my guests, I would also have to provide breath mints.

Don't hold your breath for any parties, though.


Stacey W. said...

An Arnold Palmer with booze in it is called a John Daly.

Amber said...

i too was pleased by these party puffs. thanks for the shout-out :) and i agree that the trick works. i do believe it was greg who commented that we have become a fancy married couple, and i have the party puffs to thank for that.