Saturday, January 05, 2008

Fabulous recipe!

I love recipes that can be used as a base for whatever I happen to have on hand. I am a regular reader of the blog Cook & Eat, and a few weeks ago, she posted a recipe for rugelach* dough, suggesting that it was the perfect base for savory as well as sweet fillings.

We had our New Year's Day party and I was still in the mood to cook and I thought I'd play. I made two batches of dough - one with barely any sugar for a savory filling, and one with a bit of sugar for a sweet filling. NOTE: the dough was very shaggy but, much like pie crust, after a night in the fridge it was really gorgeous.

The sweet filling was semi-traditional. I took half a cup of apricot preserves and stirred them up with a fork and added 1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger. I whizzed up half a cup of slivered almonds in the Cuisinart and then whizzed up enough dried apricots to also get a half a cup. To the almonds, I added about 1/3 cup of brown sugar and a heaping soup spoon full of white sugar and mixed all that up.

I rolled out the dough into my rectangle and then cut it in half with a pizza wheel. I spread the apricot preserves, then spread on the almond/sugar mixture, and then added the minced dried apricots.

I had too much filling, but it kind of oozed out on the bottom (line your baking sheets with parchment as she recommends!) and caramelized and I am all for anything caramelized, so I was in heaven.

The second filling necessitated the use of the term "pinwheel" rather than rugelach. My Jewish friends were endlessly amused that I made ham rugelach!

For the ham and gruyere pinwheels, I whizzed up some leftover ham from Christmas in the Cuisi until it was minced and then shredded some gruyere. About half a cup of each. I spread each strip of dough with some cranberry mustard, sprinkled on a bit of gruyere, added the ham, a sprinkle of grated parmesean, and a bit more gruyere. Sinfully good!

I don't have any pictures because none of it lasted very long.

The only thing I would change is perhaps basting the tops with a bit of egg wash so they get all golden brown. I didn't feel like it and they turned out fine, but that might be a bit more fancy.

The delightful thing was that all of the filling ingredients were things I had in my fridge or pantry. I'm thinking about my next version already. I have some asiago cheese in my fridge. That and some pureed sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of parmesean might be very nice indeed.

*Blogger suggests that, perhaps, I meant to say lachrymose, archangel, or Delacruz. Ahem.