What type of food do you offer friends when you entertain? I usually end up cooking a variety of small dishes like this one, or food that guests can assemble themselves. Maybe this is because I have trouble narrowing down what to make! A new recipe or a proven favorite?? A range of small dishes, or finger food nibbles provide a variety, something for everyone including the children. Your friends can also eat as much, or as little, as they would like. They also get to try some ingredients and food that they may not necessarily try at home. I don’t know about you, but I have to keep a running list of foods that each of our friends and their partners dislike to ensure that I do not serve a range of dishes that feature ingredients those ingredients when they visit.
Entertaining at this point in our lives involves friends visiting us on the weekend for a meal – lunch or dinner. We then switch the next time and visit them. With two young children, and living an hour or more away from our closest friends, this is the simplest (and most relaxing) way for everyone to keep in touch with people.
This recipe was inspired by a method I first saw on my recent visit to Tamborine Cooking School. The host and owner of Tamborine Cooking School, Terri, showed us how to make a beetroot tart like this. She described them as square vol au vents. I have used the same process, modifying the ingredients to include produce that I had on available from the garden.
- 3 sheets of puff pastry - defrosted
- 1 egg - whisked
- Poached Chicken
- 2 small chicken breasts
- chicken stock (approximately 1 cup)
- 6 stalks of fresh parsley
- 2 cloves of garlic
- zest and juice of one lemon
- Kale Pesto
- ½ cup of almonds
- 1 garlic clove
- pinch salt
- 80 grams fresh kale
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch chilli flakes (optional)
- To Serve:
- feta cheese to serve
- 2 - 3 pieces of fresh kale baked for 10 minutes until crisp (optional)
- Set the pastry squares on a clean bench area to defrost
- Add the chicken breast, stock, parsley, garlic and lemon juice and zest to a small saucepan. The stock should just cover the chicken.
- Bring the ingredients to the boil, turn off and cover with a lid for 20-25 minutes until the chicken has cooked through
- Remove from the liquid, drain and shred the chicken and set aside
- To make the kale pesto, add the almonds, garlic clove, salt, kale, juice and chilli flakes to a food processor and process to a thick paste
- Cut the sheets of pastry into 9 even sized squares = 27 squares in total
- Cut an additional smaller sized square out of the center of half of the squares (13)
- Lay one pastry square on a baking tray and brush with egg yolk
- Add another pastry square that has had the center cut out on top of the first square
- Add the kale pesto to the base of the square and bake 170 degrees 10 - 15 minutes
- Remove from the oven once the pastry is golden
- Add the shredded chicken to the top and then the baked kale and feta to serve
- Serve with a salad if desired
You could add some of the chicken to the base prior to going into the oven. This will crisp the chicken. Because it is lovely and juicy after being poached it will dry out if you do this so it is best to add it at the end of the cooking process.
This recipe will leave you with some poached chicken left over, or you can add another pastry sheet to the recipe and make another 5 pieces.
If you would prefer to use less pastry you may like to check out my recipe for Summer Garden Squares that makes a similar thing without combining two pieces of pastry. It is a single scored layer of pastry instead.
How do you entertain? Do you prefer to serve nibbles and finger food, or a full meal?
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