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Posts Tagged ‘Pillsbury Crescent Rolls’

In our pursuit of the ultimate delicious bite, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of fancy gourmet ingredients and showy culinary jargon.  When you spend so much time reading about the latest food trends and discovering new techniques, your mind becomes seduced by the exotic. You spend weeks hunting down that elusive vegetable you saw on someone else’s blog, and you pay $45 for imported spices you don’t even know how to pronounce. But submitting to this seduction is not bad at all – we are after all, chefs, and chasing after the bizarre and unknown is our way of pushing our limits and challenging ourselves to be better.

But once in awhile, we can’t neglect that solid good dishes can come out of simplicity, whether it’s something straight from the farm, or straight out of the package. Yes, I’m talking about packaged goods. I may be biased because I work in the industry, but if you only knew the amount of labor and scrutiny we give to each innovation, you would appreciate that although they take the fun out of making things from scratch, they truly simplify your life and if you pick the right brands, your food will end up just as good.

So the recipe I want to introduce you to today is a twist on the popular Spinach Artichoke Dip – Spinach Artichoke Party SQUARES – made from mostly packaged goods. I first had the honor of tasting this simply delicious dish when I visited Brian’s parents for Thanksgiving 2 years ago. Their friend Connie, whom I knew as a superb chef, brought over these party squares and I was shocked/suprised to see the components of the recipe, because it tasted so sophisticated and complex that you would’ve never guessed that the hero ingredient is Lipton Vegetable Soup Mix.

It’s a great party pleaser dish you can whip up in an instant, when you feel in the mood to ditch the exotic and return to the simple. After all, everyone would rather hang out with the down-to-earth fun-lover over the stuffy highbrow bore.

Spinach Artichoke Party Squares:

  • 1 package Lipton/Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
  • 1 cup Crème Fraiche (can be substituted with a combo of mayo or sour cream)
  • 2 packages Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 10 oz box Chopped Spinach, drained
  • 14 oz can Artichoke Hearts
  • 4-8 oz can Water Chestnuts
  • 4-6 oz grated Monterey Jack/Havarti/Fontina/Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 handful of grated Parmesan Cheese

Party On!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine soup mix, mayonnaise and sour cream and set aside.
  3. Unroll crescent roll dough and press into a baking dish, making sure to seal perforations and press dough up sides of baking pan to form a crust. Bake 10 minutes or until very lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, drain spinach and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Chop spinach, artichoke hearts and water chestnuts.
  5. Mix in the soup mix, crème fraiche, and grated cheese.  Spread evenly over partially baked crust. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake another 10-12 minutes or until heated through. Cut into squares and get the party started!

 

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Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Like I mentioned in Figgy Goodies Part I, the Holidays can be a super-hectic time, with all the gift-shopping, tree-decorating, and dare I say…potluck parties! Picture this Holiday Scenario X:

Brian: Honey, what are you making for the potluck party?
Me: What potluck party? We just went to 4 this past month!
Brian: You know, the one my
Boss is throwing? I told him you’re an awesome chef and you’ll be making something that’s going to charm their pants off.
Me: Er…when is it?
Brian: In 2 hours.
Me: Shit…

It’s during times like this when I turn to panic saving tricks. Things like ready-made crust/dough/sauce will save tons of time when you find yourself in this Holiday bind! I suddenly remembered that a few weeks ago, the kind folks at MyBlogSparkoffered me vouchers for the Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations. We’re all familiar with the cute-sy crescent rolls that magically appear in the oven, but these flaky, buttery wonders can also be used for dishes like this Baked Brie with Figs, Dark Chocolate, and Almonds. It’s a simple, elegant dish that will impress your guests but only takes half an hour to whip up.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls or Crescent Recipe Creation (seamless dough sheets)
  • 1 wheel of Brie (*note: I used a wedge, because the truth is, Brian’s Boss lives in Italy and we didn’t really have to go to his potluck party that night so I didn’t think it would be good for our digestive systems to consume a whole WHEEL of Brie. Yes, the scenario above was for dramatization purposes!)
  • 1 handful of Figs, cut into tiny little chunks
  • 1 handful of Almonds, crushed.
  • 1 handful of Chocolate shavings (I used Valrhona dark)
  • 1 egg, beaten

And Bring us Some Figgy Baked Brie:

  • Mix together the figs, almonds, and chocolate

  • Cut the Brie in half. Then cut horizontally into the cheese and stuff the fig/chocolate/almond goodies inside
  • Take the package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (If you have a pkg created for the rolls, there will be perforations. Make sure you seal them). Wrap over the Brie like you would with any pastry dough.
  • Brush the top with the egg mixture, stick it in the oven and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
  • Bring to your holiday party and delight everyone’s’ tastebuds with the juicy figs & nutty almonds mingled in the gooey goodness of melted chocolate & brie!

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