If you keep a box of puff pastry in your freezer, you can whip up an appetizer in no time. The making is easy, only the thawing takes some time.
There is a tip on the box that says you can thaw overnight in refrigerator; otherwise, thawing on the counter takes about 40 minutes.
Puff pastry pizza
One box frozen puff pastry — use both sheets if you want to make two different appetizers.
When thawed, press pastry into a square using your hands. Crimp edges; you’ll have about an 8-inch square.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a little garlic salt.
Place on a baking sheet in oven at 400 degrees and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool about five minutes.
At this point the taste and ingredients are up to you.
Think a few slices of fresh mozzarella, sliced Roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts cut in half, crumbled feta or blue cheese, black or green olives or any other fresh ingredient like spinach. You don’t want to load it up like a pizza, you just want some good flavors (three of four per sheet; even sprinkle some fresh herbs like oregano or thyme. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Place back in the oven for just enough time for the cheese to get soft — maybe five minutes.
Cool and cut in squares to serve. The crust should be crispy, crunchy and the ingredients should still retain pretty much their original textures.
Sweet hot nuts
Walnuts, pecans, almonds and cashews do well in this quick recipe.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss together your choice of any nut or a combination of nuts in the following:
2 cups of nuts
½-cup brown sugar
½-teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
Spread nuts on a baking sheet and place in a 350-degree oven until toasty — about 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t let them burn; check at 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet. When totally cool, place in an airtight container.
Not only can you serve these, you can also use them in a salad where you have fruits like strawberries and watermelon.