Happy New Year!! [Cue the noisemakers] No, not those noisemakers. I’m talking about the ones that are still asleep in their beds as I write this. The ones that aren’t due back to school until tomorrow. Is it just me or do these holiday breaks seem to get longer every year? I’ve still got a tree to dismantle and ornaments to put away (among a multitude of other boring everyday tasks) and yet, certain creatures that walk the halls of this house still can’t find enough things to do to keep themselves busy on these final vacation days. Heaven forbid they should help Mom out! She has an overdue article to write and is already starting out the New Year behind!
Enough venting. Take a deep breath, focus, and try to remember my resolution of not stressing out so much. Is blogging to oneself considered stressing out or have I progressed to the same category of people that you see sitting at bus stops having conversations with the socks on their feet? This being my first year of juggling the usual holiday rituals and blogging duties seems to have taken its toll on my psyche. I must be suffering from post–traumatic holiday blogging syndrome. You know, the personal let–down of not churning out all of the articles I had carefully planned and actually looked forward to producing. I guess I should look on the bright side and think of my forgone goals as a jump–start for 2009’s holiday season.
This recipe was one of the casualties of the aforementioned holiday stress. I fully intended to feature it last month as an hors d’oeuvre for a New Year’s Eve party, but here I am writing about it five days into the New Year. I actually made and photographed this at our family’s little stay–at–home celebration. It’s such a simple and useful recipe that I didn’t want it to sit in a file until the end of this year with all the others. It can be used as an appetizer, brunch or even a light supper entree. TJ’s Puff Pastry makes it all the easier to put together for any meal. To make these a little more special and elegant, try topping them with a little caviar. I haven’t seen caviar for sale at my local Trader Joe’s, but I’ve read that other TJ’s have carried American and other varieties before at very reasonable prices. We bought ours at Costco and, since only a couple of us eat it, we had some left over from a prior meal. It worked really well with this particular recipe.
WI wine recommendation: Champagne or sparkling wine, of course! We enjoyed this dish with a bottle of 2001 Gloria Ferrer Brut Royal Cuvee Carneros sparkling wine, which has a full fruit flavor that stands up nicely.
Puff Pastry Egg Bites
1 16 oz package (frozen) Trader Joe’s Puff Pastry
Milk or cream (enough to scramble with eggs)
1–2 tablespoons butter
2–3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove the puff pastry sheets from box and separate. Allow them to defrost at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Roll the individual pastry sheets out on a very lightly floured surface with a rolling pin until they are about 1/8″ thick. This shouldn’t require too much rolling. The ultimate goal is to thin the dough out a little, but not make it too thin. Try to maintain the shape of the dough sheets by rotating the rolling pin to even out the sides of the sheets. Evenly–shaped sheets will create less waste when cutting them into equal serving sizes.
Cut the sheets into evenly–sized squares with a pizza wheel. You can use a ruler as a cutting guide for the pizza wheel if you aren’t good at cutting straight lines (like me). Transfer the dough squares to baking sheets and evenly prick each square a few times with a fork.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden brown. Remove from baking sheets after a minute or two and continue cooling on wire racks.
The next part of this recipe’s procedure doesn’t need to be precise and relies mostly on your preferred way of making scrambled eggs. I didn’t include specific amounts for the eggs and milk or cream (use your own judgment), but I do suggest not adding too much liquid to the eggs when beating them together. You don’t want them to end up too runny after they’ve been cooked.
To cook the eggs, heat the butter in a pan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the egg mixture to the pan and stir until the eggs are just set. Don’t overcook them or they will get too dry and lose the desired creamy–custard consistency that works best for this recipe.
Spread some of the crème fraîche onto each of the baked pastry squares. Then top with the scrambled eggs, chives and caviar (if using). Serve immediately.