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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Squash Havarti Turnovers and A Great Arla Dofino Giveaway for New Year's Eve





Just in time for NYE, I am sharing not only a recipe for a great appetizer with you that will wow your friends and solidify your reputation as an amazing host, but a chance to win $25 worth of Arla Dofino Harvarti, a bamboo cheeseboard and cute, ceramic dry erase cheese markers.

I make no secret of my love for frozen puff pastry, especially during the holidays so if you don't have any in your freezer, you need to do something about that STAT.  Come on, quick like a bunny - you still have a couple of days to get ready for New Years.


For this particular turnover, I chose to use the creamy harvarti because this appetizer required maximum melty creaminess and a mild flavour that would complement the savoury filling. For my cheese board, I went with the inferno (havarti packed with chipotle and habanero chili), smoked harvarti and roasted garlic. I would say that it was a close call but the inferno was the favourite at both of my Christmas parties with the smoked havarti running a very close second.

Okay, the winner won't get this package of cheesey goodness in time for NYE but that doesn't mean you can't make these gorgeous little turnovers for your celebration regardless of whether you are having an elegant Prosecco party for 10 or spending the night in your flannel pjs with Anderson Cooper - I don't judge.

I received compensation from Tres Stelle for coming up with a recipe using this cheese but, as always, my opinions are my own.

So, first, the giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Squash Havarti Turnovers

makes approx 18 turnovers



Ingredients:
*1 buttercup squash, seeded, roasted, cooled and mashed
*1 sweet potato, cooked, cooled and mashed
1-2 tbls finely chopped, fresh sage plus whole, small leaves for the top of each pastry
1 tbls butter
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
pinch kosher salt (approx 1/2 tsp)
a few grinds of black pepper
1 tsp sherry vinegar
a couple tbls of cherry jam, cranberry preserves or even fig jam
about 200 grams of creamy Dofino Havarti, cut into slices that are then cut into 1 1/2" pieces
2 sheets of thawed, frozen puff pastry (try to find one that is already rolled out like PC Butter Puff Pastry

1 egg beaten with a tbls of milk or water
pinch maldon salt

Directions:
*to cook the squash, you can roast it (quartered, seeded, drizzled with olive oil and roasted at 400F for 1 hr), you can steam it, you can microwave, same goes for the sweet potato.) You just want to end up with the flesh from a cooked squash and one sweet potato, mashed smoothly (no skins of course).

Preheat the oven to 400F

Melt the butter in a small pan and saute the leeks and garlic for a few minutes until the leeks are soft. Pour the buttery leeks on top of the mashed squash/sweet potato, add the sage, sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper and stir to mix. Taste and adjust the salt and sage to your taste and set aside.

Grab one of your thawed but still very cold puff pastry sheets (leave the other piece in the fridge until you need it) and cut it into squares. I cut it into 9 pieces but you can make the pastries bigger or smaller if you like as long as you adjust the filling accordingly. If you can't find pre rolled out puff pastry, follow package directions to end up with a thinly rolled out rectangle but trust me, try to find the pre rolled stuff.


On each square, dollop on about 1 tsp of jam, top that with a heaping tablespoon of squash filling and then top that with a slice of cheese. Fold over the edge to form a triangle, use a fork to seal the edges, brush the whole thing with the egg wash and top with a tiny pinch of maldon salt and one, small, whole sage leaf.

Put your pastries onto a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 18 minutes - don't stress out if some of the filling seeps out of the odd pastry - those will will end up being the tastiest.

The pastries are as great fresh from the oven as they are at room temperature.