Tuesday, June 14, 2011

La Patisserie

This morning was special.  Forbes was finally home from his trip to Milwaukee.  It was so nice to get up and start our day together.  And even more nice because we started our day an hour later than usual.  We had plans to go out to eat breakfast to celebrate his homecoming, however, after more thought, I knew I could create a breakfast that would satisfy more than a bowl of oatmeal (typically the only option when we eat breakfast out).  Plus, I had been planning a specific meal for days and was anxious to make it.

Strawberry and Basil Turnover with Cashew Cream

This pastry uses June's freshest ingredients to please your senses.  With a touch of sweetness from the cashews it is appropriate for either breakfast or dessert!

1 pint fresh and local strawberries, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil (about 1 cup), chopped
3/4 cup cashews soaked in water overnight
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
10 sheets phyllo dough, thawed (found in freezer section)
1/4 coconut oil, melted (other oil will also work)
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

After soaking cashews overnight, drain and place in food processor.  Pulse until they turn to a fine crumb.  Add vanilla and continue to process adding a small amount of almond milk until desired consistency is achieved.  For this recipe it can resemble hummus like consistency or a little thinner.

In small pot add chopped strawberries and basil and cook over low to medium heat for a few minutes until soft but not mushy.  You also don't want very much liquid in the pot so do not add any water.

When your dough is thaw, lay one sheet out on flat surface.  Using a brush, brush on a small amount of coconut oil to cover.  sprinkle with flour and top with another sheet of phyllo dough.  Repeat this process until you have stacked 5 sheets on top of one another.

Using a sharp knife cut your stack into 4 equal lengths.  Spoon 2 teaspoons of strawberry mixture at the top of one length.  Scoop 2 teaspoons of cashew cream on top of strawberries.  Then fold your pastry down just like you would a flag.  Take top corner and fold forming a triangle.  Then flip the triangle over and down.  Move the top corner down and then flip again.  (Watch this video for a visual-but ignore the disgusting bowl of lamb that he shows!)

Place each turnover on a greased cookie sheet.  When you have made those 4, repeat the Phyllo dough process, stacking 5 sheets on top of each other with coconut oil and flour in between.  Slice into 4 equal lengths and repeat the turnover process, placing each on to the cookie sheet when prepared.  Brush a little more coconut oil on top of each turnover. 

Bake turnovers in a 350* oven for 15-20 minutes, until crispy and brown.  Layer on a serving tray and sprinkle with a little powdered sugar.
Serve warm.
These are delectable!  The basil sets off the sweet strawberries and cashew cream adding a fresh and fun flavor profile.  The crispy phyllo dough and creamy cashews make this breakfast seem naughty.  To amp the nutritionals, use whole wheat phyllo dough!  I just didn't have any on hand.

The Strawberry Basil Turnovers were a la patisserie success.  Too bad I can't say the same for my lunch.  There is a cute little bakery in town named La Patisserie where I have had numerous wonderful experiences.  None of their pastries and baked goods are vegan, however, they have a cafe lunch menu with tasty salads and sandwiches that can be made vegan.  Today I met Alex at La Patisserie for lunch and we agreed to split the Roasted Vegetable Sandwich and the Mediterranean Salad.  Of course both were ordered without feta.

The salad came out first.  I ordered a side of the quinoa salad as well.  I thought it would be a nice addition to the Mediterranean salad so I dropped the contents on top.
It was a match made in heaven.  I didn't even use any of the balsamic vinegar dressing.  The garlic rounds came out dry without any butter on them, which is perfect!  And the olives, chickpeas and roasted red peppers really set the salad apart.

Shortly after we began to munch on the salad, our sandwich arrived.
And it was pathetic looking to say the least.  We were disappointed to see only 3 pieces of fried plantains on the side.  How can that be considered a side?!  When Forbes popped open the sandwich we were met with a mayo and feta based sauce.  The menu made no mention of a sauce and we had specifically ordered it without feta.  If that had been this sandwich's worst problem, we would have just had them make a new one and called it a day, however, the amount of vegetables on this Panini was disgraceful.  I wish I would have taken a photo, but before I had a chance the manager was at our table and made aware of the situation.  We told her we were disappointed with the quantity of vegetables and she assured us they weigh their veggies every day so each sandwich is made to the same standard.  Unfortunately this is not a standard that I can agree to pay for.

We declined a new sandwich and instead took our money back agreeing that anything at home would be better than paying $10 for that plate!  We left satisfied with our salad experience but desperately unsatisfied with our sandwich!

Back at home I whipped up a smoothie for the rest of my lunch.
I was definitely chewing kale as I sipped this.  I know I have been complaining a lot about my need for a blender, but I'm serious!  I don't think I will make it through the summer on just a food processor!

In other news, today I have been working hard on office reorganization.  After a break for lunch and a few hours by the pool with my buddy Emily, I really need to get back to work.

1 comment:

  1. oooooooooooohhhh la la that looks so yummy! I'll take all your leftovers from here to all eternity.