Now that Thanksgiving is out of the way, it’s onwards to Christmas! Have you taken advantage of any Black Friday sales? Let’s just say that I, ahem, may have some Amazon boxes arriving in the next few days.
I’ve also been tinkering around in the kitchen with the party spreads that I plan on making for the many friends visiting us this holiday season. That’s why I’m especially excited to share today’s recipe for braided smoked duck pastry, which I made with the fabulous Les Trois Petits Cochons smoked duck breast.
This braided smoked duck pastry couldn’t be easier to make, but it looks super impressive. The key here is to work with refrigerated, pre-made puff pastry, although you can use the frozen kind, too, if you defrost it overnight in the ‘fridge. As long as the puff pastry is workable but cold, you can cut it and braid it around slices of smoked duck with ease. Don’t believe me? Here’s a video:
It’s also easy to make other party foods you can make using the wide variety of cured meats from Les Trois Petits Cochons. For one of my party spreads, all I did was their organic chicken pate with apples and cider, put it on a really nice marble cheese board like this one and surrounded it with some olives and dried pears.
Or you could try using their Petits Poivrons (sweet mini peppers), which have a gorgeous combination of sweetness and vinegar, on top of lightly toasted baguette slices with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh basil. The red and green makes Christmas in one bite!
For another easy appetizer, you can use the sliced saucisson sec (air dried sausage) from Les Trois Petits Cochons to make these happy little pastry pinwheels with Parmesan cheese stuffed inside. My kids ate these by the handful; it was both frightening and magical at the same time.
The bottom line is this: with Les Trois Petits Cochons, you can make a full party spread, and just a tiny bit of effort goes a long way. Plus, you can feel good about using their delicious products because they’re minimally processed, with no artificial preservatives or additives.
So — what do you think? Heading out for a cured meat fix yet?
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Dust a large cutting board or your kitchen counter lightly with flour. Unroll the sheet of puff pastry carefully; if it sticks to itself or seems gummy, stop and put it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up.
- Cut the puff pastry lengthwise to make two rectangles. Set one rectangle aside (or roll it up again and store it in the fridge) for another use.
- Carefully slice the smoked duck breast crosswise (i.e., along the short side) into thin slices.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the mango chutney up the center of the rectangle in a 2-inch wide stripe. Lay the slices of smoked duck breast in a slight diagonal over the mango chutney, slightly overlapping each slice with the previous slice you put down. Continue until the pastry is covered in duck breast up the center in a single row.
- Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut diagonal, ½ inch strips on each side of the duck breast. Carefully fold one strip on the right side over the duck breast, followed by one strip on the left side of the duck breast. Continue until al of the strips have been folded up and over the duck breast.
- Brush the egg over the pastry with a pastry brush. Slide the entire puff pastry into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.