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Ideas for puff pastry appetizers?

I'm thinking of making mini savory tarts out of some puff pastry and serving them at a bbq this weekend. While I love showing off, I'll need them to be kind of unfussy. I'd like something where I can prepare the filling ahead of time and then assemble and bake at the location of the bbq. I'm open to the filling being baked with the pastry or a cold/room temp filling added after baking.

So far my ideas are;
caramelized onion and anchovy or blue cheese
ham and cheese
roasted red pepper and goat cheese

Any other great ideas?

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  1. Ina Garten has just such an appetizer, tomato and herbed goat cheese tarts. I've been meaning to try them... they just sound so tasty, and quick and easy.


    1. Prosciutto, mozzarella, and fresh sage

      1. One of my go-to finger foods is a mini brie en croute. I cut puff pastry in to squares, about 1 1/2 in (I eyeball it with a pizza cutter) and stick them in a mini muffin tin, spoon in a bit of jam and add a piece of brie. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes or until the pastry is just turning golden. I have baked halfway (just until the pastry sets, about 7 or 8 minutes) popped them out into foil hotel pans and transported to the location and baked on sheet trays until heated through. I usually have some half baked in the freezer to bring on short notice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sarahjay

          i've made a version of this using regular tart pastry dough. I use chunky apricot jam flavored with garlic powder and rosemary. I like to add a bit more savory to the mix. Also have added a bit of pecan (usually 1/2 of a half pecan) to each. These go quickly.

        2. If you're open to make them ahead of time, just spread out your puff pastry, sprinkle it with gruyere and prosciutto, roll it up, slice and bake. Easy and elegant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: katecm

            That's typically my "go to" easy hors d'oeuvre as well, although I usually add a very light spread of honey mustard and parm instead of gruyere.

          2. Olive paste or tapenade, straight out of the jar.

            1. I used to fill the little pre-made mini filo cups with curried chicken salad (make or buy chicken salad and add some curry powder to it) then top with a little mango chutney. People went nuts for them. You can just substitute puff pastry cups for the filo ones.

              1. I was thinking about this more and I feel like our ideas, while delicious, aren't very BBQy. I thought that a raw corn and tomato and basil salsa would go with the pastry while being more BBQ appropriate. Or, for more substantial, chop or shred some cooked chicken thighs, mix with BBQ sauce, place in your pastry cups, and top with a spoonful of cole slaw.

                2 Replies
                1. re: katecm

                  Corn and tomato sounds good....but would you really want to do something as an appetizer that mimics what the main course will be? Chicken, bbq sauce and coleslaw might be a little redundant...depending on the whole menu.

                  1. re: katecm

                    I don't think of puff pastry cups as BBQy in general, but i thought of roasted corn as well...
                    ricotta cheese, roasted corn with lime butter, sundried tomatoes, and a bit of cilantro or parsley.

                    i know it's too late but also thought a little mascarpone or ricotta, some gruyere, caramelized onion and crispy sage... maybe some roasted butternut squash as well...

                  2. I have done something like this http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Smoked-S... I don't always use smoked salmon; I just use leftover cooked salmon that has good flavor. If you use smoked, use hot-smoked, not like lox. I am nowhere near as fancy, though. I mix the salmon and cream cheese together and add a little Sriracha to spice it up. When done I top with a sprig of Cilantro.

                    1. Puff pastry stuffed with avocado, bacon (or perhaps chorizo) and cream cheese or a combination of cream cheese, dill, parsley, and capers.

                      1. I was thinking about doing something similar with puff pastry too for this yr's bbq but i decided to do fresh ricotta(or goat cheese), fig, honey, arugula on toasted country bread. lot easier and just as elegant and tasty.

                        1. bbq perfect...pimento cheese puff pastry pinwheels!!!!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: LaLa

                            Yessssssss. That's what I meant by BBQ appropriate. I want to eat this RIGHT NOW.

                          2. I'm afraid I'm a little too late to this party, but for future reference, here's a do-ahead recipe I've mentioned before here on CH that's always a bit hit. Recipe linked is the original recipe from Michael Field and calls for croustades, but I've used the filling in both puff pastry cups and mushroom caps. The duxelles can be made ahead and refrigerated, and it even freezes well. I'm sure you could bake the puff pastry cups ahead of time and just reheat them with the duxelles, but I've never tried that.