This takes only minutes to prepare, yet seems as if you've spent a lot of time making it. Serve it as a snack, appetizer or light entree. It is casual enough to put into packed lunches instead of sandwiches, yet elegant enough to serve in small squares on a silver tray with hors d'oeuvres.
Yield: Serves 4 - 8
- One sheet of frozen puff pastry, from a 17.3-ounce package
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut in small pieces
- 1/4 pound tasso or ham, cut into slivers
- 1 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Unroll the sheet of puff pastry on a piece of parchment paper placed on a large baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or longer. Pierce about 20 - 25 times with a fork to keep pastry from rising while cooking.
Sprinkle the pieces of cream cheese evenly over the pastry, dot with the tasso or ham, and sprinkle the seasoning on top. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the tart.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Cut into desired number of pieces, and desired shapes.
While the firmness of cream cheese is needed in this tart, I'm going to mention Creole Cream Cheese as it is something that anyone interested in Cajun or Creole food should know about.
It is a soft cheese, similar to farmer's cheese, but has a slightly sweet taste with just a hint of a buttermilk tang. It was once a staple of the Creole culinary world, but began to diminish in popularity until the past 10 years when interest in this wonderful product became known to a whole new generation (fortunately, before it was lost forever).
Though it is more often enjoyed with fruit, sugar, or syrup, it is sometimes served with bread or crackers. It's almost impossible to find outside of Louisiana (it's only made in Louisiana), so when you're next lucky enough to be in that wonderful State, be sure to try Creole Cream Cheese. Or...Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream!
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