Dinner last night came off beautifully. I'm afraid the pictures will have to wait though...
- Heated the empanaditas at 400 for 25 minutes and then transferred them to the toaster oven to keep warm. They hold up very well.
- Took the puff pastry for the chorizo puffs out of the freezer to thaw.
- Rounded up serving dishes, covered baking sheets with foil to ease clean up afterwards and made sure the table was set.
- Started to layer the strata for Christmas morning.
- Transferred the empanaditas to the toaster oven.
- Put the pork pie and the cheese and spinach pie in the oven at 3:25 to heat for about an hour.
- Spooned the hummus into a serving bowl, took the green beans out of the fridge and prepare a saucepan for boiling them in.
- Finished making the strata and popped it back in the fridge so it only needs to bake tomorrow.
- Began making chorizo puffs (recipe below).
- Took the grape leaves out and put them in a serving dish
- Took the plastic wrap off the eggplant
- Kept making chorizo puffs
- Set out the deviled eggs
- Warmed the flour tortillas and corn tortillas by putting them in the toaster oven (at 140F)
- Put the hoisin sauce into a bowl
- Set out serving spoons
- Took the pork pie and cheese and spinach pie out of the oven
- Heated up the asian chicken
- Set out the dipping sauce for the empanaditas
- Put the chorizo puffs in the oven
7pm - DINNER AT LAST!!
We serve buffet style, with platters all around my kitchen/dining room counters. Everything turned out wonderfully. The best part was knowing that I can do it faster and better next time. Honestly the chorizo puffs were the most work of the evening and I was supposed to make them on the weekend and freeze them but I'd had a bad cold so I had to do them last minute. But everything else was simply warming up or cooked quickly.
1 package chourico or linguica, if you can get the Portuguese kind, that's what we use
1 package puff pastry
1 egg, well-beaten (egg substitute would be fine here)
Take the puff pastry out to thaw according to the package directions. Mine (Pepperidge Farms) needed 40 minutes to thaw. Prepare a rolling area with a decent amount of flour, the puff pastry tends to release some water as it thaws so you'll want to make sure it doesn't stick.
We are usually using frozen chourico because you can't get the Portuguese kind locally, and it's what we prefer. If you are doing it from frozen too, you'll need to have thawed it earlier. The puffs are a little bit better if you remove the sausage casing and this is very hard to do with fresh sausage, but with cold/thawed, you can usually slit it with a knife and just peel back. If you can do it, it keeps you from needing to eat the puffs in one bite. If you can't, consider chopping up the chourico into bits rather than in rounds. Anyway, once you've removed the casing, slice rounds of the chourico, probably 1/4" thick. Roll out your puff pastry till quite thin. Lay out a single row of chourico along one edge. You want to fold the puff pastry over that row, so guess how much you'll need to cover the chourico and then slice down the puff pastry so you have one big piece set aside for use later and then a narrow strip that's just twice as wide as the chourico. Paint the half of the narrow strip that doesn't have the chourico on it with eggwash. Then fold over the pastry and using a knife, cut in between each round of chourico to make a square packet. I then use an extra dab of egg and fold down the corners so it is round and pop it on a waiting sheet pan. Once you've done one strip of chourico filled pastry, go back to your big piece of pastry and then repeat the process until you are done. It is not particularly fast work and your fingers get gross, so wipe and wash when needed.
When all your puffs are done, put them in a 450 oven for 8 minutes or until puffed and golden.