September 10th, 2010

Help Wanted for a Florida Recipe

I have agreed to participate in a recipe challenge. Yes, Pepperidge Farm contacted me to create a “sophisticated and simple recipe” that represents Florida using their puff pastry. I usually don’t take part in these types of things but I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to do something different. (Note: Pepperidge Farm is providing a stipend for ingredients).

They suggested oranges. My first thought was to use mangos. And my friend Steve suggested key limes. I was at a loss coming up with options for a savory recipe. Avocados? While it’s tempting to use some of the more exotic fruit grown in Florida, I’d prefer to make something with easy-to-find ingredients. So, I ask: What are your favorite things to make using puff pastry? And, what Florida ingredients should I use in my kitchen experiment? I’m preparing to turn my little kitchen into a lab this weekend so please send in any suggestions you may have. I’m going to need the help.

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26 Responses to “Help Wanted for a Florida Recipe”

  1. I vote key limes or lychees. Something very light that’ll mix well with any possible cream you may add.

  2. I would totally do a puff pastry shell with a beautiful orange cream filling topped with mangoes & a bit of lime / lemon / orange zests on top!

  3. …or go savory with a chopped chicken (or fish) + mango salad with a lime dressing. Good luck – hope you’ll post whatever you come up with.

  4. I think you should go savory with a conch pot pie! I am sure the public library has some amazing old Florida cookbooks that could be helpful.

    Good luck!

  5. Hey there!
    How about a few of the different suggestions mixed together?

  6. you are mango and lime, hello

  7. How sweet is the shell? How about our super yummy local heirloom tomatoes in a tarlette with a great bleu or goat cheese and some dressed greens?!

  8. balsamic strawberry puff pastry with a mango-blueberry sorbet

  9. For the record, I love Joan’s idea! It also reminded me of a fun riff you could do on those smoked fish dips served with Salteens at dive bars in the Keys… smoke some local fish, flaked into the shell, with a squeeze of lemon or lime to serve… maybe another component… yummy :)

  10. I vote for seafood. How about a light and citrus-y shrimp ceviche made with diced red onions, yellow peppers and jalapeƱos, topped with diced avocados and chopped cilantro?

  11. For the savory, go Latin. The current thing is pork carnitas…take a cue and run with it. You could also have some Cuban flair and do like stuffed plantains and fill the pastry with picadillo or ropa vieja. I can taste them now.
    For the sweet…definitely key lime with some cream, like a tart or maybe like a pastelito.
    Good luck and let us know!

  12. I like Lauren’s suggestion of an orange or mango creme topped with pieces of mango and lime zest. Tropical and colorful.

  13. In Miami, puff pastry can only mean one thing: pastelitos!

    Maybe you can consider a play on the classic guava and cheese pastry by combining cream cheese with a good quality orange marmalade or a tangy lemon and lime curd. A sweet mango chutney will do the job. You can drizzle a little dark chocolate ganache topped with coarse sugar crystals for a wow factor.

    This foodie blog does a good job at creating a quick and easy recipe for home cooks:

    Have fun!

  14. Wow! Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions! I’m leaning more toward the sweet. I had thought of a riff on the pastelito so I may give that or the tart a try. Joan’s idea for the savory also sounds good. I think I’ll be trying out a few things tomorrow. I’ll definitely share the end result.

  15. mango&lime…. cebiche de mango w/fish…

  16. How exciting Paula, a puff challenge! I’m terrible with sweet dessert and baking but hate when crust gets soggy at the bottom. So, I want to suggest anything that isn’t too wet? O.K. my 2 cents, sorry I spoke.

  17. I don’t remember how sweet their puff pastry is, but I love the idea of small savory bites, like Jackie suggested. I also like Monika’s pot pie suggestion. Maybe you could make a seafood/pumpkin pot pie. Or small bites with lobster and some Caribbean pumpkin/spices, since it’s lobster season now.

  18. p.s. I will be very happy to offer my services as a taster. :)

  19. For second thoughts since I am not a big sweet eater or dessert eater I have trouble coming up with desserts. But they are always what seem to win most recipe contests. If you think such is the case with this puff pastry contest I would go definitely with a sweet. You have probably done several things this weekend both sweet and savory.

    I am the mango fiend as Paula well knows and have entered several mango contests at Fairchild particularily. Let us know the decision.

  20. Well, I went for sweets because I seemed to have better sweet ideas. I’m not a baker so it wasn’t easy. This weekend I made a mango tarte tatin, as well as mango-basil pastelitos and mango-lime pastelitos. I may try a few more things but I’m leaning toward something uncomplicated.

  21. I suggest you do something with Florida greens- puff-pastry turn-overs of callaloo and calabaza would be nice- especially since the rest of the country is going in to fall. Callaloo can also be substituted with kale, collard greens.

    Gulf Shrimp could be a great way to say “we’re still here”, making fabulous things.

    Coconut seafood filling with a little chile and cilantro.

    heriloom tomatoes and redland goat cheese with basil is also simple.

  22. Love the callaloo idea. Shrimp is also a good one. Prefer that over fish. Too many options!

  23. Glad to help when you’ve narrowed it down. Maybe we can test together! would be fun!

  24. How about hearts of palm? Maybe a twist on the old asparagus and puff pastry appetizer.

  25. I completely second the HEARTS OF PALM rec. But get the real fresh ones – they’re real crunchy. This will make any recipe very FLORIDA.

  26. […] been so long since I asked for suggestions for a Florida recipe using puff pastry for an assignment by Pepperidge Farm. I got some great suggestions in the comments, including using […]

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