Pastries, Croquettes and Tarts

 

Bruschetta

Bruschetta (goat cheese, fresh basil, fire-roasted peppers, sicilian olives - the toasts were grilled over rosemary wood... mmm...)

Remember: these are only SAMPLES of what is available

Our Torta 42nd Street is presented in a puff paste shell and uses sweet onions, tart apples, and gorgonzola cheese.  Rich?  You bet!  Subtlety is not our strong point.  Big flavors are.  There's a picture of it in the Main Dishes/Egg Dishes section.
Falafel Tartlets - Falafel, eggplant and tomato in a phyllo tartlet shell.  Served at room temperature
Goat Cheese Tartlets - served warm, these are goat cheese, fresh basil, tomato and pine nuts in a phyllo tartlet shell.   YUM!
Bolinhos de Arroz are rice croquettes from Brazil.  They are bound, in part, with cheese and then fried.  Great with drinks.  Bolinhos de Bacalau are common in Brazil, but actually from Portugal.  They are made of salt cod and potatoes and fried.  Served with a garlic and herb olive oil.
Spanokopeta is a flaky Greek pastry, stuffed with spinach and feta cheese and dill.   
Our take on the Portuguese Torta de Bacalhau is a tender crust filled with salt cod, paper thin slices of potatoes and onions, and olives.  We usually serve this cold, in thin wedges.  When I lived in Lisboa, I practically lived on this - almost the only dining out I regularly did.  Muito gusto.
Pasteis (Brazilian) and fried Ravioli are, frankly, similar.  The doughs used to make Pasteis are somewhat richer, and the fillings traditionally much more diverse - spicy meat or cheese or shrimp or palm hearts... even banana.  All are delicious.  They are best right out of the fryer, of course, but they hold remarkably well for fried pastry.  Wonderful nibbly bits that go fine with cold drinks on a hot day.
Pasties are something else entirely.  They're Cornish, earthy and fine.  Usually, they're big enough to make a meal.  For appetizers, we make them on the small side, but they're still substantial.  To fill them, we use lamb and a whole range of root vegetables:  potatoes, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, carrots, and onions.  Sort of a British, meaty samosa, or calzone (without the cheese and tomato sauce) both of which, by the way, we also make.
Cheese Straws are a tradition in our family.  A little peppery, a little rich - very, very cheesy.  These are, essentially, a sharp cheddar wafer - light and airy and delicious.   Probably the most perfect drinks companion (other than good conversation) that there ever was.
Our bruschetta is really only available when on those occasions when we can make them onsite - preferably where there's a grill where we can grill the Tuscan-style bread we use to build this wonderful Italian appetizer upon.  These may be topped with pretty much anything.  Grilled and then marinated vegetables are marvelous, as are any number of pates.  A personal, simple favorite  way to serve crostini is with a bowl of roasted garlic and a cruet of basil-infused olive oil.  Oh, my.