Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicken Squares

Recipe No: 201
Puff Pastry is one of our family favorites… any savory snacks made from it is a hit at ours…and no difference with this one too…
Ingredients                                   Makes 16
  • Puff Pastry Sheet…………….1 (9 ½ inch square)
  • Egg………………………………..1 (Beat with a tablespoon of Water)
  • Shredded Cheese………… needed (I used Cheddar, but any melting Cheese like Mozzarella will work)
For the filling
  • Butter/ Oil………………………..1 Tablespoon
  • Flour…………………………….…3/4 Tablespoon
  • Milk……………………………..….1/2 Cup
  • Cooked, Shredded Chicken...2/3 Cups
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Method of Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F/ 204˚C.
  2. Cut the Puff Pastry sheet into 16 equal squares (3 cuts at equal distance on both sides).
  3. With a small round Cookie cutter (1 ¼-1 ½ inch in diameter) make a mark on top of each piece. (Don’t press it whole the way through.)
  4. Brush the top of the pastry sheets with the beaten Egg and bake  it in the preheated oven for about 14-16 minutes or till the top of the Puff Pastry is golden brown in color.
  5. Once browned, remove  from the oven and let it cool slightly.
To make the filling
  1. Melt Butter in a pan on medium heat and add the Flour.
  2. Mix and let it fry till the raw smell is gone.
  3. Whisk in the milk taking care to avoid forming lumps. Let it become thick, stirring constantly.
  4. Mix in the Chicken and add Salt and Pepper as needed. Let this cook till it thickens. Switch off the heat and keep it aside till ready to be used.
To assemble and make the Chicken Squares
  1. Once the Puff Pastry Shells are cooled slightly, cut the top along the circular mark with the help of a sharp pointed knife, taking care not to cut till the bottom.
  2. Press the small round with the finger so that it forms a small well.
  3. Fill the well with the Chicken filling and top it with a very small amount of Cheese.
  4. Put this back in the hot oven for a few minutes till the Cheese is melted.
  5. Serve hot.
  • While making the filling, use Cold milk and whisk really good to avoid lumps.
  • Take care not to add a lot of Cheese on top of the Chicken for it may cover the top of the Pastry when melted.
  • Instead of Chicken you can use any other filling to make this dish.
  • If the oven is hot from baking the pastry, then you don't have to switch it on again. The residual heat will melt the Cheese.
  • You can make the shells in advance, but fill it and reheat it all the way through just before serving. (Don't fill in advance for it might make the bottom of the pastry soggy.)

    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
    serve it to your family with love…


    Priya Suresh said...

    Those irresistible chicken squares looks out of this world..

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