Good Things Come in Large Packages Too!
One of the nicest perks of being a food blogger is getting free stuff to try from various companies. Several weeks ago, I received an email from a very nice lady named Katie, asking me if I would be interested in testing some new Pillsbury products. Woohoo! Who doesn't love this little guy?
Of course, I said that I'd be delighted! Within a week, a rather large box arrived on my doorstep. I gleefully opened it up to find some of these nesting inside:
They're the same thing as crescent rolls, except that they come in one solid sheet with no perforations. They are perfect for creating new recipes. I was psyched! We love crescent rolls at Chez SGCC, and I was going to enjoy experimenting with these. I had two tubes of the Crescent Recipe Creations, so I decided to use one for a savory dish and the other for a sweet one.
Since it was also time for the October installment of Royal Foodie Joust created by Jenn, The Leftover Queen, founder of The Foodie Blogroll. I tried to kill two birds with one stone and combined the two projects. This month's selected ingredients for the joust are fennel, dairy and parsley. After some playing around, I came up with a Creamy Gorgonzola, Fennel & Pear Tart. Using my crescent dough as the tart shell made this recipe a snap to put together!
First, I unrolled the dough into a rectangular tart pan, gently pressing it up the sides of the pan, and trimming any overhang around the edges. Then, I made my fillings, which consisted of three layers: a gorgonzola and mascarpone cream, sauteed fresh fennel, herbs and onions, and sliced fresh pears. Finally, I baked the tart until it was all browned and bubbly.
The result was a smooth, rich and creamy center, enveloped by a crisp and flaky pastry. The subtle sweetness of the pears were the perfect foil for the tangy bite of the gorgonzola. The sauteed fennel added crunch and a hint of anise flavor. It was a wonderful combination of tastes and textures.
Pillsbury's Crescent Recipe Creations are in stores now and can be found in the refrigerator section of most supermarkets. You can use them for lots of different things. The Pillsbury web site has tons of recipes as well. If you see them, consider giving them a try.
Oh, and by the way, I would really, really, really appreciate your vote for my recipe in this month's Royal Foodie Joust. All you have to do is go here and VOTE FOR ME!!!
Creamy Gorgonzola, Fennel & Pear Tart (Printable Recipe)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
8 ounces Gorgonzola dolce at room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 fennel bulbs, white part only, thinly sliced (fronds reserved)
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 fresh pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (any kind of pears will do.)
1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Dough
2 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine mascarpone and Gorgonzola in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, parsley and tarragon and saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Roll out crescent dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing together any perforations. Trim any edges that hang over the edges. I used a rectangular pan, but you can use any tart pan you like.
Spread the cheese mixture into the tart pan in an even layer.
Spread fennel mixture evenly over the cheese layer, and top with sliced pears.
Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
Cool for about 10 minutes and remove tart from the pan. Sprinkle fennel fronds on top.
Slice and serve.