When you have a box of store-bought (or homemade!) puff pastry dough in the freezer, you’ve got the makings of dozens of crowd-pleasing appetizers at the ready, including tarts, turnovers, baked Brie, cheese straws, pigs in a blanket, and more.
Pirog is Russian for "pie," and piroshki means "little pies." They can be filled with almost anything, from cabbage to meat to kasha, and are eaten by themselves as a snack or with a meal. Ours are filled with gribi, or wild mushrooms, which are a Russian passion: in the spring the whole extended family heads to its secret spots in the woods to gather any of hundreds of different kinds of gribi, which are pickled, dried, or just cooked in a little butter.
Making puff pastry takes a certain amount of skill and practice. For the best results, weigh the ingredients accurately. Be sure to allow the pastry enough time to rest and chill between rollings. If you want a less rich pastry, you can substitute water for all or half of the heavy cream.
Salmon coulibiac, a combination of Russian ingredients and French techniques, was perhaps the epitome of imperial Russian cuisine. It can be a daunting task for even the most experienced cook, but our version can be made in a short time and is every bit as delicious as the classic.
This quick take on the Provencal pizza-like tart known as pissadaliere is topped by sauteed onions, slivered Nicoise olives, fresh thyme, and anchovies. Puff pastry makes a fast and easy alternative to traditional bread or pastry doughs when making it or other tarts: Once the sheets have thawed, roll them out and sprinkle with your choice of toppings, then pop in the oven and you're done.This recipe originally appeared in Martha Stewart's Appetizers (Clarkson Potter).