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Feuillete de Chef – chef’s pastry


Among the diverse collection of gastro books I have collected over the years, my favourite  is  ‘Bouquet de France’: an epicurean tour of the French provinces by Samuel Chamberlin,(1895-1975) an American writer, artist and Francophile. I find his book  fascinating not only for the abundance of fine restaurants he visited and the succulent recipes he recorded – but  that it was published in 1952, just seven years after the end of the Second World War. What a difference to the gastronomic scene in the UK at that time, where most of the ingredients in Chamberlin’s recipes were either still unavailable or rationed,

Out of curiosity, I once took the book with me on a trip I made to France; half-hoping to find one of the restaurants he had so had highly recommend fifty-five years ago, would still be preparing the mouth watering food he had so beautifully described. I should have known better. The Hostellerie de l’Abbaye, outside Lyon, had degenerated into a shabby looking pension - its once elegant restaurant now a grubby kebab shop. Rather than risk further disillusionment, for the rest of my trip Bouqet de France remained in the back of the car.
Feuillete du Chef is just one of one of the many original recipes from that book.

Feuillete de Chef – chef’s pastry

Roll out puff pastry 1/8 inch thick, 8 inches wide, and the length of a baking sheet. Moisten the edges with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cover all but the moistened edges with a layer of thinly sliced cooked ham, then a layer of grated Swiss or  Parmesan cheese, and another layer of ham. Cover with a second sheet of paste about ¼ inch thick and press the edges of the paste together to seal them. Brush with beaten egg and decorate with small cut-outs of paste in the shape of leaves. Bake in a moderately hot oven (375⁰ F) for 50 to 60 minutes.
 

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