Parmesan & Pecorino Romano Savory Cookies..... Do Ahead For A Party.

We are already eight days into the new year. These were lazy eight days because life in the streets of Athens has just began.  Everybody is back from their "Cortina D'Ampezzo " holidays and supposedly back to work... Our politicians are still arguing between them who is right and nothing is being done to fix things. Everyday there are new austerity measures and we, the people, do not know what to do anymore and try to go on with our lives as if nothing is happening. Alexis,a friend of Barbara's, was having a party for his wife Joanna yesterday to celebrate her name day  (St. John the Baptist day ) and I prepared some savory cookies to take with her and here is what I did. You might like the idea...

I had a couple of ready round rolls of pâte brisé in our fridge for quite some time now and wanted to get rid of them because expiry date was coming near so I thought of taking a heart shaped pastry cutter, used it to cut out hearts and top them with a concoction of thick béchamel sauce with parmesan and pecorino cheeses, bake them and dress them up a little to look good. The basic thing you have to do here is to make the thick béchamel sauce which goes like this:
To make the thick béchamel you will need.
-  100 gr of good refined fresh butter.
-  100 gr of all purpose flour.
-  150 ml heavy cream 35% fat.
-  Full cream milk.
-  1 cup grated parmesan cheese.
-  ½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese (this cheese is very salty).
-  1 whole medium size egg.
-  No salt, white pepper, nutmeg.
-  Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. 
-  Melt butter in a relatively large sauce pan.
-  Add flour to make a roux.
-  Cook roux to dispel flour taste.
-  Add 150 ml of cream and whisk to combine into a thick paste.
- Start adding milk about 1 - 2cups till you obtain a larger quantity of thick béchamel.
-  Add Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses and keep on whisking to combine into a nice thick paste. At some point your whisk may have difficulty turning so use a silicone spatula to stir and mix.
-  Season with freshly ground white pepper and nutmeg. Set aside to cool.
-  Once cooled add one whole egg and stir to combine well, set aside.
-  Cut the pastry with your cutter and arrange on a cookie tray.
-  When you have cut all the ready flat pastry, pick up the remaining, and roll out with your rolling pin to cut out some more hearts.
-  Each ready round pastry bought from the super market cuts out about 30 hearts with this cutter.

-  Use a small spoon to add a quantity of the béchamel parmesan  pecorino Romano mix in the center of each heart.
-  Bake for 15 minutes on second lowest shelf of your oven or till a nice brownish tan color is obtained.
 -  Add the next tray and so on.
-  As soon as each tray is out of the oven the béchamel mix will still be soft, so that is your chance to add one of the following extra condiments:
  • Chipotle flakes (smoked Jalapeño flakes) or
  • Tabasco or
  • Cayenne pepper or
  • One leaf of Sage and / or
  • A pinch of Rosemary and / or
  • A pinch of Thyme and / or
  • Anything else you can think of.
-  Let cool and serve. Or you can serve them hot as they are fresh out of the oven.



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