Stuffed Crescent Rolls: The Best Way To Clean Out Your Fridge

doneplated

Usually this would be offered to you with a recipe for the most beautiful crescent roll dough, especially with my new Kitchenaid in tow. However, I recently ended up with a tube of one of those pre-made pop-open crescent roll tubes – and a fridge full of food.

We all know homemade is better, but we also sometimes have to admit – those pop-open canister crescent rolls are mighty tasty (and so fun to open!). Definitely good enough on their own, they’re also awesome with some chicken, dipped in soup, or like a friend made – as a topping for savory meat pie.  But with a fridge full of cheese, meat, veggies and the tiniest bit of left over fruit – I figured, “how about stuffing them?”

And so, after tearing through the fridge, pulling out most of what was in there and staring at it, I put together the following fillings and combinations: (in no particular order)

1. rasberries (with a pinch of sugar on the dough)

2. salami, fresh mozzarella, a tiny dose of the best horseradish mustard around

3. roasted red beets, black pepper, and Cypress Grove fresh goat cheese

4. roasted potatoes and the remnants of some red pepper and eggplant spread

5. roasted mushrooms and Taleggio cheese (with the tiniest brush of truffle butter on the crust)

6. roasted broccoli and Beemster mild cheddar

7. fresh mozzarella and last night’s anchovy pizza sauce

8. roasted jalapenos and smoked gouda

Roasting all the veggies before putting them in the rolls really makes a difference; because the crescent rolls don’t cook for more than 7-ish minutes, any vegetables inside will stay mostly raw. Raw potatoes, raw jalapenos, raw beets (certainly no good)– the mushrooms and broccoli could work raw, but I recommend making them better by roasting.

You will need:

  • 1 canister pre-made crescent rolls
  • a few veggies from your fridge (anything you have laying around)
  • fresh berries (anything you have laying around)
  • a few tablespoons of a few different cheeses
  • a few slices of tasty meat: salami, prosciutto, ham
  • one egg

To roast the vegetables:

  1. pre-heat your oven to 425
  2. clean and dice each 1/2 beet, 1/2 potato (or anything you are using) very small; clean any cauliflower or broccoli into 4-5 tiny florets; quarter 3-4 mushrooms; half 1 jalapeno down the middle and pull as many seeds out as possible
  3. leaving out red beets, toss and coat all veggies together with olive oil, salt and pepper; toss beets with olive oil, salt and pepper separately to keep from bleeding onto the others
  4. spread veggies evenly onto a sheet tray and roast until slightly browned and cooked through
  5. if some veggies cook first, take them off of the sheet tray and begin cooling

Once the jalapeno is done, try to peel it as best as possible, get the seeds out and very finely chop it:

jalapenoschopped

Once each of the veggies are done, turn the oven down to 375.

While the oven cools, make sure you have all your fillings (berries are cleaned and raw) out and ready and have laid out your little triangles of dough like so:

unrolledunfilled

Now, you can go ahead and start putting the filling on top of the triangles, taking care not to be too generous, as it will squish out the sides as it bakes.

unrolledfilledbetter

Next, roll them up gently and set them aside for a quick second.

Separate one egg, discard the white and use a fork to lightly scramble the yolk.

Finishing Touches

Use a pastry brush to put a thin coat of egg yolk on both sides of each roll (unless you are using any flavored butter, in which case see below).

If using any butter, melt it gently just enough to be able to brush it on, but not enough for it to be hot, and brush it on in place of the egg wash.

Sprinkle the top of the berry roll with a pinch of sugar, and the beets/goat cheese with a pinch of black pepper, the mozzarella and pizza sauce with a pinch of crushed red pepper.

rolleduncooked

Place the rolls gently on a baking sheet (I recommend using a Silpat or parchment paper beneath for easy clean up if the cheese or anything else melts out) and get them in the oven, baking until golden brown.

donerollsunplated

Let cool to the bite and dive in!

Search through your own fridge and see what you can find to fill a few rolls – I guarantee you’ll find plenty of treats and combinations to play with!

halfeaten

 Have fun and enjoy!

Tasty Made Simple (again): Polenta Cakes with Creamed Broccoli

As a teacher’s finances dwindle for the summer, I’ve had to learn to make do with what’s already available around the kitchen. As a result, many a recent recipes have taken form after hunting through cupboards filled with an unfortunate array of Tuna Helper and Dinty Moore Beef Stew (let’s just not talk about these….). This time I remembered that there’s a substantial supply of frozen veggies in the freezer. Corn, broccoli, green beans, spinach, peas, lima beans and black-eyed peas. Of course, broccoli and corn were the most obvious choices, so I flipped a coin and broccoli it was. But what am I gonna do with just broccoli? Steamed broccoli isn’t much worthy of a written recipe, and I didn’t have the energy to clean the food processor to make soup.

I hunted around a bit more in the dry goods cabinet and found some polenta. Perfect!

broccolipolentasized

The broccoli in the recipe can be easily substituted for cauliflower. It would be a little creamier, so it depends on your texture preference. I always want to make the recipes as accessible as possible to those who don’t spend too much time and too much money on stocking their kitchen with tools, so I say to use a potato masher on the broccoli but really, a hand blender works best. You could also use a food processor or regular blender.

I do have to give some credit to the frozen broccoli for one very helpful thing: unlike fresh broccoli, you don’t have to peel it. It makes it significantly easier.

It’s so easily veganizable, too! Just substitute the milk for unsweetened soymilk and butter for earth balance (which, in reality, any time my recipes say “butter” they mean “earth balance”).

And without further ado:

Polenta Cakes with Creamed Broccoli

    ¼ C. butter
    ½ C. diced white onion
    1 ½ t crushed garlic
    2 C. frozen broccoli florets
    ½ C. vegetable broth
    2T milk or cream
    Juice of ½ lemon
    ½ C. Parmesan, plus some to sprinkle on top

    1 C. cooked polenta
    2T butter
    sprinkle of olive oil, salt and pepper

    1. Sprinkle a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil and ½ T butter and set it on medium.
    2. Add onion and 1T of broth, cook until just soft.
    3. Once warmed, add in broccoli and half of the broth.
    4. Salt and pepper the broccoli and add garlic, slowly adding more broth until softened.
    5. Smash broccoli with a potato masher, slowly adding milk and the rest of the butter until it reaches your desired consistency.
    6. Add lemon and ½ cup of Parmesan, stir until mixed.

For Polenta Cakes:

    1. Spread cooked polenta in a ¼” layer on a sheet pan and refrigerate until solid.
    2. When solid, use a knife or cookie cutter to cut out biscuit sized rounds.
    3. In a deep sauté pan, add a sprinkle of olive oil and heat.
    4. When heated, add ½ T of butter and the polenta slices.
    5. Cook on med-high and continue adding butter slowly until polenta is crispy and browned on both sides.

Heat the broccoli and pour over plated polenta.

Eat it and love it!