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Spinach & Paneer Puffs

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I do not wish to be the frog in the well. I want to jump out and see the world. I do not wish to live in my own well and refrain from exploring this gorgeous globe. Don’t you too? I mean, there is so much goodness around that you want to absorb it all in as much as you can. While this holds true to travel, it also translates to cooking as well. More since I have become a food blogger, I have experimented, pushed my boundaries, tried ingredients I have never even heard of and food photography is something which intrigues me everyday. Now when I look back, as conventional homemakers, we should not limit ourselves to the regular food. There are so many wonderful recipes out there to try. We must push ourselves, create, uncover newer dishes. We must never be content with just being a frog in the well!

If I would do a survey on when do people feel hungry the most, I am sure the maximum response would be – afternoons! I am also part of the majority. Most of the afternoons, I am rummaging the kitchen finding something to eat. Some days I am bored to cook so I just have a bowl of corn flakes or a Fruit Popsicle. However on some days, I am in mood to experiment or try a new snack to munch on. Here are some of my afternoon endeavors here – Lemon Vermicelli Croquettes, Dill ke Pakode, Rawa Paniyaram in Appe Pan, Moong Dal snack which have also gained popularity among my readers over time. I am always on the search for yummy snacks to fill my tummy. I said that to totally rhyme. 😉

First we need to make the filling sauce. In a pan, Melt butter. Add flour and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes pale golden with a slightly nutty aroma. Now pour warm milk gradually, stirring constantly with wooden spoon and whisk until smooth. Cook this mixture, stirring constantly along the bottom of the pan. Cook till the sauce thickens. This takes about 10 mins on med to low flame. Once the sauce is thick enough, add the chopped spinach and give it a good mix.

Next add in the crumbled paneer and the seasonings. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. The sauce finally should be thick enough to spread and not drip. 

Pre-heat your oven to 400°F(200°C). Then, thaw the frozen puff pastry sheets. Cut the sheets into 5-inch squares and place them on a cookie tray with parchment paper.  Add a spoonful of the spinach – paneer mixture in the center. Cut a mozzarella stick half-inch size and place each on top of the mixture. Fold the sheet from all sides. You need not close it completely. Refer pic below.

Brush some egg + water mixture over all of them. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over it. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 mins. Look at them rising up. Love this sight!

Spinach & Paneer Puffs are ready. Enjoy them as is or with any hot sauce. You need not use all the pastry sheets in one go for this recipe. Save some for Avocado & Cream Cheese Pinwheel Puffs. They turn out great as well. 

Spinach & Paneer Puffs

Spinach & Paneer Puffs is an easy appetizer to make. Its got paneer – spinach filling inside along with cheese. They make a good snack, ideal for parties, large groups or your kid’s lunchbox.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Author: Priya Lakshminarayan

Ingredients 

  • 3 pastry sheets
  • 1 cup crumbled paneer
  • 1 ‘2 cup chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of dried parsley basil and thyme each
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes/pepper powder
  • Salt
  • 1 egg + 2 tbsp water
  • 2 mozzarella sticks cut in half-inch
  • Flour for dusting if required

Instructions

  • First we need to make the filling sauce. In a pan, Melt butter. Add flour and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes pale golden with a slightly nutty aroma. Now pour warm milk gradually, stirring constantly with wooden spoon and whisk until smooth. Cook this mixture, stirring constantly along the bottom of the pan. Cook till the sauce thickens. This takes about 10 mins on med to low flame. Once the sauce is thick enough, add the chopped spinach and give it a good mix.
  • Next add in the crumbled paneer and the seasonings. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. The sauce finally should be thick enough to spread and not drip.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 400°F(200°C). Then, thaw the frozen puff pastry sheets. Cut the sheets into 5-inch squares and place them on a cookie tray with parchment paper.  Add a spoonful of the spinach – paneer mixture in the center. Cut a mozzarella stick half-inch size and place each on top of the mixture. Fold the sheet from all sides. You need not close it completely.
  • Brush some egg + water mixture over all of them. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over it. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 mins.
  • Spinach & Paneer Puffs are ready. Enjoy them as is or with any hot sauce.

Notes

To make it eggless, rub some melted butter or maida + water over the puffs before baking.
You can make the pastry sheets at home as well.
Try a variation with any other filling.
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Snacks like these really make a homechef’s day. Like a small child, I was excited as they were getting ready in the oven. I kept checking on it as I was eager to get it out. Baking surely is a fun way of cooking. Do everything you need to do and then wait (not) patiently for the oven to do its job. Its fun! 

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