cooking. baking. recipes. eating out.

cooking. baking. recipes. home economics. eating out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This is the easiest dessert you will ever make. For the amount of work involved, the flavor and visual payoff is huge. These are also exceptionally useful: they can serve as a casse-croute with coffee or hot chocolate, a tea time treat, or part of a larger display at a reception, party or shower. I can also imagine them as the perfect petit four to close out a French dinner where cheese was served. They require only three ingredients. Give this a try!

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Thaw the puff pastry according to the instructions on the box.

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a jelly roll sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Combine the sugar and salt. Evenly sprinkle a half cup of the sugar mixture on a very clean, very dry counter or large cutting board larger than 15" square. Lay the puff pastry on top of this. Sprinkle the other half of the sugar on top of the puff pastry. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is a 13" square. The sugar will be pressed into the dough on both sides. Then, from the left side, fold the dough one-quarter toward the center. From the right side, fold the dough one quarter toward the center. Repeat for the left and the right and the dough will meet in the center. Fold it again like closing a book. There should be six layers total. There will be plenty of sugar left over. Using a very sharp knife, slice the dough into 3/8" slices.

Place them, cut side up, on the prepared sheet.

Cook in the oven for 6 minutes. Take the sheet out of the oven and flip the palmiers. Be careful in turning these. The sugar melts and is very hot! Cook in the oven another 3-6 minutes until both sides are golden and all the sugar has melted. Cool on the sheet. If the palmiers should not cook any further, if they are on the verge of being too brown, simply remove the palmiers from the sheet and cool on a non-porous surface. Once completely cool - the sugar will crisp - store in an airtight container. Best consumed within 2 days.

Each sheet of puff pastry will make two dozen palmiers.

The Fishguy Market & Wellfleet Restaurant

One of my favorite things to do on weekends is to get together with friends and cook. This weekend I had the chance to do that. In seeking out the best ingredients beforehand a friend introduced me to this place: The Fishguy Market which is both a fish market and restaurant. It is a somewhat small place that has recently been re-done in bright white and clean, cool ocean colors. There are few decorations, with all emphasis on the fish. The staff is professional and it's obvious that every aspect of seafood, from where it is sourced, how it is transported, stored and cooked is their passion.
Turning up famished, we decided to have a snack at one of the half dozen two-seater tables by the front windows before we got our goods. (There's also a chic, clean, white bar on the other side of the room, across from the fish cases.) Both of us had a cup of the shrimp bisque ($8 each). It was delicious. Rather than having a sweet flavor, as lobster bisque often does from the lobster and sherry or cognac at the end, this had a smoky, meaty aroma. The base was perfectly smooth and creamy with the shrimp providing the texture. After our snack, I took a good look at the fresh seafood. It was all beautiful and I opted for some giant, wild shrimp from Texas ($20/pound). There were many other things I could have chosen from but I already had in mind a red chili and paprika shrimp tapas dish. My buddy also bought a bunch of store-made crab cakes ($5 each) and gave me a couple. I can't wait to have them!

Contact info:
4423 N. Elston Ave. Chicago, IL 60630.
Phone: 773-283-7400

On-street Parking is available as well as a front loading zone for customers.

The market is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday

The kitchen is open from 11:30 to 4:30.