I think it is time I wrote about N.. I’m sure I have alluded to her in previous posts but she is long overdue her own dedicated post (if not several). I met N. almost 7 years ago through a mutual friend when we were at university. We were “set up” so to speak. From my end I would say it was love at first sight, we hit it off straight away. We mainly bonded over our vehement foodie tendencies and a true love of twee Glasgow indie bands (B and S, Camera Obscura and such like). I think for us everything we love in life is covered in a blanket of fluffy sentimentality.
I am deviating here. I want to tell you about the feuille de brick pastry or just “brick” if you are proper French. (I’m a certified Francophile but not French so it is feuille de brick to me.) It originated in North Africa but was adopted by the French when they colonised Tunisia in the 1880s. It is incredibly versatile, in Tunisia it can be used to make a pastilla, a richly aromatic meat pie. In France it is often stuffed with ham and cheese to make a simple family super. Come Autumn I’ll use it as a dessert, maybe stuffed with spiced caramelised plums.
|Feuille de brick with goat's cheese, honeycomb and thyme|
N. made this for me the first lunch I had in her officially “bijou” studio apartment in Bordeaux that she shared with C.. I remember over looking the rooftops with the warmth of the sun coming through the window. It was the lightest, crispest pastry I had ever eaten and with the creamy/sharp dichotomy of the goat’s cheese it was pretty magic.
Normally my attitude to pastry is a take-it-or-leave-it-kind-of-one but after this I was sold. When I spotted the packet in the chilled section at Waitrose I was transported back to that November afternoon in Bordeaux with N. and C.. I knew I had to get it. I’ll admit the thyme flowers maybe sounds a little pretentious but their lighter, more delicate flavour is more appropriate than thick sprigs for this summery dish, plus they are very, very pretty.
|Feuille de brick parcel|
Goat’s cheese, honey and thyme flower feuille de brick parcel
Serves 1 – yep I’m cooking for 1 tonight.
2 sheets feuille de brick pastry
½ log of goat’s cheese
1dsp honey (I used honeycomb but acacia could be nice)a wee sprinkle of thyme flowers - maybe 1/2 a teaspoons worth
oil for frying
Carefully take the pastry off the separating sheets.
Put the ingredients in the centre of one of the sheets and fold the edges over.
Put the edges side of the pastry in the centre of the other sheet face down and fold the edges of the second pastry sheet over.
Put the edges side down in a frying pan with some oil over a medium heat.
Fry for a few minutes on each side till golden brown and wonderfully gooey inside.