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Serve as a dinner party starter or serve with a salad as a light lunch. Adapted from the Simply Great Recipes website. I've suggested a few alternatives below. I'm well aware from reading reviews on Zaar that many people don't much like citrus flavourings, but I've provided that option for those of us who do! If you're going down the citrus path and adding a smidgeon of juice to the cream cheese, add it cautiously, a bit at a time, to maintain the basic consistency of the cheese. And, as I've suggested in the TIPS below, if you're a feta-lover, then of course substitute feta for the cream cheese!
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, semi-thawed
- 1⁄3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill and 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives) or 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill and 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional) or 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
- 1 teaspoon orange juice (optional) or 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon canned crabmeat (optional) or 1⁄2 tablespoon canned salmon, thoroughly-drained (optional) or 1 slice ham, finely chopped (optional)
- 425 g asparagus, green spears thoroughly-drained
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Divide the pastry sheet in half and cut each half into 4 equal strips.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, the dill or chives, garlic, (optional) orange or lemon zest, (optional) orange or lemon juice, and (optional) crab, salmon or ham until they are well combined. If your cheese mixture becomes too thin (aha, sounds like you added too much juice!) add a one of the optional meats: crab, salmon or ham. Or, if you want to keep the dish vegetarian, add some more dill or chives.
- Place the 8 strips of pastry onto a greased baking tray and spread them with the cream cheese mixture.
- Arrange 2 - 3 thoroughly-drained Asparagus Green Spears on each strip of pastry and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15-18 minutes.
- TIPS: If you love feta, you may well want to use feta instead of cream cheese. The original recipe also suggested adding finely chopped cooked bacon to the cream cheese. If you're not adding orange or lemon, you may well like to add bacon to the cream cheese.