Napoleon au Fromage Blanc

Napoleon au Fromagc Blanc (nah-poh-lay-ohn oh f roh-maj blahn) is a superb concoction of crisp layers of puff pastry sandwiched with a savoury cream cheese, vegetable and shrimp filing. Serve it with a salad or as a centrepiece for a cold buffet. For a more

Light-as-air pastry layers filled with cream cheese, shrimps and vegetables, Napoleon au Fromage Blanc is an impressive dish from France. decorative effect, arrange sliced cucumber, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and black olives around the edge of the Napoleon.

12 oz. flour

2 teaspoon salt

12 oz. butter

6 fl. oz. iced water

1 lb. cream cheese

2 fl. oz. double cream , whipped until thick but not stiff

2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 fl. oz. mayonnaise

2 teaspoons prepared French mustard

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives 8 oz. potted shrimps, drained and coarsely chopped 1 small red pepper, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

1 small green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

2 small shallots, very finely diced

10 cooked shrimps, in their shells

First, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 3 ounces of the butter and cut it into the flour with a table knife. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and mix it into the dough with the knife. With your hands, lightly knead the dough until it is smooth.

Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the remaining butter between two sheets of greaseproof or waxed paper. Using a rolling pin or the back of a wooden spoon, beat the butter into an oblong approximately :,’-inch thick. Set aside.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board or marble slab and, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out into an oblong approximately J-inch thick. Place the slab of butter in the centre of the dough.

Fold the dough in three over the butter to enclose it and to make a parcel. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.

Place the dough on the board or slab with the folded ends facing you. Roll the dough out into an oblong and fold it in three. Roll it out again and fold it in three. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding twice more.

Preheat the oven to hot 425 F (Gas Mark 7, 220 C). Dampen a large baking sheet with cold water and set it aside.

Cut the dough into three equal pieces.

Roll out each piece into an oblong approximately 4-inches wide and 12-inches long. Trim the oblongs with a sharp knife to make them the same size and straighten the edges. Discard any leftover dough.

Prick the oblongs all over with a fork. Wrap two of the oblongs in greaseproof or waxed paper and place them in the refrigerator.

Place the third oblong on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the pastry to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before carefully trans- ferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wetting the baking sheet with cold water each time, bake and cool the remaining oblongs in the same way.

While the pastry is cooling, make the lilling. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. Beat in the cream, vinegar, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise, the mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika. Blend the mixture until it is smooth. Add the chives, potted shrimps, peppers and shallots and combine the mixture thoroughly. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Place one of the pastry oblongs on a large serving platter. Spoon half of the filling on to the pastry. With a flat-bladed knife, spread it evenly to the edges of the pastry. Place a second pastry oblong on top and spread over the remaining filling. Cover with the last pastry layer.

Spoon or pipe the remaining mayon-naise in an even line along the centre of the top pastry layer.

Arrange the shrimps, side by side, over the line of mayonnaise, pressing them down lightly with your fingers.

Place the platter in the refrigerator and chill the napoleon for 30 minutes before serving.

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