Palm-Yea! That’s how you pronounce these things, which I am ending the year on because even if you can’t cook a lick you can make these for a New Year’s Eve gathering and look like Julia Child.
Palmiers are the easiest thing to make and they look like you’ve spent hours doing them. All you need is a sheet of puff pastry, which you can find in the dessert freezer section, and whatever you want to fill them with. For the sake of this demonstration, I used store-bought pesto, ham slices and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I’ve always hated those blogs that show you photos of every step in a recipe like you’re such an idiot you can’t figure out how to put something in a bowl and mix it up. But this probably requires those photos, so here goes. If I don’t have enough to say, I’ll just ad lib while I put the photos in.
Start out by thawing the puff pastry, but still keeping it cool or else it will be hell to roll up when that step comes. Lay it flat on a cutting board or your counter and spread a layer of pesto on it. Then follow that with thin slices of ham and the grated cheese. Did I ever tell you about my worst New Year’s Eve date ever? I got “fixed up” (always a bad sign) with a guy who lived across the street. Kevin Herbert. I hope he doesn’t read this. Zero personality. We went to a college “party” at which there was no booze, which is entirely the point of New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t wait for midnight so I could get out of there. We won’t even go into the kiss. Yuk.
So, after you spread your puff pastry you want to roll it up halfway from either end. If you let the pastry get too warm stick the entire thing in the fridge. Otherwise, it will just be a mess and you’ll be mad at me. Here’s the pastry rolled up halfway. Now you just roll from the other side so you have something that looks like a palm leaf, which is the other name for these things. When you get done with that, cut them into half inch pieces.
This is what the palmiers look like rolled and cut. So, did I ever tell you about my best New Year’s Eve date? I’m going to get in trouble here but it wasn’t with Mark. By the time I met him, I was kind of over New Year’s Eve. It was with my first real boyfriend, Tommy, who took me to this swank restaurant at Redington Beach. Steak and champagne and a pretty good kiss at midnight on the beach. That’s what I’m talking about.
Now all you do is bake them at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until they’re puffed and golden. You can serve them warm or at room temperature. The great thing about palmiers is that you can stuff them with anything. Butter, brown sugar and chopped pecans for a sweet version. Or roasted red pepper pesto, prosciutto and fontina cheese for another savory one. So, sad to say, New Year’s Eve is not a major holiday at the Mayhew house. Yes, I have a bottle of champagne that I will crack around the time that Greenland rings in 2012. I will watch Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin celebrate in Times Square because I’m just so tickled at how thoroughly she embarrasses him. And then I will hit the sack. Woo-hoo. What a wild woman I am. I almost forgot. One last thing. Before I go to bed, I will put some coins outside the front door and then bring them back in on New Year’s Day. I have no idea why I do this, but it is required of all good Southern women and if you don’t you will have hell to pay the whole next year.