Posts Tagged With: puff pastry

Puff Pastry Quest Ended


A previous post detailed all the obstacles that were in my way of getting puff pastry.

I set out the next morning grimly determined to succeed.

1) Disdaining all fears of falling off the edge of the edge, I drove farther west than before.

2) Smart and Final (Don’t you think that’s an ominous name for a store?) wasn’t carrying puff pastry.

3) I then went North Park Produce. (They carry all sorts of produce and many Middle Eastern items.) They had many packets of puff pastry. They even had French puff pastry!

4) Huzzah! Huzzah! I felt vindicated and more than a little proud of myself for my grit and persistance.

5) I bought two packets of plain puff pastry and of the French variety, because you never know.

6) I noticed that the next door Big Lots! store was closing in two days. 😦

7) Everything was 80% off. I bought all sorts of fizzy water drinks, carbonated and not, and coconut-water bottles. I purchased three cans and over 40 bottles for just $19.

8) So everything ended well. I was able to make three nice, big Australian meat pies for the natives.

9) All in all my quest was not quite the epic told in the Illiad, but it wasn’t far away from it either.


– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on




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Australian Meat Pie

Australian Entree



2½ pounds chuck or round steak
2 onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon more later)
¼ teaspoon thyme
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1½ cups beef stock
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons flour (2 cups more later)


2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter (softened)
10 tablespoons water


1½ tablespoons milk
3-to-4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg
4 tablespoons ketchup


Dutch oven
4 meat-pie pans with 5″ diameter or 3 pans with 6″ diameter

Makes 4 5″-meat-pies. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.


Cut chuck into ½” cubes. Mince onions. Add onion and olive oil to Dutch oven. Sauté onion on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add meat, nutmeg, pepper, salt, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and beef stock. Simmer on low heat for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Combine ¼ cup water and 3 tablespoons flour in mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until you get a smooth, runny mix. Gradually add the flour/water mix into the Dutch oven. Stir with spoon until the filling thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.


While filling is simmering, add 2 cups flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and butter to a second mixing bowl. Blend ingredients with whisk. Add 10 tablespoons water. Remove dough and knead on surface dusted with flour. (Martian surfaces will work as well, but be sure to take along a space suit.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let dough sit for 20 minutes. Flatten dough with rolling pin. (A large can of soup will do. Plastic explosives are way too risky.)


Line pie pans with bottom pastry. Add filling to each pan. Moisten rims of pies with milk. (This helps tops to stick with the bottom pastry.) Place a sheet of puff pastry on top of each pie. Trim away the excess puff pastry. Press edges of puff pastry onto rims of bottom pastry with fork. Poke holes in bottom pastry with fork. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Glaze tops evenly and sparely with egg.

Bake pies at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Spread ketchup over each pie. Enjoy a nice cooling refreshment. Press gang the least appreciative guest into cleaning up.


1) Kangaroo is Australian Aborigine for, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

2) Melbourne, Australia has the largest public tram system in the world.

3) Australia is three times bigger than Greenland. So it’s no surprise that Melbourne has a bigger tram system than Nuuk, Greenland.

5) Curly Howard of the Three Stooges said “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk” in many of his movie shorts.

6) The Denver Broncos quarterback often yelled out “Omaha” during plays all through the 2013 NFL season. Some people think he was promoting the city of Omaha, Nebraska.

7) Was Curly really trying to promote Nuuk, Greenland? That would be truly scary for Nuuk was called Godthaab until 1979 and Curly died in 1952.

8) Perhaps Curly had a time machine and visited modern Nuuk. We should all be grateful Curly did not use his time machine to achieve world domination.

9) If you had a time machine you could go back to the point when you had just cooked yourself a wonderful dinner and eat it. You would never have to cook again. You’d just keep going back to that moment and eat that delightful dish over and over again.

10) But then no one would ever need to buy food again. Millions of farmers would be out of business. They’d riot. Worldwide collapse would ensue. And Curly would say, “Nyahh-ahhh-ahhh!”


– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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My Long and Failed Quest to Buy Puff Pastry

The Holy Grail

I needed puff pastry to make meat pies. Just pastry. This was My quest. And keep in mind, I suffer from fatigue from the time I get up.

1) I went to Stater Bros. First, I went to buy flowers. No prices on the flowers. No prices on the shelves. An employee who was working there didn’t know. I did not buy flowers.

2) The store wasn’t stocking puff pastry.

3) I went to Sprouts. I couldn’t find it.

4) I asked an employee. He didn’t know  what puff pastry was. I had to spell p-u-f-f.

5) He then said they had cream puffs.

6) I asked two employees were chatting with each other. I was told they needed to check in and walked away.

7) I then went to WalMart.

8) The aisles were packed with people not looking where they were going.

9) Or leaving their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle.

10) I went to buy tomatoes. A woman was investigating every tomato.

11) I couldn’t find puff pastry.

12) I asked an employee. No real response.

13) I asked a second employee. She didn’t know what it was.

14) I had to spell p-u-f-f.

15) It’s a pastry, I said again.

16) Is it frozen or fresh?

17) I said frozen.

18) Then it’s probably in the frozen section.

19)  Frozen food is in the frozen section. Whoa.

20) I found puff pastry on my third pass of the frozen section. I found one. The last one. It was on the bottom shelf. Push to the back.

21) I went back to buying tomatoes. The same woman was still picking up tomatoes and examining them.

22) I bought a cluster of vine-ripened tomatoes instead.

23) They fell through my cart twice.

24) I went to checkout. I forewent the self-checkout because I don’t work at Walmart, and I want WalMart to hire people. And there were lines even on the self checkouts.

25) I tried to stand inline. But the lines stretched into oblivion because only a handful of the checkout stands were open.

26) So I tried to go to the gardening department to buy my puff pastry. Two employees were standing around. But the check out stands there were not open.

27) I went home.

28) I went on Amazon for delivery. Puff pastry would have been horrifically expensive what with the cost for the product, delivery fee, and tips.

29) And even then, I could not receive my puff pastry until 10 pm.

30) I tried seeing if puff pastry was available at Target.

31) Target kept insisting its closest store was 40 miles away.

32) I typed in my zip code.

33) It said the nearest store was in Minneapolis. Was that correct?

34) Finally, I got the site to acknowledge I do indeed live in Poway, CA.

35) I asked the site to check for puff pastry sheets.

36) The site showed dozens of bed sheets.

37) Okay, I asked for puff pastry.

38) The site showed dozens of bed sheets.

39) I typed in puff pastry again.

40) A major step forward. The site suggested Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets.

41) I clicked on that.

I just want puffed pastry.

42) The site showed dozens of bed sheets.

43) The site then suggest another brand of puff pastry sheets.

44) I clicked on that new brand.

45) The site showed dozens of bed sheets.

46) For sh*ts and grins, I looked at Instacart.

47) Same problem as with Amazon. Too expensive and no delivery before 10 pm.

Now I have no puff pastry and I’ve used up all my energy.


– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on







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