Kabocha & Havarti Pockets
EEEEEEE!!!! Thanksgiving is almost here! Time for all the F words; food, friends, family, food, football, and food. I don’t know about you, but I plan to make 7 types of stuffing. There’s even going to be a house cocktail this year. OOOWEE! It contains blackstrap molasses rum which tastes exactly like pancake syrup. It’s tasty and my husband got himself pretty tipsy while trying to perfect it. He’s name it “Strap-it-on”. Inappropriate.
In my planner, yes my planner, I’ve been calling this holiday “Tank-the-giving”. Here are a few reasons why I am un-thankful:
- Crazy ladies at the grocery store. Already??! Come on. It’s not for another 2 weeks!
- This JG Wentworth commercial. GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD! And it’s on every day too.
- Losing the ability to record Rachel Maddow. I guess I have the NBA to be un-thankful for.
- Furniture store jingles for Christmas sales. Too soon. We haven’t had our turkey yet.
- Kim Kardashians butt. I refuse to add a link because it’s too shiny for your computer screens. OK FINE: herez.
This is the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. It can be made ahead then frozen. Just toss in the oven when you’re ready. Also, it can be eaten warmed or room temp which leaves you with that oven space you’ll desperately need when all of your guests have brought something over that needs to be “thrown in the oven for 15 minutes”.
When your guests arrive, I find that it’s best to have a snack-y appetizer waiting for them. People are hungry. And if you don’t want them hovering over you and your kitchen, waiting for the opportunity to slip they’re dirty little hands into something, then have a snack appetizer ready for them. Not sure why your guests have dirty hands. Or why they’re hands are so small. Who the heck are you inviting? Ew.
I first roasted the Kabocha squash. It comes out of the oven soft and oh, so sweet. I combine the squash flesh with sautéed shallots and thyme then brighten the mixture with a little tarragon vinegar. To make the pockets, I lay a good amount of havarti cheese onto the puff pastry squares before filling and sealing them. Garnishing the tops of the pockets with Maldon salt not only beautifies them, it creates a salty bite that contrasts the sweet kabocha. Did I mention that this is an excellent brunch food too? Well, there you go.
Fun Fact: In Thailand, this squash is called Fak Thong. That’s great. It’s normally what comes out of my mouth when laundry is over due.
Kabocha and Havarti Bourekas
These savory turnovers are a perfect appetizer for your thanksgiving meal. They're also a great addition to any Fall or Winter Brunch! Keep them in the freezer and bake when needed!Print Pin
Servings: 12 servings
FOR ROASTING THE SQUASH
- 1 medium Kabocha squash , quartered and seeds/pulp discarded
- olive oil
- kosher salt
FOR THE FILLING
- 4 small shallots , thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme , leaves removed off stems
- 1 1/2 tsp tarragon vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- fresh black pepper
FOR MAKING THE BOUREKAS
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed in fridge , you can also find pre-cut squares which are perfect for this
- 1/2 lb Havarti cheese , sliced is fine but shredded is best
- 1 egg , beaten with a splash of water
- flakey salt
- thyme leaves for garnish
FOR ROASTING THE SQUASH
- Pre-heat oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place the squash quarters on it with the skin side down.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the squash and season with kosher salt.
- Roast for 1 1/2 hours. It will be extremely soft. Let cool to room temp before working with it.
FOR THE FILLING
- Heat the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat in a sauté pan.
- Add the shallots, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-6 minutes tossing occasionally until the shallots are softened and the thyme is fragrant. Turn the heat off.
- Scoop out the kabocha flesh into a large bowl and discard the skins.
- Transfer the shallot mixture into the bowl and add the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix together and taste for seasoning. Adjust as necessary.
FOR THE BOUREKAS
- Prepare 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Unroll one of your puff pastry sheets. I leave it on that plastic or parchment it comes on to prevent it from sticking to the work surface. Cut the sheet into 6 squares for the large pockets or 12 for the mini pockets.
- Place pieces of the Havarti onto the squares leaving about 1/3″ border around the edge of the puff pastry.
- Spoon about 1 – 1 1/2 TB of squash mixture into the middle of each square. For the mini’s, use about 2 tsp of filling for each.
- Brush the egg wash all around the edge of the puff pastry, fold them in half to form a triangle and pinch closed. You can use a fork to really seal them.
- Brush the tops and the sides with the egg wash, sprinkle with thyme leaves and Maldon Salt.
- Transfer them to the baking sheet. Do the same with the second sheet of puff pastry.
- At this point, you can freeze them. Once they are rock hard you can transfer them to ziplock bags until your ready to bake them. No need to defrost, just give them an extra few minutes in the oven if necessary.
- Pre-heat oven to 425˚F. Bake on the parchment lined baking sheets, spaced about 1" apart, for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
If you can't find Kabocha Squash you can use Butternut Squash as well. These are great at room temperature so feel free to bake them and have them out! These will keep un-baked and in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make now bake later! Super easy make ahead appetizer