Monday, April 16, 2012

Just $5! -- President's Choice Puff Pastry hors d'oeuvre collection

My mom saw the President's Choice Puff Pastry hors d'oeuvre collection on sale at Superstore for about $5 yesterday (normally closer to $8) and ended up getting two boxes. Going on just price per pound, at 800 grams it is a pretty good deal, as some of the Superstore frozen pizza deals are about the same price.

President's Choice puff pastry hors d'oeuvre collection - front

When you open it up, the four bags of frozen puff pastries don't look like they add up to 800 grams, but they are small and dense in that frozen form.

My mom likes to semi-thaw stuff out first, despite the instructions to bake from frozen. This typically results in less-than-puffy results. From frozen, they can come out much puffier and seem less oily for some reason. Either way, they seem to end up sitting on the oils from the filling or the puff pastry, and that was somewhat off-putting on the initial tries. Baked from frozen, the ones with chicken filling (probably the least oily hors d'oeuvre) turned out okay without significant oiliness on the bottom.

There are four types:
  • Chicken sausage roll filling
    • The one with the "meatiest" and most filling feel.
    • This is very boring "sausage roll" type stuff, except with the puff pastry. Decent, but definitely not as flavourful when compared to the other three. Sort of a safe standard.
  • Swiss, grutère & ham filling
    • The taste combo here is quite good. The sprinkle of green herbs on the pastry makes this a nice colourful addition.
    • Strong tendency for the filling to ooze out during baking. Combined with how the filling turns out very soft and squishy, it can be a bit tricky plating this nicely.
  • Sweet potato & goat cheese filling
    • The goat cheese here, as goat cheese does anywhere, sort of overpowered things.
    • Slight tendency to ooze out.
  • Apple, smoked gouda & caramelized onion filling
    • Probably the most interesting taste. The caramelized onion taste didn't come through clearly for me, but the apple and the cheese both turned up, with the former softening the latter.
    • The addition of a (slightly) sweet pastry helps mix up the tastes and variety.

Overall, if you can get it at a sale price of $5, there's definitely good bang for your buck here. And if you can get it to turn out of the oven nicely, there's a nice look and colour to the combination (well, maybe not the boring chicken one) that makes it almost too easy to turn out an attractive hors d'oeuvre plate without a lot of work. Add to that the range of flavours, including the slightly sweet and clearly fruity apple and smoked gouda pastry, and this is actually a well-thought-out one-stop-shopping appy combo. The flavours are strong enough that there's not much call for condiments to go with this, except, again, maybe for the chicken sausage one.

President's Choice puff pastry hors d'oeuvre collection - back

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