Asparagus in Puff Pastry with Paprika Hazelnut Cream

Time: Approx. 1 hour
Effort: Medium
Serves 4

Allergy Alert: This recipe contains Hazelnuts !

8 Asparagus spears, halved crosswise and steamed until tender but crisp
1/2 package of pre-made puff pastry (4"x4" before rolled out)
Flour for rolling pastry
3-4 tbsp paprika paste (not spicy) - found in jars in most European grocery stores
1/4 cup finely ground toasted hazelnuts (see method below)
1 cup heavy cooking cream
1 tsp butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut asparagus spears in half to yield 16 pieces about 3" long each. Steam until barely tender (crisp). Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 375oF. On a large floured board, roll out pastry to make a large oblong 1/8th inch thick (approx. 14" x 8"), then with a sharp knife cut the oblong in half lengthwise, then again crosswise, making 4 smaller oblongs. In a small bowl, mix the paprika paste with salt & pepper and the ground hazelnuts. Spread 1 tsp of the mixture over each pastry oblong and place 4 asparagus strips on top. Roll the pastry over the asparagus wetting one end of the pastry to seal the roll. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and asparagus. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 1" apart and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve with the Paprika Hazelnut Cream

Paprika Hazelnut Cream

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the remainder of the paprika mixture, then slowly whisk in the cream and simmer gently on low heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Toasted Ground Hazelnuts
1 cup skinned hazelnuts

Turn oven to broil. Spread hazelnuts on a large baking sheet lines with parchment paper and place under broiler....keeping a close watch! When the nuts are browned on one side, turn them over with a spatula or wooden spoon and toast them again. Remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, place them in a food processor and blend on "pulse" until it forms a fine powder. Voila ! You can use it immediately or store it in glass air-tight jars.