I remember years ago when vol-au-vents were considered rather posh food but these days you hardly hear about them which is shame because they are actually rather versatile and make a fast and easy appetizer, brunch or lunch depending on the size you make and what you serve it with. On its own, they are great but with a side salad they make a fun and substantial meal.
I used to frequently make them as part of my annual Christmas brunch spread but somehow over the years I too forgot about these yummy fillings encased in crispy puff pastry! The good news is I decided to bring them back to my Christmas table and my official taste testers (thanks Family) gave them them a big tick! And while I used asparagus in this particular recipe you could easily add mushrooms which also make a great substitution if asparagus isn't your thing.
YOU WILL NEED
1 cup chopped bacon (rind removed)
1 tablespoon butter
1 brown onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely crushed
1/3 cup cream
4-5 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups cooked chicken chopped (I used a roasted chicken from my grocery store)
1 x 425g | 15 ounce can drained asparagus (I used the tips & cuts to save time chopping)
24 medium sized ready made vol-a-vent cases (you can do half the cases and halve the entire recipe too).
A little extra smoked paprika, chilli flakes and/or finely slice chives for garnishing if desired
In a large frying pan add your chopped bacon and over medium-high heat cook through, allowing the fat to render off the bacon (melt off). Allow to brown and crisp a little.
Add the butter (only if needed, in the case where there is not much fat on your bacon).
Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is softened and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the cream, mustard, Parmesan cheese and smoked paprika and mix to combine.
Add the chopped chicken and asparagus and mix through.
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
Place your vol-au-vent cases on a lined baking sheet and add a teaspoon of mixture to each case (of enough to fill them adequately, they should not overflow).
Heat for 8-10 minutes or until the cases are warmed through.
MAKES 24 MEDIUM VOL-AU-VENTS