Do you like Gordon Ramsay? I do. I like that he’s a jerk who likes to cook, because I consider myself a jerk who likes to cook. I like watching his show Kitchen Nightmares – or Cauchemar en Cuisine as it’s called here in France – and listening to the translated French swear words. Merde comes up a lot.

Thursday the husband and I are going to Bordeaux, a lovely 7 hour road trip that will consist of him driving and me sitting shotgun trying not to fall asleep. Since the husband will be driving, I decided I would take charge of the picnic that will divide our long drive. The menu consists of some boring things like sandwiches and shredded carrots, but as we have to pack enough food for a few days, and I like things that are more interesting than sandwiches and shredded carrots, I’ve decided to spice things up a bit and made pastry roll-ups.

That’s where Mr. Ramsay comes in. I used his tips on making a savory pastry crust, which I had never made before.

  • 1 1/3 cups of flour
  • 125 grams of butter
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Cube your butter in a large bowl and add the flour and salt. Mix together by hand, and don’t worry about the butter mixing homogenously with the flour. Add the water little by little until you have a nice firm ball of dough. Chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.

You can put anything you want in your roll-ups. Dips, veggies, meats, cheeses. As long as it’s thin and can be baked in the oven. I made:

  • tomato, basil, garlic
  • goat cheese and chive
  • peppery ham and pesto

When your dough is ready, lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough, always in one direction to make sure that it’s flaky and that the butter doesn’t get worked in too much. You want a slightly marbled effect. The dough should be rectangular in shape (mine was sort-of) and about 1/8 inch thick.

Spread your fillings evenly onto the dough.


Chill again for about 10 minutes. You want the dough to firm up again so that it’s easier to cut.

Slice the dough in even thickness and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 200°C.

You can spread a little bit of olive oil on the exterior of the rolls before you slice it and bake, if you don’t want the outer edges of your roll to be too dry, but I didn’t bother because of the butter.

These came out sooooooo yummy. Nice and crispy, and tender in the center from the softness of the tomato, cheese or pesto. We can’t wait to eat them on Thursday.

I’ll let you know how the rest of the picnic goes on Tuesday. For now, I’m looking forward to a brief respite from the craziness that is work. Instead, I’ll be at a wedding, looking pretty in the 40°C Bordeaux heat.