Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

One of the benefits to participating in the #SeriousSandwich challenge, cooking our way through Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, is that we all had an opportunity to ask Emeril a few questions. No, I wasn’t flown to Louisiana for this (you wouldn’t believe how many time I’ve been asked that!). And I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to make it to his book signing at Grand Central Terminal on Thursday either. Thanks to the magic of email, however, I was granted a little insight into Emeril Lagasse‘s world.

Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

·         What made you think of writing a cookbook on sandwiches?

Well, everyone loves a good sandwich, right? I also noticed a few years back that around the country, and really around the world, lots of kicked-up sandwich joints were opening up. I figured folks would like a book that might help them make some kicked up sandwiches at home.

·         Do you have a recipe development team who assist you or do you come up with the recipes by yourself?

Yes, I have a small culinary team who helps me with my various recipe projects. They have been with me a long time and have a real feel for what I like and how to help me get my projects completed.

·         Do you ever get burned out? How do you keep going in the kitchen?

Well, many people who know me well say that I have an amazing amount of energy. But of course I’m human, too, and yes, I do have my moments when I just need to stay at home with my family and recharge. Usually a day at home with my wife and kids or a day out on the water fishing will put me right.

Thank you, Emeril, for taking some time out of your very busy schedule to answer my questions! How cool is that?!

Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

This is my 7th post in the #SeriousSandwich series and I felt it was time for another dessert. Turnovers would not appear to fit into an assortment of sandwiches at first glance, but when you look at the broader, more global definition and include things like Big Empanadas and Tunisian Street Sandwiches, then turnovers make a lot of sense. They still have a bread-like exterior with a filling, and they can be a grab-and-go kind of meal. Or treat. Or meal. Yup, they’re a dessert sandwich.

This was my first time working with puff pastry since my baker’s assistant days 14 years ago. There are recipes out there to make your own puff pastry, but I’ve always considered it to be one of those things that just isn’t worth the time investment. Making laminated dough is a pain in the rear. Frozen puff pastry is readily available. No contest.

Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

Once your puff pastry is thawed, the time to assemble is short. They do have to spend an hour chilling in the fridge after assembly before being baked off, but that’s not bad. I vacuumed the house while I waited. Cherry jam is delicious, but I opted for Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves to kick these up even more. Mmmm… Turnovers are best eaten the day they’re made, but they will survive up to 3 days on the counter wrapped loosely.

To find out what the other cook-along bloggers think of the recipes they’re trying out, follow #SeriousSandwich on Twitter, or check out their links below:
Cover of Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches

Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone, based upon my personal experience. Morrow Cookbooks provided me with a Cookalong Kit including an advance copy of Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches. In addition, upon completion of the #SeriousSandwich cookalong, all participants will receive a small grocery reimbursement and a complete library of Emeril Cookbooks.

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