Here’s an excellent way to create an elegant brunch easily–and quickly. Instead of using salmon, you could substitute leftover diced ham or turkey, shrimp, or thawed frozen vegetables such as peas or broccoli.
Set a rack in the top third of oven and preheat to 400°. Thaw puff pastry dough according to manufacturer’s directions. Butter the four corner cavities of a standard-size muffin tin or apply cooking spray. Cut dough into four equal squares (5x5 inches each) using a sharp knife in a rocking motion through dough.
Lay one pastry square centered over a corner cavity of the muffin pan. Lift the four points of the pastry dough while you push the dough firmly into the bottom of the cavity. Fold the sides where they overlap and arrange the points like flower petals. Repeat with the remaining dough squares in remaining corner cavities.
Into each puff pastry cavity, place one piece of salmon. Crack 1 egg over each, then top each with ½ teaspoon melted butter, ½ teaspoon heavy cream, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and a half grind of black pepper. Place in oven on top rack. Bake until pastry has puffed and turned golden and egg whites are no longer translucent, about 25 to 30 minutes.
During the last 15 minutes of baking, make the sauce.
To serve, pool equal amounts of sauce onto four warmed luncheon plates, set pastries atop sauce, and garnish with chives and pepper.
In a small saucepan over moderately high heat, combine butter and flour. Whisk together until blended, about 45 seconds. Add milk and whisk continuously, scraping all surfaces of the pan. Bring milk to a simmer, lower heat, add nutmeg, and whisk 1 minute, until thick enough to coat a spoon. Take pan off heat and add grated cheese. Whisk to blend fully, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 1-⅔ cups