Puff pastry pigs in a blanket topped with caraway seeds, with sauce for dipping. Puff pastry can be the perfect avenue for a variety of tastes at your Oscar party, from sweet to savory.

So you've decided to host an Oscars party this year, but you aren't sure what to serve. Obviously you want something extra fancy — something that will allow you to shine nearly as brightly as those folks on the red carpet. • Why not serve up a slate of hors d'oeuvres wrapped in puff pastry, the super-elegant dough perfected by — who else — the French? It's not exactly a breeze to produce. So we've got a simpler version, known variously as rough puff pastry, quick puff pastry or blitz puff pastry. • It's actually not much quicker than full-blown puff pastry, but it is much easier to prepare. The recipe (find it on Page 2E) yields about a pound of dough, enough to produce several dozen hors d'oeuvres. It is followed by some suggestions for fillings.

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