mushroom puff pastry
Tuesday, 7 Feb 2017

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This was the result of a happy accident and food desire. When we were last in Chinatown we were in Loon Fung (a Chinese supermarket), where we saw some amazing mushrooms. We bought a couple. I wanted to use the pack of king oyster mushrooms (P. eryngii, or xingbaogu) we still had in the fridgeand simultaneously wanted to eat something with salad on the side, something like a light lunch at a bistro.

My initial thought was to bake a sort of tart with the filling in the middle. I bought a roll of puff pastry from the supermarket. You can certainly make your own puff pastry but it isn’t something I’ve managed to achieve, like croissants. Layering butter is a bit faffy and requires you to work fast enough that the butter doesn’t mingle with the dough. One day I’ll try making croissants again.

Try to get an all-butter puff pastry. This recipe is very easy but does hinge on a few good ingredients like cool mushrooms (use your favourite kind) and good cheese. I used three types of cheese: a blue (Bleu de Gex), a hard cheese (Comte) and grated parmesan, about a heaped tablespoon of each, but use what you like.

I pricked the top of the pastry and put it in the oven to blind bake - or so I thought - and turned to making my mushroomy filling, but when I pulled it out of the oven it had puffed up. I’d forgotten to weigh the middle down with dried beans. So instead I cut it in half to make a sort of sandwich.

There was a perfect little depression in the top half. I spread the filling over the lower half, topped it with cheese, popped the lid on and stuck it back in the oven hoping for the best. Honestly I was a little surprised at how well it worked. The thick, almost tofu-like chunks of king oyster mushrooms looked almost like apple chunks in an apple pie.

It tasted as good as it looked and, according to my husband, ‘tastes French’.

Mushroom puff pastry

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 300g mushrooms
  • 1 red onion
  • about 30g cheese
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard like Grey Poupon
  • olive oil
  • about 100g puff pastry (homemade or 1/3 ready rolled puff pastry)
Method

Preheat the oven 220 deg C.

If you're using storebought puff pastry like Jusroll, it's likely to have 6 servings. Put it on a baking tray, unroll it to about a third and cut.

Dice the red onion and mushrooms.

When the oven is hot, bake the puff pastry for about 10 minutes.

While the puff pastry's baking, Saute the onion and mushrooms until soft. Add 1 tsp mustard at the end and mix through.

Take the puff pastry out of the oven and split in half lengthwise.

Fill half with the onion mushroom mixture and sprinkle the cheese over. Pop the other puff pastry half on top.

Bake for about 5 minutes, just enough for the cheese to melt.

Cut in half crosswise and serve each half with a dressed salad.


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