It all started with the ridiculous amounts of mushroom I usually buy from the grocery store. I always over estimate the quantity for mushroom consumption in our family. So, as it is with all those brilliant ideas, when stars align and you have just the right ingredients (and heaps of mushroom) in your kitchen, I found a tasty combination of mushroom and puff pastry – the Mushroom Pastry!
Mushroom Pastry Recipe
2 puff pastry sheets (Pepperidge Farm, etc.)
2 lb mushrooms, sliced (any kind, really)
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 Tbs oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbs butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon rind
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 bunch parsley
egg-wash (1 egg beaten + 1 Ts water)
If there’s anything worth paying attention in this ridiculously easy recipe is thawing the pastry sheets. See, these pastry sheets have about 90-100 layers with butter in between. Once the butter is thawed, it makes the dough much stickier and harder to roll. That’s why it is imperative that you roll the dough right before everything melts down. Usually I start 40 minutes before rolling, by placing both sheets on a paper towel. While they thaw you can start sauteing the mushrooms (see below).
As soon as the dough becomes flexible, gently unfold the sides and prop them up together like a tent. This will help hasten the thawing. Do not force unfolding the sides until the dough is flexible otherwise you might end up breaking them off.
This is the part in the movie which requires most of your attention. Add the 2 Tbs canola oil to a large pan over medium high heat, and add the sliced mushrooms and thyme. Salt and and add freshly ground pepper to your taste. Saute the mushrooms, mixing them often until most of the water is evaporated and they start to brown slightly about 5-7 min.
At this point, add the chopped garlic and lemon rind, and mix for another 1 minute. Add the wine and lemon juice and reduce until there’s a saucy feel to the whole mix. Add the 2 Tbs butter, and keep mixing until it melts. Take off the heat, mix in the chopped parsley, and let the whole thing cool. The trick is to have a saucy mix, not too dry or not too wet.
Next, unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. If there are cracks in the seams, fuse them together by pinching the dough.
Roll both sheets to a 16″ x 11″ rectangle and place one in a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Keep the other one on the well floured surface or on a separate parchment paper.
Spread the mushroom mix on the rolled puff pastry mix in the pan leaving about 1/2″ from the edge. We’ll use that to seal the top sheet. Paint the edge with the egg-wash for a better seal and cover with the top pastry sheet.
Seal the edge with a fork, then poke holes on the top for steam release while is baking in the oven.
Paint the top with the egg-wash, and pop it into a 400F oven in the middle rack. Optionally you can sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top for a interesting texture.
Keep an eye on it every now and then. You want to get that golden, brown and delicious flaky crust on the top. I kept mine for about 30 minutes or so, turning the tray 180 degrees once for an even heat exposure.
Let the pastry cool on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before you cut it. I found that cutting it with a serrated knife helps keeping the crust together into small bite size pieces.