Friday 19 April 2013

Mushroom and Boursin Cheese Puffs

Mmm, appetizers!  When I found myself with some mushrooms in need of use in the fridge, I took appropriate action - I pulled out a package of puff pastry from the freezer. 

If you make your own puff pastry, kudos to you!  I wish I had the patience.  But packaged puff pastry is used by many restaurant chefs, so don't hesitate to take the simple route. I try to find "all-butter" puff pastry, as there can be quite a range of quality at any store.

This recipe makes 12-16 appetizer-size puffs.

2 large shallots, finely diced
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced - any kind (I've used a mix of crimini and shiitake)
"Pepper" Boursin Cheese 
1 Tbsp, finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 package puff pastry, thawed following package directions

A small dice is best for the shallots and mushrooms so they'll blend evenly with the cheese for the filling.

Heat a shallow pan, add some olive oil.  Add the diced mushrooms and cook at med-high heat until browned on one side.  Stir or toss, then add in the shallots and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook until shallots are soft, and mushrooms are browned and fairly dry. Let cool, than mix in approximately 75 grams pepper Boursin.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  You can also use peppered goat cheese, or plain Boursin/goat cheese - just add extra pepper when seasoning.  Probably even cream cheese.

Adjust your ingredients to your preference, but remember that it is meant to be a mushroom mix with a bit of cheese, and not cheese with a bit of mushroom (that's just gross).

Roll out half of a package of puff pastry (200 grams) on a floured surface.  I roll it out quite thin, but not so thin that it will tear.  Cut into rounds, spoon on some filling, and roll as desired - the shapes are up to you - some of my standards are shown below.

Just make sure they are properly sealed at the edges.  Or you'll have the odd one that splits open, as you'll see in the photos - sometimes it looks OK!

Place on an ungreased baking tray.  (Note: this is the opportunity to freeze some for a later date - lay them out on a tray and only put in a freezer bag or container when they are individually fully frozen; otherwise, they will stick together).

Put the tray into freezer for about 10-15 minutes, while preheating the oven to 400 degrees - I like to let the butter in the pastry firm back up before baking. 

Puff pastry bakes best at high temperatures for a short period.   So at 400 degrees, they should be ready in about 15-20 minutes.  Keep an eye on them, they are ready when well-browned and puffy (puffy, geez, what a surprise!).