06 February 2015

The Beauty of Mushroom Strudel

Mushroom Strudels are delicious, but they look intimidating.  Beautifully golden, perfectly sealed golden loaves of puff pastry with mushrooms and cheese inside are as beautiful as they are comforting (and yet appropriate for entertaining, especially if there are Eastern Europeans in the room).  But this recipe is easy, and thanks to these beautifully photographed, well-written directions from the brilliant CookinCannuck, you can make this centerpiece-worthy treat while drinking wine and being clever with your guests, too.  As you can see, I changed the recipe, but whatever, do what you want.

(Pretty easy) Mushroom Strudel

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 1/2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, sliced
Sea salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons each finely chopped thyme, tarragon, flat-leaf parsley and chives
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 package (1 sheet) puff pastry, thawed

In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and soften. Add sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat until tender. If juices exude, raise heat and cook until they evaporate. Stir in the herbs and remove from heat. Pour mushrooms into a colander to dry and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll defrosted sheet of puff pastry to a 9- by 12-inch rectangle. Spoon the mushroom mixture evenly, down the middle third of the puff pastry, leaving one third of puff pastry free on each side.  Top evenly with goat cheese. Fold one-third of puff pastry over the mushrooms to cover it. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the remaining third of into 1/2-inch strips. Fold one strip on either end to seal the strudel. Lay the remaining strips in decorative X pattern along the top of the strudel. See photos of step-by-step directions here.

Transfer the strudel to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the puff pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch slices. Serve.