Sunday, September 2, 2012
"Puff" is one of those splendid words in the English language. It can be used in multiple situations, as it is a word that is somehow both vague and precise at the same time. Puffs of smoke, cheese puffs, puffy shirts. It is also really fun to say. Puff. It sounds so fluffy and billowy, like a gust of wind is going to swoop down and whisk it away.
Puff is also the term we use for Jiji's paws. Jiji is our short cat with short legs and tiny white little paws (mostly - hello toe spot!) that are basically rendered useless by their tinyness. And we just adore them. Don't they look like tiny cottonballs?
Then we have these puffs. Puff pastry stuffed with a savory herb and mushroom mixture. Maybe not as adorable as the previous puff you've seen, but thats okay. Instead of being prized for their cuteness, they tend to be devoured quickly and immediately. Also a good quality. Try adding some creme fraiche as a cool, refreshing dip.
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms (will need to be hydrated)
2/3 cup boiling water
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons mushroom liquid
2 tablespoons port
1 tablespoon soy sauce
pinch lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
splash of milk
creme fraiche and additional herbs, optional, for serving
To hydrate the porcini mushrooms: Pour the boiling water over the porcini mushrooms and allow it to sit for at least 2 hours to soften the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have softened, chop and set aside. Reserve the mushroom liquid.
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Once the butter has melted and the bubbles in the mixture have started to subside, add the chopped mushrooms. Stir continuously, allowing the mushrooms to absorb the butter and oil mixture. After a few minutes, the mushrooms will brown. Once that happens, reduce the heat to low and stir in the garlic. Let that cook for 30 seconds to a minute, then add in the chives, parsley, and thyme. Stir in the mushroom liquid, port, and soy sauce. Add a pinch of lemon zest and some lemon juice for a bit of freshness, and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Take off heat and let the mixture cool.
Heat oven to 400 (or whatever temperture is recommended on your puff pastry dough). Cut the puff pastry into four squares by slicing horizontally and vertically with a pizza cutter. Then cut each square into two triangles by slicing on a diagonal. You will have a total of 8 triangles. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling on each triangle, bring the opposing edges over and seal the puff into a triangle shape. You may want to use just a bit of water to help seal. Whisk the egg and milk and brush the mixture on each triangle. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and puffy. serve with creme fraiche and herbs, if desired.