Leek and Mushroom Puff Pastry

Our kids are coming home tomorrow!  They’ve been gone for nearly two weeks visiting grandparents in Florida.  While I’m thrilled they are having a blast swimming, getting ice cream, and being goofy, they are missed.

I asked what they are requesting for dinners for the few days they are with us before they dash off to overnight camp.  My son is asking for chicken cordon bleu.  And my daughter would love something Italian.  I think I can handle these requests.  🙂

When I posted about the roasted veg with crepes I said there was another dish to post about from the French restaurant we went to at Terminal 3 Heathrow.  I did find out what the restaurant was called, it’s Oriel Grande Brasserie.  My husband ordered a puff pastry dish with leeks, mushrooms, and goat cheese.  It was delicious so I knew I would try to recreate it.

I confess I buy the puff pastry.  I do want to try to make some but I can get decent store bought and it’s one of the few ingredients I buy so what the heck.  🙂  For this dish I used the puff pastry shells which need to be baked ahead of time.  Follow the directions given.  For mine I baked them at 425F/220C for about 20 minutes.

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Set aside. This recipe is for two servings. In a skillet heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil and saute 6 sliced mushrooms.

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I wanted a nice roasted flavour from the mushrooms.  As Julia Child taught the best way to do this is not mess about with the mushrooms.  In other words, don’t stir.  After the mushrooms are sauteed for a minute or so, let them “roast” on each side until browned.  In the meantime, finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and add to the skillet with a 1/4 cup of dry white wine.

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After a few minutes add a 1/4 cup of chicken stock and about 3/4 cup of sliced leeks.  Bring to a simmer.

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Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.  Once the liquid reduces about half add a dollop of goat cheese and melt it into the sauce.

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Spoon into the pastry shells and grate fresh Jarlsberg or a similar cheese on top.

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Bake until the cheese is melted and golden.   The side dish that was served when my husband had the dish was a potato salad of some sort over greens.  I roasted some potato in olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper.  I served it over mixed greens with a lemon thyme dressing.

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This was a light summer meal but would also be great as a starter or a party dish.  I really wish my son liked mushrooms as I’d like to make this for the kids.  It would be hard to pick round the mushrooms though!

Lovely Cheesy Pinwheels

Stephane seems to be a bit of an inspiration this week with fellow bloggers as I also am blogging about something he posted.  On Monday I came across his mini appetizers as I was planning my dinner.  I wanted something to go with the mushroom soup I was making.  As I had different ingredients in my pantry than what was in Stephane’s recipe I came up with these cheesy pinwheels.  It was perfect for using up the last bit of puff pastry I had in the freezer.

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I grated some Jarlsberg, Cheddar, and Parmesan Cheese.  You want enough to cover the puff pastry once it is rolled out.

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Roll the pastry firmly all the way lengthwise.  If you have time chill in the fridge to make it easier to slice.  If you don’t have time then just use a sharp knife and nice even cuts.

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Have the pinwheels about 1/2 inch to an inch thick.  Place evenly on a cookie sheet and pop into the oven at 400F for about 15 minutes.

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Once they are golden brown they are ready to serve.  You can make these ahead of time but they are so quick to make that they are great right out of the oven.

Baked Brie with Apple Compote

So this morning we woke up to -11 F (-24 C) temps.  To say the dogs walked quickly was an understatement, I had trouble keeping up!  Plus, to keep my face warm, I wear a scarf around the lower part of my face but that causes my glasses to fog up.  So I end up stumbling around a bit while trying to stay warm.  It was a short walk.  🙂

For New Year’s Eve our friends had a finger food potluck so I decided to make baked brie for the first time.  My inspiration came from a local restaurant called Luca’s.  I took the flavours of a starter they have and converted it into something different.  I didn’t quite get the flavours the same but I came up with a delicious version nonetheless.

I roasted two cipollini onions in a small dish with olive oil.  I covered the baking dish with tin foil and roasted at 400 F.  They roasted for nearly an hour.  They need to be soft when done.

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In the meantime I chopped two apples and sauteed them in melted butter.

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Once the onions finished I chopped them and added them to the apples.  Then I used about 1/2 cup of tawny port and simmered it until it was reduced.

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I preheated the oven to 400F and I used convection bake for this as you want the puff pastry to cook evenly.  I rolled out the pastry and placed the brie wheel in the centre and topped with the apple compote.

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The tricky bit is not to have the pastry overly thick when folding it around the cheese.  Bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

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Let cool for a few minutes before cutting into it otherwise it will ooze out.  I served this with crackers but it would be wonderful with fresh bread.

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I apologize for the photo quality but the lighting wasn’t good with my phone.   But it was a hit and I made it again the next day for our kids.  They loved it as well.