Maybe you don’t need to know that this is yet another dish created last year, during the holiday rush of course. Our friend Carol, a fellow Southern gal living here in Los Angeles, hosted her annual Christmas party, and she requested a vegetarian-friendly appetizer. One of the first things that we thought of was mushrooms. They are flavor-packed, pair nicely with other veggies, come in a variety of sizes and colors and can either be served inside something or act as a serving vessel (think stuffed ‘shrooms, right?). They may be overused as one of the meatier additions in a vegetarian diet, but hey, they would make the cut. Put them in some pastry, and they’d be tasty and cute. Cute food has a special place in some people’s hearts. All you have to do is make something bite-sized and portable, and they are all over it. Once we’d decided on ‘shrooms, it was just a matter of piecing the rest of the recipe together.
One of mushrooms best friends is cheese, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in the mix here. Smooth and creamy mascarpone cheese lends a hand to bring together white and cremini mushrooms and a dash of white wine. This is a quick and easy filling that comes together in minutes. It’s the little puffs that they sit in that may take you a little longer. There’s a bit of rolling, cutting, shaping and baking that goes into the puff pastry cups, but once they’re made, you can pop them into an airtight container for a day or two before filling. If you’re a busy bee, make those guys ahead of time to cut down on your prep. Once they’re made, it’s just a matter of spooning mascarpone-laced mushrooms into each one, and you’re ready for the party.
Mascarpone Mushroom Puffs – Makes 2 dozen
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces white mushrooms, roughly chopped
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
Puff pastry, thawed
1. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the mushrooms and wine. Cook until wilted, approximately 8-10 minutes. Stir as needed to prevent sticking.
2. Once the mushrooms have softened, add the garlic and mascarpone cheese and stir until incorporated. Continue cooking another 3-5 minutes until the mascarpone has fully mixed with the mushrooms. Stir in the salt and remove from heat.
3. While the mushrooms cool, roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface to form a thin layer of pastry. Use 3″ diameter glass to cut out small circles and pop them into two mini muffin tins. Once the tins are full, slide the tins into the freeze until they’ve hardened, approximately 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove the tins and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until browned. Remove from the tins and cool completely on racks. Once cool, carefully pull out any interior pastry to make room for the mushroom filling.
5. Spoon a tablespoon or so of the mushrooms into each puff pastry cup. Top with scallions and serve.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.