Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Appetizers

I haven't done a food post in a long time - mainly because I find cooking with a baby in the house is a quick and dirty affair. With my husband home for the holidays, we're getting a little time in the kitchen as we spell each other off on daughter care!

My husband made these rockin' Vegetarian Chick Pea Pot Pies (a lot of work, but they are so worth it... delicious!), and we were left with about a quarter package of extra puff pastry. Hmm!

I made some Stuffed Mushrooms -
  • 2 dozen large button mushrooms, of uniform size, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried roasted garlic, if you have it handy (or the real thing, or none)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Pop the stems out of the mushrooms (and reserve for another use!). Lay the mushrooms bottom up in an ungreased baking dish with a rim - or, better, on a cooling rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet. These lose a lot of liquid while baking.
Drain the chopped peppers and tomatoes in a sieve to help keep the moisture down, as you don't want your mixture to be too wet. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese with the grated cheese, and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Spoon cheese mixture into mushroom caps. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes and then broil until browned. Try not to forget about them under the broiler like I did (oopsie!) - unless you want dibs on the burnt ones! - give them about 4-5 minutes tops for broiling.
With the red, white and green filling, these are pretty at Christmas (or any time)!

Now, what to do with those mushroom stems and leftover puff pastry?? How about another appetizer?

Chipotle Mushroom Puffs

1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms (stems work just fine!)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated cheddar
1-2 tsp of chipotle sauce OR 1/2 chipotle pepper, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 package of puff pastry (225 grams)
1 egg

Saute the mushrooms and onions in a bit of oil (I used oil from the sun-dried tomatoes - why not!) until soft. Allow to cool. Mix in the remaining ingredients. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out into a rectangle and cut it into 2" squares. Drop a dollop of mushroom mixture onto each square. Brush the edges with water and bring up corners to make a pouch. Pinch the edges together to seal. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with 2 tsp water and brush over the pouches. Bake at 425F until golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes.

Yum, yum!

I will not tell on you if you sip Baileys and chocolate milk while cooking. I may have had to do a little of that myself.  :)