Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Recipe: Creamy Mushroom Ragout on Puff Pastry with Sautéed Spinach

September is National Mushroom Month!  I learned this recipe from my training at L'Academie de Cuisine. You can also find this recipe and more in the Capital Cooking Cookbook.

· 1 shallot: finely chopped
· 3 cloves of garlic: finely chopped
· 1C Shiitake mushrooms: medium dice, stems removed
· 1C Cremini mushrooms: quartered, stems trimmed
· 1C oyster mushrooms: large “dice”, stems trimmed
· 1C button mushrooms: quartered, stems trimmed
· Sheets of puff pastry, cut into 3″ squares
· 1/2C Madeira or white wine
· ½ teaspoon dried mushroom powder
· 1/4C sun dried tomatoes: fine chop
· 1/4C heavy cream
· Spinach bunch
· Butter
· Olive oil
· 1 egg, whipped (egg wash)
· bacon

Make sure your pan is very hot. Add some olive oil to the pan because it can withstand the high heat. Add your mushrooms to the hot pan and sauté them together. (For other dishes, you would cook them separately, but since we’re making a sauce, we cook them all together.) Add salt and pepper to season. Hear the sizzle! After you sauté them, save the moisture to use in the sauce. Strain them over a bowl. Bring down the temperature and add bacon. When the bacon has released “enough” fat, you can add the garlic and shallots. (You might need more olive oil). Make sure not to burn them. Only sweat them half way and then re-add the mushrooms to the pan. Julienne the sun dried tomatoes. You don’t want to get a large piece in your mouth. As the onions begin to color, add wine to deglaze. The recipe uses Madeira, but dry white wine or sherry would also work very well. Don’t use red because the flavor is too pronounced. Scrape up anything on the bottom of the pan to grab all of the flavor, but make sure it is not burnt. Add cream. Then add the dried mushroom powder to the sautéed mixture. Turn heat down to low and reduce. Taste for flavor. 

Cover so you don’t get a crust, set-aside until necessary. If it gets thick, then add a little water. Consistency should be liquidy for now. The puff pastry will want to suck up the moisture.

*You could make it in the morning and refrigerate and then warm it when ready to serve.

Preparation: Pastry shell

Preheat oven to 400. Chill the dough before you cut it. Use a sharp knife to cut puff pastry so you don’t pinch the edge. Cut into 3-inch squares.

Lay them on parchment paper, and then chill in the refrigerator to firm up.

To prep the squares, you’re going to make two slits. The goal is create a puff cup that the ragout is going to sit in, so we need to create a lip around an indented center. To get this, you can make cutouts in the puff and fold them over.
With your very cold puff, find a corner. You’re going to start at that corner, about 1/5th of the way toward the center, so very close to the corner. Very carefully, begin to cut through the puff in a line parallel to the edge of the square as if you were cutting a second, smaller square out of the center of your puff. Take that cut about 4/5ths of the way to the next corner. Go back to the start of that cut, right at that first corner, and make the same cut along the other edge, again stopping about 4/5ths of the way along that edge. What you should have at this point is a “flap” of puff that is unattached except at the two corners. Repeat this for the opposite corner so that you have two flaps.

Once cut, brush the entire surface with egg wash. Be careful here — you do not want to glue the puff to the parchment or it won’t rise, so keep all the wash to the surface exclusively. Then, very carefully, fold one flap over until its corner lies flat and flush with the interior corner you just cut. Repeat with the other flap.

Brush with egg wash again. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. You should have a cup with a nice raised edge. With a sharp paring knife, gently cut through the top layer of the golden crust that forms the base of your little bowl and pull that off and set aside. Warm before serving.

Preparation: Spinach

Heat a pan with olive oil to sauté the spinach. Add whole cloves of garlic. Add spinach and cook on high heat very quick. Drain in a paper towel. Remove garlic before draining.


Puff on plate, put spinach in the center of the puff with a little coming out. Make sure sauce isn’t too thick. Add some butter to it at the end. Add the mushroom ragout and put the top on and enjoy.


Knife, large skillet, Whisk, Wooden spoon, cutting board, pairing knife, baking sheet, pastry brush, sauté pan, paper towels, plate

Photo by Shauna Alexander

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