Mushrooms of one night be the best and they be little and red within and closed at the top; and they must be peeled and then washed in hot water and parboiled and if you wish to put them in a pasty add oil , cheese and spice powder.
It’s autumn. I want easy hot lunch food that tastes nice. Mushrooms are technically out of season, but they are commonly available at any time of year now, and as I am unwilling to risk health foraging at a store is as far as I am willing to go.
Having decided to make this dish as hand pies, I had to consider the cheese. There being so few flavors, I did not want to compete with the fine spices nor the delicate flavor of the farmed mushrooms themselves. I decided that ricotta would be too wet, Camembert too gummy, and chose a queso fresco, which is like farmer cheese which has been pressed to a somewhat drier consistency.
“Baby Bellas,” criminis, were looking freshest, with the closed gills asked for in the recipe. Other mushrooms with other values of flavor would have been just as good, though perhaps suggesting more thought to the seasoning.
I sliced the mushrooms and poached them with the spices and salt, then decided to mince them for better texture. I think they would have suffered had I minced them first, as mushrooms can tend to become either slippery or rubbery.
1 lb fresh small mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1/2-1 tsp poudre fine
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4-1 tsp salt, depending on the saltiness of the cheese
1/4 c water
1-2 TBS olive oil
6-12 oz queso fresco, farmers’ cheese, or other fresh cheese
10 hand-pie wrappers of your preference. (I chose to use commercial empanada wrappers)
Taste cheese for saltiness and liquidity, set aside
Place mushrooms in pan with water, simmer on low until reduced in size and liquid is dark
Add spices and salt if you are using it
Mince mushrooms if you wish.
Allow to cool
Fold in cheese. Include any mushroom liquid which has not absorbed or evaporated
Place two ounces of the mixture on each wrapper, fold them over, and seal the edges.
Bake at 325-350 for 10 minutes, then puncture the tops to prevent explosions
Continue baking til wrappers are browning. The filling is fully cooked, so don’t worry too much about it.
When mine had finished baking, I brushed the tops with a little butter, You might like
to use an egg white, or to leave them plain.
This is my Poudre Douce recipe, which I used in place of poudre fine.
1 Tbs sugar
½ Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
¼ tsp ginger