I adore mushrooms. They come in so many shapes and sizes, and varying tastes. A few are even substantial enough to become great alternatives to meat, like King and Portabella mushrooms. My favourite, by far though, are Shitakes with their nutty flavour and firm texture.
Many foragers in the County have their “secret spots” for hunting wild mushrooms, but for all of us who want “instant purchase” we only need to drive to Wellington. We are fortunate to have fresh mushrooms at our fingertips all year around at Highline Mushroom Farm. Their retail shop is open daily and offer bulk and packaged mushrooms, all charmed by the experience of weighing your own purchase on a vintage scale. On a more boutique farm level, Cloven Farm has recently started growing mushrooms and they’re positively delicious.
On my recent cooking adventures in the South of France, I was inspired to create a rich, mushroom-centric nibble to enjoy with a glass of white wine. These little two-bite pockets are a few steps, but well worth the effort. The cream cheese based pastry is easy to assemble and adds a beautiful foundation for the mushroom and chive filling. They are perfect to serve with a glass of chilled wine or enjoy with a beer on the patio this summer.
from the kitchens of From the Farm Cooking School
Mushroom & Chive Bites
Ingredients (Makes around 30)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons fresh chive, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons sunflower oil
- 3 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
- 2½ cups cremini, oyster, and/or shitake mushrooms, small dice
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
one egg white (whisked, in small bowl)
In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth (or use a hand mixer). Add in the flour, one cup at a time, until well incorporated. Add in the chives and salt and mix with floured hands. Divide and roll the dough into large “chocolate truffle size” balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
While the dough is resting, make the filling. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, melt 1 teaspoon of each—butter and oil and sauté the shallot till golden. Remove and place in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of each—butter and oil into the pan and place half the mushrooms in a single layer. Do not touch for 1 minute. Stir and let the mushrooms continue to caramelize. When they are just about done, sprinkle in the white wine. Toss and place in the bowl with the shallots. Repeat the same process with the remaining mushrooms. Add the cream cheese, salt, pepper and maple syrup to the mushroom bowl and gently stir. Taste and adjust seasonings. Place uncovered in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool off.
Roll each dough ball into a 3½ inch circle, around 1/8 inch thick, with a rolling pin and finish with your floured hands. Keep flour handy, as the dough can be sticky as it warms. Fill each circle with a healthy teaspoon of the mushroom mixture. Do not overfill. Gently moisten the edges with water, fold over the circle and press with your fingers to seal. Work quickly. Repeat this process till all the pockets are complete and place back onto the lined baking sheet. Beat the egg white in a bowl and brush on top of each pocket. With a fork, gently go around the edges to do the final seal.
Place in the fridge, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes to set. Preheat the oven to 375F
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden.