Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Phyllo "Purses"

So here's the best recipe I have for you for St. Patrick's Day. It's the closest thematic thing I had in my recent repertoire... so you just have to change the name - don't they SORT OF resemble pots of gold at the end of the rainbow? Come on, use your imagination. 

Even if you don't think they look like pots of gold, you could imagine CARRYING all your gold in these adorable phyllo "purses." There, that's it. Since you're a leprechaun, you'll carry all your gold in these delicious mushroom and goat cheese filled phyllo purses. It won't even matter that all your gold gets coated in mushrooms and goat cheese. You won't care. You will probably care that you can't stop eating your purse...then what are you going to do with the gold?

Oh my, I think we've gotten a little carried away here.

Really, all you need to know is that these are a super delicious appetizer that tastes and looks REALLY impressive. And they're not difficult.

Working with phyllo dough can be a little putsy - the sheets don't often come apart easy (I had to just throw away a couple) and you have to keep the sheets damp, and use lots of butter (that's a downside?) but it will be worth it. 

Be sure to either thaw your pastry sheets in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a few hours. If you're thawing them on the counter, keep them covered with a slightly damp dishcloth to be sure they don't dry out. When it's time to make these, carefully unroll the bundle - it's ok if a few have broken and you have to throw them out; you'll have plenty!

You'll work with one sheet at a time, brushing it with butter, until you have three sheets stacked on top of one another, then you'll cut that into six pieces. You'll mound some mushroom mix in the middle and top with goat cheese, 

then bring up the sides and squinch together at the top to make a parcel or purse. Another brush with butter, and into the oven they go!

After baking, they are a crispy golden brown, and that outer shell is a wonderful complement to the creamy goat cheese, and the mushroom/shallot mixture. You can even make these ahead of time and then reheat for a few minutes in the oven, and they'll be just like new! 

You will have A LOT of phyllo sheets leftover, so just throw them in the freezer and start googling other recipes you can make - spanakopita bites, for one... 

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Phyllo Purses

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
3-4 oz. goat cheese, plain or herbed, crumbled
6 sheets phyllo pastry
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, and add the mushrooms and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened and mushrooms are not releasing moisture, about 7-10 minutes. Allow this mixture to cool completely. 

Place one phyllo sheet on a large cutting board. Brush with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and brush that one with the melted butter. Add a third, and repeat with the butter! Now you have 3 sheets high. Cut this into 6 equal squares.

Repeat the process with three more sheets so that you have 12 squares total.

Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom filling in the middle of each square and top with crumbled goat cheese. Bring the sides of the pastry up and squeeze together with your fingers to make a seal - it should look like a little purse or money sack...

Place each parcel on a baking sheet and brush with more melted butter. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Serve warm.

You can also bake these ahead of time and reheat at 350 for 5 minutes when it's time to serve. Makes 4-6 appetizer servings.

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