This past weekend was our first family reunion, held at Mammoth here in California. That's about 6 hours away from where I live, and since I was cooking appetizers and a dinner, I planned out ahead of time so I could bring as few things as possible. Bringing something that can multi-task in that situation is great, so I made myself a big batch of puff pastry (see Butter Croissants - I doubled the recipe) and used it for a few different things.
First on the list was the appetizer. Using about 3/4 of the dough I brought, I made 3 dozen pastry...things. I still don't know what to call that shape. I rolled them out and shaped them the night I got there, and when I went to bake them the next morning they felt a bit dry. I was worried they might not rise, but they still puffed nicely in the oven.
1 1/2 Puff Pastry recipe
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
8 oz. mushrooms - whatever type you feel like
1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
Gruyere cheese, aged and shredded
Roll out the pastry dough and cut 36 squares. Folding over to make a triangle, make two cuts along the edges almost to the end of the dough, but not so close that it cuts through the edge or a previously made cut. This is similar to making snowflakes in elementary school - when you unfold it, you should have two points (top and bottom) that are still connected. Take the left and right sides, braid them so you get the shape shown above. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Once you have all the shapes made, lay them onto parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes in the lower third of the oven.
Throw the mushrooms into a dry pan and warm over medium heat. Once all the water has cooked off, add the onions and a little olive oil. Once everything is nicely browned, add the lemon zest and juice, then toss for a few seconds before setting aside.
Spoon this mix into the pocket of each of the risen pastries. This doesn't have to be pretty - you can have mushroom filling falling off the sides. Top with a pinch of Gruyere, and serve.
This can be easily adapted to use whatever filling you feel like. More items made in Mammoth will be posted later in the week.