Mushroom Sausage Puffs
I love puff pastry. I consider it a culinary wonder. But it’s not exactly something you can have for dinner every night, and most of the uses to which puff pastry can be put fall firmly in the appetizer category. So I relish the opportunity to make appetizers for dinner parties, and I was given just that opportunity this past weekend. Our awesome friends Stan and Charity hosted a dinner party and invited me, Mr. X, and some kind of pre-dinner treat, so I decided to throw together these.
They are very similar to the Mushroom and Goat Cheese Triangles I have made for several dinner parties in the past, but I wanted to do something a little different, a little more substantial. So sausage it is! And frankly, I think they are much better for it.
While these really paled in comparison to the savory crab cheesecake Stan served (yes, I said savory crab cheesecake, unnhhhh yum drooling), I think they were pretty swell. And I have a cup or two of the filling leftover, so I fully intend to make them again. Maybe I’ll even just eat them for dinner.
Mushroom Sausage Puffs
- 2 links of sweet Italian sausage
- 1 leek, sliced
- about 2 c. diced button mushrooms
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
- a pinch of dried Valencia orange peel (optional)
- 2-3 T. ricotta cheese
- 2 T. grated parmesan
- 2-3 sheets of puff pastry
- 1 egg
Set the puff pastry sheets out to thaw, according to the package instructions. It will probably take about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage links from their casings and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon into small bits. Add the sliced leeks, and continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes. Remove the sausage mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
Add the olive oil to the skillet and return to the heat. Add the mushroom to the pan, and spread them out in a single layer. Let them cook, undisturbed, for about 3 or 4 minutes, then stir them up a bit and add the salt, thyme, lemon pepper, and dried orange peel. Spread them out in a single layer and continue to let them cook, undisturbed, for another 5 minutes. You want the mushrooms to be cooked through, and just slightly browning, and all the liquid they’ve released to evaporate. Once they’re done, add them to the mixing bowl with the sausage and let it cool a bit.
Add the ricotta and parmesan to the sausage and mushroom mixture, and mix it in thoroughly. Add a bit more salt to taste.
Once the puff pastry is thawed, roll it out according to the package instructions. Using a biscuit cutter or any large-ish round shape, like a cup, cut out as many circles as you can from the pastry. Then gather the scraps, roll them together with a rolling pin, and cut out more circles. The dough won’t be quite as nice a texture when you re-roll it, but it will still taste lovely.
Fill each pastry circle with about 1 tablespoon of the mushroom and sausage mixture, and fold the circle over on itself to form a half circle, enclosing the filling inside. Line the puff pastry half circles up on a baking sheet, about an inch apart.
Whisk the egg in a small bowl, and use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of egg over the pastries. Give each pastry a little dash of paprika, just for color and loveliness. Then bake them for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are fully puffed and turning light golden brown.
They should be served warm. I actually baked them ahead of time then brought them to the party and re-heated them, but they were a bit better straight out of the oven, so it might be worthwhile to just keep them in the refrigerator, uncooked, until 15 minutes before you want to serve them, and baking them then.
This same filling would probably be pretty good inside flaky pie crust, and in fact, that’s an experiment I intend to undertake this week. You really can’t go wrong with sausage, mushrooms, and dough of any kind, in my estimation.
The final countdown to Leaving Boston has begun, if nowhere than in my own mind: I’ve got 27 days. And I’m not freaked out at all. Not. At. All. I hope to post at least a few more recipes and food-related treats before I depart from the eastern seaboard, and those site updates I’ve been talking about are still forthcoming, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, maybe have some appetizers for dinner? I think I will.