One of the nice things about these delicious mushroomy little puff pastry parcels is that you can make the filling ahead and freeze it, along with your frozen puff pastry.
The quantities listed below will also make a vegetarian ‘Wellington’ if you want to wow your veggie guests with an impressive entrée; alternatively, there’s enough for 8 individual pastries, ideal for a light lunch served with salad.
You don’t need to be a vegetarian to enjoy them, either!
Note: *dried porcini mushrooms are available from most decent supermarkets these days. They add an wonderfully intense mushroom flavor to anything but if you can’t find them don’t worry, the mushroom filling here is excellent even without them.
MUSHROOM, CHESTNUT & SPINACH PARCELS with GOAT CHEESE
1 lb (approx 500g) of frozen puff pastry, thawed
A 5 oz packet (142g) of ready to use baby spinach leaves
2 oz (50g) of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 medium leeks, washed trimmed and thinly sliced, white and pale green parts only
5-6 sprigs of thyme, leaves pulled off the stalks and stalks discarded
1/3 cup (80ml measure) of *dried porcini mushrooms, soaked for 15 mins in hot water then drained and finely chopped (save the mushroomy soaking water for another use such as gravy, soup, etc)
7 oz (200g) of cooked, peeled chestnuts, crumbled
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
22 oz (600g) of crimini/baby portabella/chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and quartered
5 oz (150g) of soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
To glaze the pastry, 1 lightly beaten egg
In a wide skillet or sauté pan, heat the butter and olive oil and sweat the leeks until they’re meltingly tender over a low heat. Add the garlic, chopped porcini (if using) and thyme leaves and cook for a few more minutes, then add the mushrooms. Turn up the heat a bit and toss the mushrooms around in the pan until they’re cooked and golden.
Add the spinach leaves and stir until they’re wilted, then take the pan off the heat and stir in the chestnuts. Set the filling aside to cool.
Once cooled, mix in the crumbled goat cheese and if you’re making a Wellington, form the cooled filling into a log shape to fit your puff pastry and wrap it in cling film. Chill until firm (or freeze at this point).
When you’re ready to make the parcels (or Wellington), heat the oven to 400F /200C.
Roll out the pastry into either 8 small squares or one large rectangle. Brush the edges with beaten egg and divide the filling equally for the individual parcels then bring the edges together in an envelope, pressing to seal. If you’re making a wellington, wrap the chilled filling until you have a sealed log with the seam on the bottom (also brushed with egg wash to seal it).
Using the left over pastry bits, cut out shapes to decorate your parcels (or Wellington) then brush with beaten egg.
Bake on a parchment-lined sheet for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting/serving.