by Mushroom Mania Contest Winner Michelle of Food, Football and a Baby
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil + an extra 2 teaspoons
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 an inch fresh ginger, grated
1 generous pinch, hot chilli powder
1 tbsp garam masala (homemade is best)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 package mushrooms (crimini or white, or a combination)
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
A big handful of chopped fresh coriander
A small handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 package (200g) puff pastry (I use Tenderflake)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup date chutney
Make the date chutney, recipe here. Keep aside.
Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, and saute the onions, till soft and golden, about 7 - 10 minutes. Add the ginger and stir for an additional 30 seconds.
In a smaller pan, add the 2 teaspoons of oil, and saute the chilli powder, garam masala, cinnamon and nutmeg for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring all the time. This will take away any rawness in the spices.
Add the fried spices to the onion-ginger mixture, and saute for about 1 minute more. Add salt.
Slice the mushrooms thickly, and add to the onion mixture. Cook for about 10 minutes on a medium high heat, until the mushrooms are tender. They will release their juices, so if the masala is too watery, turn up the heat and boil away any excess water. The mixture should be moist, but not watery.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Take off heat, and let cool completely. Stir in the fresh coriander and mint. Leave to go cold.
While the mushrooms are cooling, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Roll out the puff pastry to about 30 cm by 22 cm rectangle. Using a ruler or similar, gently mark out thirds lengthwise in the pastry. This will help you figure out where the filling goes.
Gently smear the chutney in the middle third of the pastry rectangle. Top with the spiced mushrooms, then sprinkle over the taoasted pecans.
Then cut the side wings of the pastry into 1 inch strips at an angle, like left side of a V.
Fold the top and bottom edges of the pastry over the filling.
The brush the sides of pastry with the beaten egg, and gently fold the angled strips over the filling, like a braid or a plait, brushing with more egg to seal. Once the braid is done, brush over more egg wash on top, and place in the oven.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, checking every so often, until the pastry is golden.
Gently slide on to a serving plate, and let cool a little. Cut into slices to serve. Goes brilliantly with a simple side salad, as well as part of a larger festive dinner.
If you prefer, you can make smaller puffs instead of the braid, and serve as appetizers as well.
Note: I always like to give credit where its due. So, while this recipe is original, the technique of braiding was inspired by the Tenderflake recipe for brie, pear and walnut tart.
Michelle is a food blogger and writer who stumbled into the world of food via her appearance on Masterchef UK. She was born and brought up in India, and has lived in England for several years. She is currently based in Edmonton, AB, Canada, from where she authors her food and review blog, Food, Football and a Baby. Her writing reflects her varied life experiences, and she strives to make the best use of local food and resources in her writing, teaching and recipe development.