Wednesday 5 September 2012

Mushroom lovers! Wild Mushroom Strudel!

Mushroom lovers, this dish was made for you (us)! There is nothing like a medley of well flavored mushrooms to delight the palate and nourish the body. If you are gluten intolerant, you can substitute pan-fried polenta for the Fillo, and just top the polenta with the mushroom mixture. However you end up, this is a delicious, easy, and impressive way to begin a meal or as a side dish. 
Oh boy! The shitake's are finally down to the price where, well..... we can at least buy enough to make a topping!! I ran down to the Seattle Pike Place market for the dinner for 9, we were having over the Labor Day weekend. I had an idea, but, always leave myself flexible, as you never know what you may see,  what is fresh, or priced at season low. My plan was to have a filet roast on the rotisserie and saute some Parmesan crusted halibut cheeks, sort of a "Surf and Turf". Well, my plan was derailed, when I found the Pike Place Fish markets were closed on Labor Day! But, when I spotted the price on the Shitake mushrooms, my plan changed course and I was back on track!! My family famous "Mushroom Strudel" would accompany the filet and make it a memorable Holiday meal!

Just look at these beauties! $7.99 a pound!! Down from $24.99 a pound!!
It is time to stock up! I bought 1 pound of shitakes, 1/2 pound crimini, and 1/2 pound of button mushrooms. I could hardly wait to get home and start cooking!

I have been making this dish for 25 years, it is a family favorite. I make the crackly, caramelized crust here with buttered layers of phyllo instead of ultra-labor-intensive strudel dough.

2 lb mixed mushrooms
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 ounce cream cheese
Fillo dough

Saute mushrooms with garlic in butter.

Add lemon juice and finish with thyme, freshly grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Mix in the cream cheese.

Put your fillo between two sheets of plastic or parchment paper with a towel over the top. This is too keep the Fillo cool.

Love this towel! Made for me by my friend Fawn! She can embroider anything, check it out!

 Use 6-8 sheets of Fillo, buttering in between each sheet.

 Wrap up like a rectangular package. Carefully move to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.

 Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes, until brown on top.

Just look at this flaky, pastry. Look at the mix of beautiful wild mushrooms..........ahhhhh, this is the picture you see when you open the dictionary and look up.... "Fall"! My dinner was a success and everyone lingered until long after dark on the veranda, next to the fireplace, enjoying each other and the last holiday of the Summer. Mmmmmm 

* Oh, and yes, this is a great side dish for Thanksgiving!

*If you love Shitake mushrooms as much as I do, you can buy up a few pounds of them now, while the price is low, saute them in butter or olive oil and freeze them in portions in Ziplock bags. This Winter when you are making a meatloaf, stroganoff or just a topping for a chicken breast or steak, pull out a bag and add in!

Enjoying the last bits of Summer weather..... take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, rejuvenate your soul and quiet your mind. All too soon we will be in the middle of the Holiday season and Winter, struggling to remember the warmth of Summer. I am so grateful for the beauty that surrounds me........


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