Archive for October, 2010

Published by Patianne on 30 Oct 2010

Mushroom Madness

My recipe this month had to include mushrooms as the star ingredient. We had a spectacular mushroom season in the PNW. Remember the Caterpillar’s advice to Alice in “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland”.  I concluded he was referring to the ‘heightening’ powers of all that flavor, color and texture!

I decided to share one of my favorite Fall recipes: Mushroom and Butternut Squash Strudel.

I’m sure I love making strudel’s and working with Fillo dough because it’s similar to constructing with cardboard. There are parts to assemble, gluing with butter is always fun (!), and there is great satisfaction when you complete the process. Only in this case, it’s edible.

The sweetness and orange gold color of the squash is a perfect counterpoint to the muted earthy palette and flavor of the sauteed mushrooms. And, it’s all wrapped up in the magic of Fillo. I am sure the Caterpillar would have mentioned the magical properties of Fillo if he was not only a Hooka smoker, but also a cook.

Mushroom and Butternut Squash Strudel

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions

1 pound fresh mushrooms ( cremini, shitkake, porcini, chanterelle, or white button or a mix) cleaned, and any tough stems removed, sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves minced garlic

1 pound butternut squash,  roasted ( olive oil, salt, pepper, a little brown sugar),  and medium diced.* ( You can do this days ahead)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup panko ( or plain bread crumbs)

Salt and pepper to taste
8 sheets Fillo thawed
1/4-1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Pour the olive oil into a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot add the onions and celery, and stir until limp.

Add the mushrooms and garlic, and saute until mushrooms are brown and any liquid is evaporated.  Remove from heat and stir in  butter until melted, and butternut squash.

Stir in remaining 5 ingredients, and salt and pepper to taste.

On a 12 x 24″ piece of plastic, lay one Fillo sheet flat ( cover remaining sheets with  plastic wrap to prevent drying).

Brush lightly with melted butter. Top with another sheet . Brush lightly with more butter. Repeat to stack all sheets.

Spread mushroom mixture in a 3″ wide band along one long side of the dough, keeping 2″ from the edges. Fold the  long edge, and the short edges of the dough over the filling. Gently lift the plastic wrap over the filled side, guiding it forward to form a roll. End with the seam side down.

Gently transfer the roll, seam side down, to a buttered baking sheet.

Brush top with melted butter. (I decorate with Fillo triangles, and brush with more

butter.)

Bake on the center rack  until golden brown 25 – 35 min. Cool to warm. Cut into 2″ slices.

Published by Patianne on 22 Oct 2010

Autumn

What I love about Autumn is the way this season arrives quietly. Then, with it’s palette of earth tones and brilliant yellows, reds and oranges, it slowly paints the landscape.

In color and flavor, this palette perfectly matches the Fall harvest: mushrooms, apples, pears, squash, nuts, and many more.

I ‘know’ these fruits and vegetables ripen this time of year because they require colder, damper weather. But I always ‘feel’ they really ripen simply because their flavors and colors faithfully reflect that earthy scent in the air, and the vivid array on Autumn’s palette.

Autumn doesn’t stay long, but it brings so much!