My daughter Emily called me seeking recipes for easy entertaining. Her partner Kent makes handcrafted beers and “when friends stop by the apartment for a sample of our latest brew, I’d like to serve something quick, hot and delicious.” Emily’s quest is a familiar to many hosts and hostesses, particularly during the flurry of the holiday season.
Whether it’s a full stage, themed party, or simply sharing a glass of beer or wine, we cooks are always balancing tastes, textures and time. I’ve found that some of the most elegant and savory creations originate from quite simple recipes, like the recipe for Mushroom Palmiers.
A palmier (pronounced pahlm – YAY), is a crisp delicacy of puff pastry, also known as palm leaves because of its distinctive palm –leaf like shape. Traditionally sprinkled with granulated sugar, folded and rolled, cut into thin strips and baked into a caramelized pastry, this method adapts easily to savory fillings. In Mushroom Palmiers, a delicious combination of sautéed mushrooms seasoned with garlic and fresh rosemary combined with cream cheese creates an irresistible snacking morsel.
Easy to prepare, the filled pastry dough may also be frozen and baked in a hot oven directly from the freezer. And the recipe is quite adaptable to the creativity of the cook; think spicy cheddar cheese with chopped bell peppers, or crabmeat or lobster combined with goat cheese and fresh basil, the flavor combinations exciting and limited only by the available ingredients.
Puff pastry is available in the frozen section of your local supermarket.Because the flavor of the pastry is critical to the taste, if possible, choose a pastry that is manufactured without chemicals and made with all-butter. DuFour puff pastry, available at John Edwards market and other specialty stores, is my go-to choice.
This December when guests arrive, we’ll pop open a bottle of sparkling cider and enjoy our festive, hot and delicious snack.
- 1 sheet puff pastry dough defrosted (all butter is best)
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms 4 ounces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 ounces cream cheese or soft goat cheese at room temperature (1/2 of a bar)
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, parsley or thyme finely chopped
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Clean the mushrooms and finely chop. Sauté the mushrooms in butter until they have rendered their water. Let cool. In a medium bowl, mix the soft cheese with the mushrooms. Stir in the chopped garlic and rosemary. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.
- Unfold the puff pastry and roll out the seams. Spread the mushroom filling evenly over the pastry.
- On the long side of the pastry, roll the pastry and filling to the middle. Repeat on the other side. This creates the classic shape of the palmier. Wrap the pastry and chill until cold. The pastry may also be frozen.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a serrated knife cut the mushroom pastry into 3/8 inch slices.
- Place on the pan and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Serve on a tray.