Buy 4 Puff Pastry ‘vol-au-vent’ cases
300g chestnut mushrooms
300g button mushrooms
2 tblsp olive oil
Ground black pepper
75 g margarine
2 tblsp soy sauce
Stir fry pan, a sauce making pan, wooden spoon, jug, baking tray, spoon, teaspoon, vegetable knife, chopping board.
Prep:1. Prep the mushrooms:
Dust the mushrooms and chop into quarters
In a stir fry pan heat the butter and oil mixture until it is hot and just starting to smoke
Tip in the mushrooms and stir them around, Keep up the heat for just 2 mins
Allow to cool, set on one side
2. Prep the sauce:
In a saucepan melt the margarine and stir in the flour
Gradually add the milk (about a tablespoon at a time) and stir really well
Add about half the milk and beat well, use a hand whisk if you want to make this easier
Add remaining milk and bring up to the boil stirring.
You should have a smooth sauce. Add black pepper and salt to make it taste savoury.
Stir in the soy sauce to add an extra ‘secret’ ingredient.
Combine the mushrooms and the sauce and stir well.
Leave to stand and begin to set
Turn the oven on 190 C or Gas 5
3. Prep the nests:
Place the pastry cases on a baking tray
Spoon the mushroom filling into the pastry until they are as full as you can get them
Put the pastries in the oven and allow them to get hot (about 15 minutes)
Mushroom nests are retro ‘Vol-au-vents’ that were popular in the 60’s and for a very good reason, they are delicious.
You can use just chestnut or button mushrooms but the mixture of the two gives good flavour and texture and value for money.
Cooks Know How: You will be getting to know the ‘roux’ sauce making method here and noticing the way it goes thick and then becomes smooth if you beat it. You will be glad to have this sauce in your repertoire as it is a good basic. You will improve your ability to add seasoning. You will also appreciate the way cooked mushrooms have better flavour than raw after you have stir-fried them for a couple of minutes. You will now understand the idea of making a meal from simple ingredients. The sauce moistens the pastry case. Mushroom nests are easy to prepare and delicious served warm.
You could try to use ready-roll puff pastry to make a large nest that would make a great vegetarian dish. Unroll the layer of pastry and cut of the edge about 1 cm thick all the way round. Brush the remaining oblong with beaten egg and then reposition the 1 cm strip of pastry all round the edge of the oblong. Cook for 15 – 18 minutes until golden and risen. Push down the pastry in the centre of the oblong until you have walls all round that will hold the sauce inside. Decorate with shredded spring onions and serve with leafy salad or jacket potatoes.