Recipe of the Week: Cheesy Mushroom Hand Pies

By Brogan Wu
On February 19, 2018

Photo by Brogan Wu

I think it’s fair to say that anything wrapped in puff pastry is bound to be good. Take any filling and pair it with something buttery, flaky, and warm like puff pastries and it can only make it better. Leftover pot roast? Puff pastry. Not enough apples for a pie? Puff pastry. There is nothing that a hand pie on a cold night won’t cure.

These mini mushroom and spinach pockets are a go to comfort snack of mine. Stuffed with earthy sautéed cremini mushrooms, sweet yellow onions, fresh thyme and Italian seasoning, and a pull apart cheese, it is the grown-up version of a hot pocket we all deserve.

While I won’t try and argue that puff pastry is somehow “good for you,” you can at least have the satisfaction of knowing they are filled with organic vegetables and freshly grated cheese, not preservative filled rubber disguised as mozzarella.

When it comes to what cheese to use, the choice is really yours. Cheeses like swiss, gruyere, and fontina are all great choices. I like to use a horseradish cheddar because horseradish and mushrooms are just a magical combination and it adds an extra element of zingy flavor.

These can be made with meat for a heavier hand pie you could even serve for dinner, but I like these just as they are. On the opposite side of the spectrum, they could also be made vegan. All you have to do is just use a dairy free cheese replacement or axe the cheese and egg wash altogether (I recently learned most store-bought puff pastry is actually vegan).

Since this recipe makes eight and they really taste best the night you bake them, I like to freeze 4-6, that way I can take one out and make it whenever I get a craving. I usually whip up some sour cream, mayo, horseradish and chive dipping sauce that helps lighten up such a savory treat.

Cheesy Mushroom Hand Pies

You Will Need:

  • 1 package of puff pastry

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 5 ounces of spinach, chopped

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped

  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheese (I used around 1)

  • salt + pepper

  • egg wash (1 egg mixed with a little bit of water)

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat up 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

  2. Add in the onion, allowing them to sauce 2-3 minutes until translucent.

  3. Add mushrooms, garlic and fresh thyme, stirring for an additional 2-3 minutes until mushrooms begin to shrink in size.

  4. Remove the sprigs of thyme and add the spinach, cooking them down until the leaves begin to wilt.

  5. Season the veggies with salt and pepper to taste and add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.

  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the grated cheese.

  7. To assemble the hand pies, cut the puff pastry into four even squares, leaving you with eight after both sheets are used.

  8. Using a generous tablespoon measure, place filling inside each square, spreading it diagonally for more even distribution when you fold them over.

  9. Brush the edges with a bit of egg wash and fold each square diagonally, creating a triangle shape.

  10. Press the edges together and then fold them over on one side.

  11. Crimp this folded over edge slightly with the back of a fork.

  12. Assemble all hand pies, and put whichever ones you'd like to bake immediately onto a baking sheet.

  13. Place the baking sheet into the fridge for 15 minutes, and, in the meantime, preheat the oven to 375°.

  14. Once the hand pies are chilled and the oven is hot, brush each one with a coating of egg wash.

  15. Bake until puffy and golden brown, anywhere from 15-25 minutes.

  16. Serve warm on their own, or with a creamy horseradish dipping sauce.

 

bwu1@ramapo.edu

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