One of the ingredients I had to use up in this weeks batch cooking attempt was a packet of Filo pastry that had been festering in my freezer for a bit too long.
I generally find Filo pastry really difficult to work with and I also find that it doesn’t freeze very well despite the packet recommending that it’s perfectly fine to keep frozen for up to a month.
Searching through my cupboards and freezer I discovered that had some leftover dried porcini mushrooms, dried apricots, some chicken breasts and some flaked almonds. From these ingredients I decided two dishes that I could cook up were some Wild Mushroom Parcels and a Chicken, Apricot & Almond Pie (recipe to follow).
The only additional ingredients that I needed to buy to enable me to create both of these dishes were some cream (or I used Crème Fraiche), a packet of button mushrooms and an onion. And here is how I created the Filo Mushroom Parcels.
- 4 x Sheets Filo Pastry
- 6 x Porcini Mushrooms (Soaked and Chopped)
- 300g Button Mushrooms (Washed & Sliced)
- 1 x Onion (Finely Chopped)
- 200ml Crème Fraiche or Cream
- 2 x Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
- Dash of Stock or White wine (optional)
- Knob of Butter
- Parsley (Dried or Fresh)
Soak Porcini mushrooms according to the packet instructions (save water for later).
Preheat oven to 180c
Heat butter over a medium heat in a saucepan; once melted, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions soften and become translucent.
Add in chopped button and Porcini mushrooms and continue to cook for a further five minutes.
Once mushrooms have started to soften, add in a dash of stock or white wine (I used frozen wine ice cubes that I’d made from left-over wine) and continue to cook the mushrooms over a low heat until the stock has reduced by half.
Add in 200ml cream (or Crème Fraiche) and some parsley, cook the mushroom mixture for a further 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and become a rich brown colour. For additional richness you can add in some of the water used to soak the Porcini mushrooms.
Season to taste before removing the mixture from heat and allowing to cool slightly.
Fold the Filo pastry into a triangular shape and place 2-3 tbsps (depending how big you want your parcels to be) of the mushroom mixture in the centre of the pastry.
Fold the corners of the triangle into the centre to create a parcel and brush with milk or egg to seal.
Place the parcels in the pre-heated oven and cook for 15-20 mins until golden brown.
You don’t have to use Porcini mushrooms if not available, normal mushrooms will do just fine.
Why not add some chilli flakes or bacon for additional flavour.
If you don’t have Filo pastry, the filling would also taste great with puff pastry or topped on a bruschetta with a sprinkle of Parmesan for some cheesy goodness.
The cooked parcels can be frozen and reheated at a later date.
As mentioned at the beginning of my post, I find Filo pastry incredibly difficult to work with and probably will refrain from buying it in future and I’ll definitely avoid freezing it. Due to the crumbliness of the pastry I struggled to actually form a parcel so the finished product looked a bit misshapen. I certainly wouldn’t win any points on Masterchef for presentation, but the parcels tasted great and I managed to get rid of a couple of ingredients that had been lurking in my cupboards/freezer for a bit too long.