Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More Good Stuff in Pastry


Our lovely Monkey Queen of Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys, was our May Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to dive into the world of en Croute! We were encouraged to make Beef Wellington, Stuffed Mushroom en Croute and to bring our kids into the challenge by encouraging them to create their own en Croute recipes! A PDF of her excellent recipes is available for anyone who wants to play along.

So, of course we feel a special simian bond of affection for the Monkey Queen and were delighted to participate in the challenge she selected. En Croute was the subject of a previous Daring cooks challenge, but we were more than happy to revisit it. Who doesn’t love food nestled in a cozy pastry blanket?

Although we love beef wellington, to be honest, the mushrooms are always the best part of it (well, and the pastry..) so we decided to cut to the chase and make a portobello mushroom en croute. Yum! This was just delicious – a great pairing of brie, mushrooms and bulgur wheat swaddled in puff pastry to make sure that it’s not in any way healthy for you.

Mushrooms en Croute

Serves 2
2 Portobello mushrooms
1/3 cup Bulgur wheat
1 large Shallot, minced
1 1/2 tsp Olive oil
3 oz. Brie, sliced
4 oz Peas (optional, but good!)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 sheet Puff pastry
1 egg (you don’t really need a whole egg, more like a quarter of an egg..)
  1. Soak the bulgur in water for 30 minutes or more
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  3. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Finely dice the stems. Roast the mushroom caps for about 15 minutes, until just starting to soften. The remove to let cool slightly.
  4. While the mushrooms are roasting, saute the shallot and mushroom stems in olive oil until softened. Add the peas and cook for a minute (or until thawed if using frozen).
  5. Drain the bulgur, mix it in with the shallot/mushroom mixture. Salt and pepper this to taste.
  6. Lightly roll out the puff pastry, then cut into two rectangles large enough to encase your mushrooms. Place the cooled mushroom on the pastry, fill the cap with the bulgur/vegetable mixture, then top with slices of brie. Fold the pastry over and seal.
  7. Mix the egg with 1 Tbsp water and brush the tops of your parcels with the egg wash.
  8. Bake about 20 minutes or until the parcels are richly colored.

Our fearless Monkey Queen also inspired us with her sausage roll recipe. As the Monkey grew up in Britain, sausage rolls are a significant part of the culinary culture. No childrens' party in that country is complete without a plate full of sausage rolls. We decided to combine this month's challenge with the January/February challenge, and made our own Vietnamese-inspired chicken sausages to wrap in pastry. Not your traditional sausage roll, but we’re not exactly known for keeping up the traditions either. As shown below, we served it with rice and a cucumber salad with mint and cilantro.

Sausage roll


Serves 2
2 sausages, any flavor you like
1 sheet Puff pastry
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Lightly saute the sausages so that the skin is golden but they are not fully cooked through
  3. Cut the puff pastry into 2 rectangles. Roll one sausage in one rectangle, then repeat.
  4. For a properly British look, slash the puff pastry horizontally across the sausage about every 1/2 inch.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until the sausages are cooked through, and the pastry is richly colored.


  1. And after the secret monkey handshake, I compliment you on your beautiful en croute and thank you for participating in the challenge. Great job!

  2. Your mushroom en croute is like a whole meal in a tasty package - looks good!

  3. I have to say, this does sound like the best sausage roll in the world, and I'm bookmarking the sausage recipe. The mushroom en croute looks beautiful too - love the little monkey on top!

  4. The mushroom parcel looks sooooo good! It's making my mouth water!

  5. G'day and YUM, TRUE!
    Congrats on completing the En Croute challenge too!
    Daring Cook's Challenge too!
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