Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CDkitchen: Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms and Giada de Laurentiis: Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

Tonight we went to my sister's house for a little pre-Christmas party and gift-opening session for those in the family who would not be making the journey to the back woods for Christmas day. Of course we each had to bring an item or two, so I did my two standby favorites that always seem to go over well. The first was Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. I also made some Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets, adapted from a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis. The only major change is that I use smoked gouda instead of the Fontina cheese. I just love the deep flavor it gives the pastries.

Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
From cdkitchen.com

40 large mushrooms
½ cup grated Romano cheese
¾ cup dry bread crumbs
½ cup grated onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¾ cup olive oil

Wash the mushrooms. Remove stems and chop. Mix all ingredients except mushroom caps and oil. Stuff caps. Pour a bit of oil into baking pan; arrange mushrooms in pan. Pour remaining oil over each mushroom cap. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the tops.

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets
From Giada de Laurentiis

12 frozen puff pastry shells, unthawed
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1¼ cup grated smoked Gouda cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 to 5 green onions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the frozen pastry shells on the baking sheet and bake until they puff and become golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Using a small knife, cut out the center of the pastry shells.

Meanwhile, stir the cream, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Stir in the spinach, Gouda cheese, Parmesan cheese, and green onions.  Spoon the spinach mixture into the baked pastry shells.  Bake until the pastries are golden brown and the filling is hot, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer the pastries to a platter and serve.

Makes 12 servings

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