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Saturday, June 12, 2010

sacs à main musroom

We are very blessed to be going to Maria's tonight. Her sister Denise is here from Brazil and will be cooking Brazillian food for us all. All of us are supposed to bring an appetizer. I am bringing my croquettes (since that is a brazillian dish) and one of my friends and families favorites...


A few years back we lived in a huge house out in the country on 5 acres. Originally I thought this was our dream home. But it did not take long to realize 5 acres of grass being mowed equaled 5 hours of yard work every week, the 6,000 square foot house meant we could all be home, but never see eachother. To make a long story short, I have never been more miserable in my life than when I lived in our "dream house". However, the ONE thing I did love, is that huge kitchen. It was a gathering place for our friends and family.  We saw the light and now live in a 2800 square foot home in beautiful Southern California. Any way. This recipe reminds me of the times we would gather in our big kitchen back home. It is the one and only mushroom dish my daughter likes. Simply translated they are "Mushroom Purses".

These have the perfect balance of Leeks and Mushrooms. Please remember when working with Leeks you wash and wash them. Leeks are grown in the sand and easily hide sand inside. Even though it takes time, the leeks are way worth it. They have become a staple in my kitchen.
So my "tip of the day" - wash wash wash wash your leeks before cooking. Otherwise you will end up with gritty food.

Mushroom Purses
4 Leeks, washed thoroughly
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs of mushrooms button mushrooms.
fontina cheese
1-2 tablespoons of fresh crushed thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
3/4 cup pinot gris
6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed in refrigerator
1 Stick unsalted butter melted
Long stemmed chives
1. To prepare leeks, cut away the blue/green leaves on top and trim the base. Peel away the first layer.

 Slice the leeks in 1/4" rings from top to bottom. Push through each sliced ring and

 drop into a colander and then rinse with cold running water. Place the colander in a bowl  and fill with cold water. Let stand so sand/grit falls to bottom. Lift colander out of water, throw out sandy water, rinse leeks again in cold running water.
 I do this process three times. Lastly, shake away any water and set aside to dry for a few minutes. I promise you need to wash them this many times.

2. Saute leeks over medium heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
 Do not brown. Remove from skillet and place in a large bowl

3. Remove stems from mushrooms and chop. Add 4 more tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. When hot, add of the mushrooms to cover the bottom of the pan. Saute over medium high heat about 5 minutes until mushrooms are soft.

Return leeks to the skillet with the mushrooms. Add thyme, salt, pepper and wine. Cook over high heat, stirring until all liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency. Set aside.

4. Carefully unwrap the Phyllo pastry and unroll flat. Cover with a damp dish towel to prevent the dough from drying out.
5. Lay out a sheet of phyllo and brush it sparingly with melted butter. Add a sheet on top of this one, brush with butter and repeat until you have 3 sheets. Cut the sheet into 4 rectangles.

6. Place 1/3 cup of the leek/mushroom mixture in the center of the rectangle. Top this with 1 tablespoon of fontina.


7, Fold the centers of the sides inward to prevent the mixture from spilling out. Fold over and slightly twist each long end toward the center to create a cinched "purse" shape.

8. Take two or three long strands of chives and tie around each purse. Repeat with rest of mixture and sheets of phyllo pastry.

9. Place purses on an ungreased cookie sheet or baking dish. When all purses on on the sheet, place the cookie sheet with purses in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, chilling until firm.


10.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Tie a fresh WASHED long stem chive around each purse.


Tada!