Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Braid

So finals are finally done and thankfully, I'm back in the kitchen. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes last week. And now, the holiday crunch is on. I haven't started any of my Christmas shopping, so I really need to get on the ball.

But with the holiday crunch time comes plenty of holiday parties, which I think is the best part. And when having a party, there is nothing better than having some delicious foods to serve your guests. I think you can file this recipe under "Ace in the Hole" category, as it's super simple to make and throw in the oven, and with the exception of the mushrooms, you can have most ingredients on hand in your kitchen at all times.

The puff pastry did take 40 minutes to thaw, which is perfect time for doing the rest of the prep. The mushroom mixture is really just my 5-Minute Mushroom Sauce, so you know that part is easy. By the time the pastry is ready, the rest of the ingredients are assembled and ready to go. This could also be made in puff pastry shells, adding a small amount of goat cheese and mushroom to each cup. Talk about an elegant finger food!

I think you'll really like this one....

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Braid

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Braid
Serves 6-8, appetizer size

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used a combination of crimini, shiitake, and oyster)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp butter
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 pkg puff pastry sheets
1 (3.5 oz) pkg goat cheese, sliced

Allow puff pastry to thaw at room temperature for 40 minutes. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and salt, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add butter, thyme, and balsamic vinegar, and cook for an additional minute or two. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400. Unroll thawed pastry sheet and lightly roll to get rid of creases. On each side, cut 1" slits into the first crease mark. (Here's an excellent quick video to watch that explains it much better than I ever could.) On center of pastry, layer goat cheese slices down center. Spoon mushroom mixture on top of cheese, then braid pastry over filling. Place into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Serve and enjoy!


kickpleat said...

looks super impressive! i've never used puff pastry before but this is a good kick in the pants to get on that. yum!

Fiber said...

Kickpleat - go ahead and try it. I've used it multiple times and I must admit - it's super easy, yet looks very impressive. Let me know how it turns out for you.

Unknown said...

oooh, i've been meaning to do something like this!!! gotta get on it :)

gaga said...

Wow, that looks so beautiful. What a great dish for entertaining during the holidays.

Kombuchachic said...

Looks heavenly!

Rachel Goldman said...

That looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe...this is exactly the type of dish that is great at a party or as an appetizer or even as an upscale snack...I'd love to try the recipe soon! Thx again!

Greg Sprout
Epicurean Foods

Katie B. said...

Made this last night for dinner - marvelous!!!

test it comm said...

Mushrooms, goat cheese and puff pastry it a great combo! It looks good!

chris g said...

make sure to not get any moisture near the dough/rolling process, otherwise disaster.

tastes yummy though.

Anonymous said...

goat cheese is delicious with everything!

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Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if I can make this ahead of time then bake it before guests arrive?