Hamantaschen Vols-au-vent with Wild Mushroom Ragout


I suppose this is more properly described as creamed mushrooms over puff pastry, but the word ragout is not completely inappropriate.  Even though ragout is usually thought of as a meat stew, the term has also been applied to mushroom stews. Is it because mushrooms have a certain meatiness? I don’t know. In any event, ragout comes from the French word ragoûter, which means “to stimulate the appetite,” and this dish makes for a lovely appetizer.

Hamantaschen Vols-au-vent with Wild Mushroom Ragout
The puff pastry doesn’t need to be hamantaschen-shaped. You could cut the puff pastry into squares or rectangles instead. I’m giving you two choices of mushroom ragout to serve with the puff pastry.

15 hamantaschen-shaped puff pastry shells
Wild Mushroom Ragout
Chopped scallion

Make the mushroom ragout and keep it warm while you warm the puff pastry shells in the oven. Fill the warm puff pastry shells with the mushroom ragout. Garnish with chopped scallion.

Wild Mushroom Ragout I
1 lb. wild mushrooms, sliced or chopped (can use all cremini if preferred)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbl. olive oil
3 Tbl. flour
2 cups coconut milk or other plant-based milk (unsweetened)
2 Tbl. minced chives or scallion
2 tsp. lemon or lime juice
Salt, pepper
2 Tbl. port or sherry
2 tsp. soy sauce

Saute the mushrooms in oil until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has cooked off. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the flour and stir the mixture over the heat for another 30 seconds to take the raw taste away from the flour. Add the dairy-free milk and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Add the chives or scallion, lemon juice, port, soy sauce and salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to heat through and adjust seasonings. If necessary, thin out the mixture a bit with some more broth or dairy-free milk.

Wild Mushroom Ragout II
Adapted loosely from the mushroom gravy recipe in Crazy Sexy Kitchen.
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 Tbl. olive oil
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Sherry, Marsala or Madeira
3 cups broth
1/2 tsp. dried thyme or 1 Tbl. fresh
2 Tbl. soy sauce
1 Tbl. nutritional yeast, optional
4 Tbl. flour
salt, pepper, to taste

In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushroom have released their liquid and it has cooked down. The mushroom and onions should ideally being starting to stick to the pan so that you can deglaze the pan (dissolve the caramelized gunk sticking to the pan) with the Marsala. If there is nothing sticking to the pan but the vegetables are well cooked, just add the Marsala anyway and cook until the alcohol has mostly evaporated.

Add the broth and thyme and bring to a simmer.

Combine the flour, soy sauce (and nutritional yeast, if using it) to make a slurry (sludge-ey mixture). Whisk the slurry into the simmer mushroom mixture. Keep stirring until the mushroom mixture thickens. Adjust seasoning.

If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little broth or water. If it is too thin, add a little more flour (make another slurry with water instead of soy sauce). The sauce will thicken as it cools. When you reheat this (if you make this ahead), you might need to thin it a bit.

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