I have never met a woman who feels about burgers the way Shan does. We are definitely meat lovers. That being said, veggies play a huge role in our cooking and we would be amiss without them, so when we gave ourselves the task of creating a delicious vegetarian meal for Shannon’s friend Lauren, we couldn’t have been more excited! One of our favourite things about cooking is the endless opportunity to try something we’ve never done before, whether it’s using a new ingredient, learning new techniques, or pairing the two together, our kitchen is always place for discovery. With that in mind, we set out to tackle both a new ingredient, and technique with this Mushroom Pithivier. Heck, you can even learn new words and languages in the kitchen (and how to pronounce them)! Say it with us “Peeh-tee-vyay”, the word alone will impress your guests!
Our dinner plans couldn’t have worked out any better. Our roommate Nathan (the extraordinary co-chef at Ayden Kitchen & Bar) happened to have the night off, so he invited his girlfriend over who also happens to be vegetarian, and we got down to business. I started on the mushroom filling, Shannon took care of desserts, and Nathan picked up the wine along with some leftover puff pastry from the restaurant, it was the perfect team effort. We got a hands-on pithivier lesson from Nathan, as he showed us how to form the pastry and score it, along with a little trick for baking it to perfection.
The resulting dinner was entirely satisfying, and thanks to the rich, meaty texture of the mushrooms, us carnivores didn’t miss a thing, while our vegetarian friends were singing the praises of a wonderful meal. Somehow, we even managed to save room for Butterscotch Pots de Creme!
- 1¼ cup vegetable stock
- 1¾ cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 400 g small shallots (peeled, and left whole)
- 200 g cremini mushrooms (cleaned and quartered)
- 150 g shiitake mushrooms (cleaned and halved)
- 150 g oyster mushrooms (cleaned and quartered)
- 150 g shimeji mushrooms (separated into clusters)
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp creme fraiche (or sour cream)
- 1 tbsp ouzo (optional)
- ½ cup tarragon leaves (chopped)
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves (chopped)
- 2 lb (900 g) all-butter puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt & pepper
- In a small pot, simmer vegetable stock, add dried porcini mushrooms and remove from heat, allowing mushrooms to rehydrate.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large heavy pan on medium-high heat, once heated, add shallots and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly caramelized. Transfer to large bowl.
- Add another 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, then add cremini and shiitake mushrooms, stir after 1 minute, then cook 2 more minutes. Add mushrooms to bowl with shallots.
- With another tablespoon each of butter and oil, add oyster and shimeji mushrooms, cooking 1 minute before stirring, then cook another 2 minutes.
- Add bowl of shallots and mushrooms back into the pan, along with vegetable stock and porcini, ¾ tsp salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Bring to a rapid simmer for 8 minutes, until stock has reduced to one-third.
- Reduce heat to low, add creme fraiche, and cook 8 more minutes.
- When sauce has thickened, and there is about 2-3 tablespoons of liquid left, add ouzo, tarragon, and parsley, cooking 1 more minute before transferring to a large bowl to cool.
- Preheat oven to 425F, and place a pan in the oven.
- Roll out puff pastry into squares, about an ⅛ of an inch thick, refrigerate for 20 minutes, then cut into two circles. One circle should be about 11 inches, and the other about 12 inches in diameter.
- Rest in the fridge once more, about 10 minutes.
- Using a flat baking sheet or pizza peel, place a sheet of parchment, followed by the smaller circle of puff pastry, spread the cooled mushroom filling on top, leaving and edge of about ¾ of an inch.
- Brush the edge with egg, and place 12 inch circle over top, pinching the two edges together to seal.
- Brush the rest of the pie with egg, and using a butter knife, create curved lines from the center of the pie to the edge, making sure not to cut through the pastry.
- To bake, carefully but quickly slide pithivier and parchment paper on to the pan in the oven, and bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked on the bottom. (Transferring the pithivier to the preheated baking sheet helps the bottom of the crust cook and become flakier)
- Let rest 10 minutes then serve.
Recipe adapted from Plenty More cookbook.