“Tivoli settled Locke and Jean in one of the alcoves, on chairs that would have been at home in the suite of false furniture they’d given to Requin. An attendant brought a tray of flaky brown pastries in the western style, filled with cheese and minced mushrooms. They were the richest thing Lock had eaten in weeks.” -Republic of Thieves
After many months, and several books ahead of it in the queue, I finally got to read Scott Lynch’s Republic of Thieves, and it did not disappoint. The snappy dialogue is again at times laugh out loud funny, and although there are fewer descriptions of food than in the first two books, what descriptions there are made my mouth water.
This is one of those. Simple, easy, and fast to make, this mushroom pastry is full of flaky savory goodness. The mushrooms are the predominant flavor, which is accentuated by the dark ale, garlic, and thyme.
Recipe for Flaky Mushroom Pastries
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- several large handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped (I prefer a mixed pack)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup dark beer
- 1 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, for glaze
- 1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar or gruyere
Preheat the oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cook the onions and garlic in oil over medium heat until they soften and turn clear, around 5-10 minutes. Add the butter, followed by the mushrooms. Gently sautee until they are soft and covered with butter. Toss in the thyme and other seasonings, and stir for another 30 seconds. Pour over the beer (you can drink the rest for culinary inspiration!) and scrape up any of the tasty brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the liquid has mostly cooked off. Remove from heat and set aside.
Unfold the thawed puff pastry and cut into half. Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Take a sharp knife and score a line around the outside edge of the pastry, about 1/2″ from the edge. This will allow the edges to puff up as they cook. Brush those edges of pastry with the beaten egg, then spread the mushroom mixture on the inside rectangle of pastry.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 400F, or until the exposed pastry is a lovely golden color. Sprinkle with shredded cheese while still hot, then allow to cool slightly before serving.