I don’t want to share

Mushrooms, cheese, seafood and anything which comes even vaguely hors d’oeuvre-shaped (not necessarily in that order) are my favourite foodstuffs ever, so when asked to bring the pre-meal nibblies for our family Christmas do I gladly accepted and (rather masochistically) began to devise recipes comprised of all my favourites for savoury stuffs to give me a break from all of the sweets baking I’ve been doing…because, you know, I don’t have nearly enough things going on to occupy my time.

Thanks to the miracles which are Tenderflake and Presidents Choice frozen pastries and a little help from the fella, I was able to get these crabesque quiches & multi-mushroom turnovers pretty quickly.

The quiches – what you need:

24 frozen tart shells (frozen ones usually come in twelves)

1 large minced red onion (you can use a regular cooking onion but I really enjoy the sweetness a red onion imparts to complement the crab)

1.5 cups of imitation crab meat or 2 cans of the real stuff

1 cup grated provolone cheese

7 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground pepper

a pinch of nutmeg

a bunch of cilantro

Before doing anything else, get the pastries out of the freezer and set them out on baking sheets so they’ll come to room temperature as you work. Preheat the oven to 425. To each shell add a teaspoon of onion then divide the crab then the cheese up evenly between them. Top each one with 2-3 cilantro leaves. In a large bowl whisk the remaining ingredients together and divide the mixture evenly between the 24 quiches. Toss the lot of them into the cooker.

If you’re planning to freeze these (as I was) then they only need to cook for about 10 minutes or until the egg has set. To reheat simply pull them out of the freezer about an hour before they need to be served and toss them back into the oven preheated to 425 for about 7 minutes. If you intend to eat them right away they’ll need about 17-20 minutes of cook time off the hop.

Turnovers – what you need:

2 pkgs puff pastry

1 large minced red onion (or possibly the rest of the one from the quiches)

2 cups chopped mushrooms (I get these handy packages of mixed mushrooms which include portabello, shiitake and oyster at the grocer’s)

1 cup grated stinky cheese (I used emmenthaler I had leftover from a fondue at the weekend but other good choices would be old cheddar, edam, guyere & romano)

Preheat oven to 425. Puff pastry generally comes in packages of 2 pastries each – we’ll want to roll each of those out into 10″ x 10″ish squares then cut each square into 9 smaller squares. To each smaller square add 1 tsp onion then divide the cheese and mushrooms up among the 36 squares, fold them into triangles and press down the egdes. Toss’em on a baking sheet or stone and then into the oven for about 10 minutes or until they start to brown (if freezing) or 15-20 minutes if cooking through and eating immediately. Again, these will require about 1 hour of standing time out of the freezer and another 7 minutes in the oven at 425 to reheat.

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