November 1982. That’s what it reads on the upper left-hand corner of a slightly tattered, grease-spotted, magazine page. There’s no additional clue to reveal the identity of the magazine from which I carefully tore out the page. That I saved this page all these years is impressive, but what is incredible to me is that in those early-parenting days I had enough time to read a magazine, let alone had the ambition to make the recipe on the page. Having an eighteen-month-old baby who never slept took its toll out on me back then. So why on earth would a sleep-deprived, working, young mom clip out a recipe for a fancy holiday hors d’oeuvre, when she barely had time to make herself a sandwich? I’m sure it was wishful thinking on my part that my baby would eventually be like others and take a four hour nap instead of a twenty-minute one or that I’d eventually be able to leave the house to make friends and have the energy to entertain! Ever the optimist!
Well, that baby grew up and sleeps quite a bit these days. Somehow I survived his sleepless ways and am thankful that I hung on to that page and recipe all these years. The Hot Mushroom Turnover recipe has become a family favorite. These delicate little turnovers are made with a forgiving cream-cheese pastry and filled with the goodness of fresh mushrooms, bits of onions, rich sour cream, and fragrant thyme. They’re great for holiday entertaining because you can freeze them unbaked – popping them into the oven when you have company or just when you have a craving for them!
Hot Mushroom Turnovers
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups + 2 T all purpose flour, divided use
1/2 + 3 T cup butter, softened, divided use
1/2 pound mushrooms, minced
1 large onion, minced
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 egg, beaten
1. In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups flour, and 1/2 cup butter until smooth. Shape into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 3 T butter. Add mushrooms and onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sour cream, salt, thyme, and 2 T flour; set aside.
3. On floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll half of dough 1/8-inch thick. With a floured 2-3/4-inch round cookie cutter or inverted glass, cut out as many circles as possible. Repeat.
4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
5. Onto one half of each dough circle, put 1 teaspoon of the mushroom mixture. Brush edges of circles with egg wash, using a small brush. Fold dough over filling. With fork, firmly press edges together to seal. Prick tops with fork.
6. Place turnovers on ungreased cookie sheet and brush tops with remaining egg wash.
7. Bake 12-14 minutes until golden.
Makes about 3-1/2 dozen.
1. Do not attempt to put more than 1 teaspoon of filling into the turnovers. The turnovers may not seal correctly or may burst while baking if they are over-filled.
2. The onions should be minced smaller than the mushrooms. The mushrooms shrink while they are cooking. Ultimately you want both components to be of the same size.
3. I seem to always have leftover filling. Either use the extra filling for something else (topping for Brie?) or double the amount of pastry dough.
4. In a pinch I think puff pastry sheets could be used instead of making scratch pastry.
5. If you freeze them, make sure you bake them a little longer.