I was in NYC last week to interview the celebrity chef Jehangir Mehta (runner up in the Food Network Iron Chef competition a couple of years ago) for the website www.talkingcranes.com . So as part of the interview “research” I ate a yummy dinner at Mehta’s restaurant Mehtaphor (highly recommend it!) and my favorite of all that I tasted there was an extremely innovative pizza – it was a puff pastry crust with crab meat, goat cheese and mushrooms added as toppings and a final touch of truffle oil drizzled over it. If you are a regular on my blog, you probably know that I love all things puff pastry and my favorite cheese is goat cheese and so this pizza hit just the right spot with me! Not being a trained pastry chef, I won’t even dare to replicate this pizza but I did try to incorporate at least some of the elements of this pizza in another dish and if I may say so myself, it turned out really good. I plan on using these little bites as hor d’oeuvres for my next dinner party!
1. One package of puff pastry sheets (two sheets)
2. 10-12 Cremini mushrooms
3. One medium white onion
4. One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
5. One tablespoon of butter
6. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
7. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
8. ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
9. ½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
10. 5-6 ounces of fresh goat cheese
11. One cup of dry beans of any kind
1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Cut each puff pastry sheet into equal sized 9 squares (18 in all).
4. Press down on the pieces of puff pastry to fit into the muffin pan and pour a little bit of dry beans into each of the cups to keep the cups’ shape. I used green Moong beans because that is what I had handy at home, but I recommend dry kidney beans or other large sized beans much more because they are easy to scoop out later.
5. Place the muffin pan with the puff pastry pieces (filled with dry beans) into the heated oven and bake for 12-14 minutes.
6. While the puff pastry cups are baking, slice the onion and chop the mushrooms in small pieces.
7. Heat up a flat sauce pan on a stove top at medium heat and put the butter and olive oil into it.
8. When the butter and oil seem to be hot, put the sliced onion into the pan and caramelize the onions.
14. Serve on plate as appetizers before dinner or a snack with coffee or tea.