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INDIVIDUAL MUSHROOM & LEEK STRUDELS
Accompanied by mahogany Madeira gravy, these crisp phyllo packets make a memorable main course. The individual strudels are a labor of love, but they are ideal for entertaining because all the preparation can be done in advance. Assemble the strudels through Step 5, make sauce and refrigerate for up to 2 days; just bake off the strudels and reheat sauce while you enjoy appetizers with your guests.
1/4 cup bulgur
1 cup boiling water
6 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
24 oz. cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, stem ends trimmed, wiped clean and quartered (8 cups)
3 cups sliced leeks (4 medium/white and pale green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 4)
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
16 (9-by 14-inch) sheets phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions Approximately 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. poppy seeds
Madeira-Mushroom Sauce (recipe here)
1. To make filling: Put bulgur in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and press out excess moisture.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring or tossing from time to time, until tender and browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 tsp. oil to the skillet and repeat with remaining mushrooms. Add 2 tsp. oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushrooms.
3. Add plumped bulgur, scallions, dill, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to mushroom mixture, and toss to mix well. Let filling cool completely.
4. To prepare phyllo crusts and make strudels: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
5. Place a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper or on a cutting board. Unroll phyllo sheets onto the wax paper. Cut phyllo sheets in half crosswise. Cover with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Place a sheet of wax paper beside cutting board on a clean dry surface. Carefully lift one phyllo rectangle (half a sheet of phyllo) and place on the wax paper. Starting at the edges, brush lightly with oil. Place a second phyllo rectangle at right angles to the first one, forming a cross. Brush with oil. Place a third sheet at an angle over top. Brush with oil. Place a forth sheet at an angle on the opposite side, forming an X pattern. Brush with oil. You will have a spoke-like pattern. (Keep phyllo stack covered while you are not working on it.) Place about 2/3 cup filling in center of oiled phyllo. Gather phyllo together over filling to create a bundle with a ruffle at the top. Press “neck” of packet together to seal. Brush outside of packet lightly with oil and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Place packet, on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat 7 more times with remaining phyllo and filling to make a total of 8 strudels.
6. Bake strudels until golden and crisp, switching position of baking sheets midway through baking, 30 to 40 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, make Madiera-Mushroom Sauce. To serve, pool Madiera-Mushroom Sauce on individual plates and place strudels in center of plates.
Yield: 8 servings.
Per serving (with Madiera-Mushroom Sauce): Calories: 320. Total fat: 17 grams. Saturated fat: 2.5 grams. Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 560 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 32 grams: Fiber: 3 grams. Protein: 6 grams.
Recipe by Patsy Jamieson
Originally published in Vegetarian Times magazine