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Mushroom Empanadas

Yields1 Serving

 2 Tbsp butter
 1 small onion, finely chopped or 1 shallot, finely chopped
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 ¾ tsp each dried thyme and sage leaves or 1 ½ tsp fresh
 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
 ¼ tsp salt
 1 ½ cups cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
 1 ½ cups white button mushrooms, finely chopped
 1/3 cup white wine
 ½ cup cream cheese, softened
 1/3 cup butter, softened
 1 cup all-purpose flour
 1 egg, beaten

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, thyme, sage, pepper and salt, stirring occasionally until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add cremini and white mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been evaporated and mushrooms have browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine; scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Let cool to room temperature. (Make-ahead: refrigerate in airtight container for up to 1 day.)


Pastry: In large bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until blended. Add flour, stirring until dough begins to form; knead lightly in bowl until smooth. Divide dough in half and flatten into discs; wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. On lightly floured surface, roll out each disc into 10 inch circle. With 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles, re-rolling scraps only once to get as many as possible.


Working with 6 circles at a time, brush edge lightly with egg. Place 1 teaspoon filling in centre of each; fold dough over filling, pinching edges or pressing edges with a fork to seal. Place on ungreased rimless baking sheets. (Make-ahead: freeze on baking sheet. Layer frozen empanadas with waxed paper in airtight container and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Bake from frozen.) Brush tops with egg. Bake in centre of 400°F oven until light golden, about 12-15 minutes. Makes about 40.


Wild Mushroom Empanadas: You can replace ½ cup of either of the mushrooms with fresh wild mushrooms such as morels. Or, re-hydrate a 14 g package of porcini mushrooms or morels, straining and saving the liquid to use instead of the wine, or for a soup or sauce.


You can also replace the white button mushrooms with finely chopped fresh exotic mushrooms such as shiitake (caps only) or oyster.