Pepperidge Farm puff pastry is one of those accidentally vegan food products, like Oreos, unfrosted Pop-Tarts, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup. No, it’s not exactly healthy, but I think it’s totally fine in moderation–and especially when it’s used to give a big, warm, flaky-pastry hug to veggie filling.
These turnovers have been on my “to make” list for months now, and last week I finally got around to it. I’m so glad I did! Alex came home from work as they were cooling on the stove and the first words out of his mouth were, “Wow! Are those for dinner?!” They look so impressive, no one will guess you made them from start to finish in less than an hour. (This photo doesn’t do them justice. Arg! I’m trying to get better.)
The original recipe is from Martha Stewart. I switched it up by adding some spinach and red pepper flakes to the filling. Martha pairs her turnovers with sour cream, but I decided to go with a quick porcini cream sauce from the cookbook Vedge that I’m totally obsessed with. You could also easily use good store-bought marinara, or just serve them plain–the sauce was nice be we actually didn’t think they needed it.
If you do want to make the porcini cream, you will need a spice grinder to grind up the dried porcini mushrooms. If you don’t have a spice grinder, here is a trick: blend some raw rice in your coffee grinder until the grinder is clean and coffee residue-free. Then use it to grind the mushrooms.
Over the weekend I listened to an interview with Ina Garten (confession: I totally nerd out to the America’s Test Kitchen podcast at the gym). I really recommend it! This week Ina gave some terrific advice: for every recipe you master, learn two variations. That way, you will have three new recipes under your belt. Her example was chicken pot pie. Learn to make a fabulous one, then adapt it to make veggie and lobster pot pies. These turnovers are another great “launching pad” recipe. You could really fill them with anything–broccoli rabe and roasted peppers, sauteed tomatoes and eggplant, roasted apples and butternut squash, or Swiss chard and raisins would all be delicious.
You can assemble the turnovers a few hours ahead and store them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them. Once baked, you can reheat them gently in a low oven (200°F-250°F) for 20 minutes or so until hot. Leftovers get soggy fast though, so it’s best to eat them they day they are made.
A word about vegan mayonnaise: in most cases, I steer clear of fake vegan products. But there are some really fantastic, all-natural vegan mayonnaises out there. The best is Hampton Creek, which beat out regular mayo in a Serious Eats taste test.
Mushroom and Spinach Turnovers with Porcini Cream
Makes 4 servings
Adapted from Martha Stewart
For the turnovers:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound (one 16-ounce package) crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 sheet vegan puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce box), thawed
For the porcini cream:
3 or 4 pieces dried porcini mushrooms (from a .7-ounce package)
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the turnovers, heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
Leave the puff pastry folded into thirds. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it out into a 20-by-10-inch rectangle. Cut into four smaller rectangles. With a slotted spoon, mound the mushroom mixture onto one half of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch boarder on three sides. Lightly brush the edges with water, fold the other half of the pastry over the filling, and crimp with a fork to seal the edges.
Using a spatula, transfer the turnovers to the prepared baking sheet. With a small knife, cut 3 or 4 small slits in the top of each turnover. Bake until golden and puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.
While the turnovers are baking, make the porcini cream. In a spice grinder, grind the dried porcini mushrooms. Measure 1 tablespoon (discard any extra). Combine the mushroom poweder, water, mayonnaise, and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to blend.
Serve the turnovers, passing the porcini cream on the side.