Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mushroom Coulibiac

From 52veggie
This recipe comes from The Winter Vegetarian by Darra Goldstein, a cookbook largely influenced by Russian and Eurasian cultures.

"Coulibiac is the French term for a Russian pie, the kulebiaka." (The Winter Vegetarian, pg. 90) In fact, this cookbook is full of variations on pies, all that I'm interested to try. The Cabbage Pie Soup starts with a cabbage pie with a vegetable broth poured over the top. The White Bean and Potato pie layers pureed white beans with a sauted potato.

Originally this recipe was supposed to be mushrooms, onions, and barley rolled up in a pastry dough and baked in a log shape. I had a few issues - the pastry wouldn't come together enough to roll out in one piece, and I forgot the barley.

What I ended up with was a rich mushroom dish layered between even richer pastry. Very appropriate for cold weather, and it would have been even more so with the barley added in. As it was, it was almost too rich for a meal so close to the holidays, where we still feel like we are recovering from a bounty of rich foods.

Mushroom Coulibiac

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 lb cream cheese

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
1 pound mixed mushrooms (wild are best, plain white are fine too)
1/3 cup raw barley
2/3 cup water
Pinch plus 1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp snipped fresh dill

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the butter and cream cheese and process, using the pulse motion, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Turn out into a bowl and with your hands gently press the mixture until the dough sticks together and forms a ball. Do not overmix or the pastry will be tough.

Wrap the dough in wax paper and chill for at least 1 hour before using.

In a large skillet saute the onion in 2 tbsp of the butter or oil until it begins to turn golden, 8-10 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter or oil to the skillet along with the mushrooms and cook the mixture for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring the barley, the water, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. The grains will still be chewy. Stir the cooked barley into the mushroom mixture. Add the remaining 1 tsp salt and the pepper, sour cream, and dill.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

To assemble the pie, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to a 10x14 inch rectangle*. Trim the edges, saving the scraps to make decorative shapes for the top of the pie, if desired.

Mound the mushroom mixture lengthwise down the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the dough up to meet in the center over the filling, then fold up the two short sides to enclose it completely. Seal the edges with cold water.

Gently place the finished pie seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush all over with the beaten egg yolk and decorate the top, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and nicely browned. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8

*I ended up pressing half into a 9x9 square pan, spreading the mushroom mixture over it, and dropping the rest of the dough onto the top. I had to bake it 5 extra minutes, and it was a little flat without the barley, but it still tasted good.

As far as ratings go, it's hard to judge this one because of the richness; we might approve of the richness at some other time of year, but it's hard to take right after the holidays.

Categories: Mushrooms, Russian, Savory Pie


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