Let’s speak about puff pastry and ham and caramelized shallots and sautéed mushrooms!
I had sampled a ham, Gruyere and shallot ‘tart’ from the frozen food section at Trader Joe’s. The concept was good, but the delivery and overall flavor profile left more to be desired. The ‘pastry’ was a flat, thin crust that never quite cooked all the way through. There was a scant amount of mediocre quality ham, too raw of an onion flavor and not enough cheese!
Enter party time. My grandfather made a really big ham for a really big day. I usually don’t eat ham. In fact, ham is one of my 2 times per year foods. Regardless, there was some ham leftover, which I diligently picked off of the bone (and gave the ham bone to a family friend for her soup).
In a moment where I overestimated my free time, I decided to create miniature “bite size” puff pastry cups filled with ham, a little grated gruyere cheese, some caramelized shallots and sautéed mushrooms. I have found that people like food delivered in small, delicious bites and phyllo dough filled with ham and cheese! For this recipe I incorporated Caramelized Shallots from Smitten Kitchen. These little shallots are slightly addictive.
Gruyere, Ham, Mushroom and Caramelized Shallot Puff Pastry Bites
1 pkg (17.3 oz) Frozen Puff pastry, left to thaw in refrigerator overnight
2 c. Gruyere cheese, grated
2 c. Cooked ham, diced
1/4 recipe Caramelized Shallots (optional)
1 pkg (10 oz) Baby bella Mushrooms, sliced
2 T. canola oil
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease two 12-ct muffin tins with cooking spray.
Make caramelized shallots and let cool. You will only need 1/4 of the shallots. Either quarter the recipe or set aside remaining shallots for another use.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 T. Canola oil to hot pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add sliced mushrooms to the pan, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Add fresh thyme, sea salt and pepper to taste. Continue to sauté until mushrooms are tender and almost starting to crisp. Scoop out of pan onto paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.
Cut each piece of puff pastry into 3″ x 3″ squares. I made 9 squares with each piece of puff pastry, for a total of 18 pieces. Gently press each piece of puff pastry into its own muffin tin openings.
Bake puff pastry on middle rack of preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until light golden and starting to “pouf.”
Add ham, mushrooms and caramelized shallots on top of puff pastry in muffin tins. Then, top each of the filled pastry cups with shredded Gruyere cheese. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges of pastry turn a deep golden.
Serve warm with a side salad for dinner or as part of an appetizer party. Enjoy!