Mushroom and Leek Beggar’s Purses

pretty, right?!

What you see above you is totally company food. Here’s why:

a) it looks fancy pants-y

a) you can make it while drinking copious amounts of wine (weeee!)

b) it won’t you away from your company for long

c) it taste even better than it looks

Brandon’s mom, Ruth, made these, and I just helped put them together. The great thing about this recipe is how flexible it is; you really could substitute all kinds of different veggies in the filling, it just needs something to bind it together (we used mashed potatoes).

Here’s the mixture that Ruth made. It had mushrooms, leeks, potatoes, and fresh herbs

Then, you’ll want to prepare your phyllo dough. Cut it into squares and brush one piece with melted butter, stack another on top, and brush that with butter, too

Next, put in a 1/3 cup of the filling and fold the top together, accordion-like

When they’re all wrapped up, line ’em on a baking sheet, and into the oven they go!

And out they come!

Wild Mushroom and Leek Beggar’s Purses

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by Ruth B., who slightly adapted it from the best of Martha Stewart Living Holidays

4 leeks, washed thoroughly

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (Martha suggests using wild mushrooms, we used what we had)

1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup potatoes, mashed (any kind of potato is fine)

1/2 cup Madeira or vegetable stock

6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed in the refrigerator

4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 400°.

Split leeks in half lengthwise, leaving root attached. Remove some of the inner layers to use for tying purposes; blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water, refresh in cool water, drain, and set aside.

Remove green tops and thinly slice leeks. Sauté in 1 tablespoon of the oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown. Remove from pan to a large bowl.

Add another tablespoon of oil to pan, turn heat to medium high, and add enough mushrooms to cover bottom of pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, about 3 minutes.

Add leeks to pan, along with thyme, salt, pepper, and Madeira or stock. Cook over high heat, stirring, until liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add mashed potatoes, which with thicken the mixture, and set aside to cool.

Unwrap phyllo pastry and unroll flat. Cover completely with damp dish towel to prevent drying out. Trim phyllo so that there are two large squares to each piece. Brush each piece sparingly with melted butter, and repeat until you have a small stack with three layers. Place 1/3 cup filling in the center of each and gather into a cinched-purse shape. Repeat with remaining filling.

Place purses on a baking sheet and bake until evenly golden brown, about 15 minutes. Tie each purse with a leek ribbon and serve hot (we actually tied each purse before the baked, so the ribbons were a bit shriveled when they came out of the oven)

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