I just finished reading Perfect by Rachel Joyce. I think she is an author you either embrace or are bored with, depending on the genres you enjoy reading. Her first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, and Perfect has a similar pattern of writing. There is an unexpected twist at the end.
The prose can be flowery at times, the plot moves along slowly but I felt invested in what happened to the central characters in the book. No sense rehashing my review, it's on the book site, Novel Meals. For this book I was inspired to try Mushroom Vol-au-Vent. Quite easy if you pick up some puff pastry. Great appetizer or side.
Here's the low down on this elegant sounding creation. Surprisingly easy, very tasty.
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed but very cold
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces wild mixed mushrooms, chopped to a rubble
1 whole, smashed garlic clove
2 stems fresh thyme
1 tablespoon dry white wine
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Lightly flour a cutting board, and place the pastry on it. Cut out 9 circles from the pastry using a 2.5-inch biscuit cutter. Use a 1.5-inch biscuit cutter to make an indent (not all the way through) in the center of each pastry circle. (OR use the pastry shell version)
Bake the puff pastry for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the mushroom filling mixture. Melt the butter in a wide sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Sauté the mixture over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the mushrooms have greatly shrunk in size and the pan has dried out. Season with salt and pepper, and add the wine. Allow to reduce. Remove the garlic and thyme stems from the pan, and take the pan off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche.
Use a paring knife to gently remove the center disc from each puff pastry shell. Reserve. Fill the cavity with the mushroom mixture, and replace the pastry disc.
Wine Wednesday is coming up soon. Hope to see you there!