Smoked Onion and Chanterelle-Goat Cheese Strudel
Every bit of this dish is delicious and raised above average. The onions are smoked, adding a layer of flavor. The strudel dough is made with sour cream and incorporates herbs. The filling includes fresh thyme and sherry. Sharp arugula salad is tossed with hot sherry dressing. When it arrives at the table, the golden pastry is filled with bursts of flavor sure to bring a murmur of appreciation from every diner.
- Smoked Onions
- Fruitwood or other hardwood chips for smoking
- Onions - 2 medium, peeled
- Olive oil for coating
- Strudel Dough
- Flour - 1-1/2 cups
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup or 1/4 , cut into pieces
- Vegetable shortening - 1/4 cup
- Sour Cream - 3 tablespoons
- Cold Water - 3 tablespoons
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon, chopped, mashed to a pulp
- Basil, Thyme, and Oregano - 1 tablespoon, fresh chopped herbs
- Cracked black pepper - 1/2 tablespoon
- Egg Wash - 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon cool water
- Onions - 2 medium, smoked (above)
- Chanterelles or other mushrooms - 1/2 pound
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Garlic Cloves - 3, chopped, then mashed to a pulp
- Fresh Thyme Leaves - 2 teaspoons
- Sherry - 1/2 cup
- Soft Goat Cheese - 1/2 cup
- Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup, grated
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Freshly cracked black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sherry Vinaigrette
- Sherry Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Garlic Cloves - 2, chopped, then mashed to a pulp
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 3/4 cup
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Fresh Arugula - 1 pound
- Batchelor buttons, fennel flowers, or other edible flowers (optional)
- Fresh Basil Sprigs - 6
To smoke the onions: Soak the wood chips in water for 15 minutes. Start a charcoal fire in an outdoor cooker with a lid. When the coals are hot, arrange them to one side on the fire grate. Place the wood chips on the coals. Put the cooking grate in place. Rub the onions with olive oil and place on the cooking grate on the side opposite the coals. Put the lid on and adjust the air holes for a slow fire. Cook until tender, checking after 30 minutes and every 10 minutes thereafter; remove when they are tender throughout, but have not become mushy. Let cool.
To prepare the strudel dough: Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl or food processor. Add the butter and shortening, using your hands, a fork, or with on-off pulses in the processor, quickly work the fat into the flour, forming a coarse meal. Add the sour cream and water as needed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides. Do not add all of the water at once, as it may not be needed.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and form into a rectangle. Roll out 1/2-inch thick and about 10-by-12 inches in size. Trim the sides to straighten the rectangle.
Spread garlic on two-thirds of the dough. Sprinkle with herbs and black pepper. Fold one-third of the dough in, then fold the opposite third over it. Turn 90 degrees and roll out again. Add additional flour underneath as needed to prevent sticking. Fold again and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
While the dough is resting, make the filling: Dice the onions into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces. If the mushrooms are large, cut or tear them into smaller pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and onions and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until very fragrant. Add the chanterelles and saute until tender. Add the thyme and sherry and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. When the mixture is cool, fold in the goat cheese and Parmesan cheese, using a wooden spoon to mash the cheese as you work it in. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the dough is chilled, roll out again to a 12-by-15-inch rectangle. Trim the edges again. Place on a baking sheet. Place the filling mixture down the center of the dough and fold in both sides, pinching together down the middle. Flip over so the seam is at the bottom. Brush with egg wash and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
To make the vinaigrette: Place the vinegar, shallots, and garlic in a small non-aluminum bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the dressing in a small saute pan and bring to a boil. Serve hot.
To serve: Remove a thin slice from each end of the strudel to straight it, then slice into 2-inch pieces. Toss the arugula with the hot dressing and divide among the plates. Place a piece of strudel on top of the arugula on each plate. Garnish each with edible flowers and a basil sprig.