Herbed Chèvre with Mushrooms in Phyllo Pouches make a savory treat for a couple of reasons; they are relatively easy to make as far as gourmet appetizers go, and they taste amazing! I love that there are no hard-to-find ingredients, either.
Once you get the hang of working with phyllo dough (I can’t think of a better recipe to begin with than this one), the rest is simply just mixing the goat cheese with fresh herbs and finely diced mushrooms.
Using a muffin tin will help with the hands-on shaping of the dough if you are new to phyllo. Just line each cup with the prepared phyllo, drop a spoonful of the mushroom and herbed chèvre mix inside, lightly pinch the dough into a pouch, and bake.
Who says gourmet appetizers have to be hard, anyway?
Herbed Chèvre with Mushrooms in Phyllo Pouches
- Muffin Tin
- Large Skillet
- Pastry Brush
- Small Saucepan
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter divided
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram leaves
- 4 cups finely chopped assorted mushrooms
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp Chinese five spice
- 4 oz goat cheese (chèvre)
- 7 oz phyllo dough
- chopped fresh chives for garnish
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until lightly browned, one minute. Add the herbs and continue to heat, stirring constantly, for another minute. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give up their juices and the pan dries out, about 10 more minutes.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the remaining stick of butter (8 tablespoons) in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the Chinese five spice. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
- When the mushrooms are finished cooking, remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the goat cheese and using a wooden spatula, break it up and mix it into the warm mushroom mixture until thoroughly combined and creamy. Set aside.
- Prepare the phyllo dough by removing it from the package (make sure it is completely thawed) and laying it flat. Cover the dough sheets first with a sheet of plastic wrap, followed by a towel that has been dampened with water and wrung well. (Phyllo dough dries out fast and once dry, it cannot be worked with. Keeping the dough covered with the damp cloth will prevent it from drying out.)
- Very carefully peel away one sheet of phyllo dough and place it on a flat surface. Dip a pastry brush into the melted butter with the Chinese five spice, tap against the side of the pan to remove excess butter. With light, quick stokes, brush the melted butter onto the phyllo dough sheet. (The best way to do this without ripping or wrinkling the dough is to hold one side of the sheet down with your fingers while brushing it in a direction away from your fingers. If this is your first time working with phyllo dough, this may take some getting used to. Just take your time, you’ll get the hang of it!) You don’t need a lot of butter for this step, just enough to moisten the sheet. When the first sheet is completely brushed with butter, carefully remove a new sheet of phyllo dough and place it directly over the one just brushed. Repeat this process until you have four sheets stacked, but do not brush butter onto the fourth (top) sheet.
- Cut the stacked dough into four squares that measure about 3 by 4 inches. Repeat step four until you have 12 of the smaller squares. Place the squares into the cups of an un-greased muffin tin and gently press to form the phyllo squares into the cups.
- Fill each square with the mushroom mixture so that they are about half full. There should be about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons in each cup. Once all of the cups are full, lightly pinch the dough together to form a pouch. Leave a small opening on the top for steam to escape. You don’t want to press the dough together too tightly, just enough to nearly cover the mushroom mixture but so that the dough is still somewhat loose.
- Dip the pastry brush into the melted butter. Tap off the excess, then lightly dab the tops of the pouches. It is ok if the dough layers separate a bit, in fact, you want this. This will create a lighter, flakier end result. You only want enough butter on the pouches so that they brown while baking, you don’t need very much – too much and the dough will become soggy.
- Drain the remaining melted butter through a stainer into a ramekin, discard the residue. Keep the butter warm by placing it on top of the oven as the mushroom pouches bake.
- Bake the pouches for 15 minutes at 325°F or until the tops are golden brown. When done, remove the pan from the oven and let the pouches cool for a few minutes so that you can safely handle them. Carefully lift them from the muffin tin with a teaspoon and transfer them onto a serving platter. Be careful that you don’t break them! Sprinkle with sliced fresh chives and serve with the ramekin of the strained spiced butter.