Guest Post: Mini Beef and Mushroom Bites by eat. live. travel. write.

We have Mardi, the fabulous voice behind eat. live. travel. write., sharing a mouthwatering Blend & Extend recipe today! These puff pastry bites are perfect hand-held appetizers for the holiday season. They are rich in flavour, while cutting back on a few calories.

“The holiday season is in full swing by now and you’ve probably got most of your special menus planned out. If you’re looking for a quick, tasty appetizer to serve with your holiday drinks, though I have just the thing for you. And, bonus, a few of these with a salad make an excellent quick lunch to enjoy between all those holiday chores!”
 
Be sure to visit eat. live. travel. write. for the full post.

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Mini Beef and Mushroom Bites
recipe courtesy Mardi Michels
 
Ingredients
1 medium onion,roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
225g mixed mushrooms
2 tablespoons vegetable/ canola/ sunflower oil
225g minced (ground) beef
1.5 teaspoons ground coriander
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅓ cup frozen peas
¼ cup beef stock or water
2 sheets puff pastry (rolls), thawed
1 egg, beaten
 
Instructions
1. Pre-heat your oven to 375˚F.
2. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
3. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the onion, garlic and mushrooms until finely chopped. You may need to stop the food processor a few times to re-arrange the ingredients to ensure they are evenly chopped.
4. In a large heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat.
5. Sauté the beef until it’s just cooked through then remove from the pan and drain on paper towels until you are ready to use it again.
6. Wipe the skillet clean then heat the second tablespoon of oil, then add the mushroom/ garlic/ onion and sauté until the mushrooms start to lose a little liquid then add back in the meat.
7. Season with the coriander, cumin and cayenne and stir to make sure the spices are evenly blended throughout.
8. Add the frozen peas and the stock/ water and cook the mixture over medium heat for approx 5 minutes – the meat should be cooked through and the peas just tender. Most of the liquid will have evaporated but it should still be a loose mixture.
9. Remove pan from heat while you prepare the puff pastry*.
10. Working with one sheet at a time, roll out the pastry.
11. Cut the pastry into 9 squares (approx 3″/ 7.5cm) (you will probably have some of the mixture leftover but you can use that another day!)
12. Place the squares on one baking tray, leaving a good amount of space in between. I like to stretch the pastry slightly at this stage to make sure I will have room to add the filling and old the edges.
13. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg wash.
14. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the meat/ mushroom mixture in the centre of each square then fold the pastry closed. You can make either triangle or rectangle shapes.
15. Press the edges together with your fingers then seal with the tines of a fork.
16. Brush the tops of the pastries with egg wash.
17. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry.
18. Bake at 375˚F for 25-30 minutes of until the pastry is puffed and golden.
19. Serve warm. May be re-heated in a warm oven (around 275˚F for 15 minutes) but best eaten the day they are made.
20. (*You can make the filling the day before and just assemble when required)

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Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write – a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. As part of her job, she runs a cooking class twice a week for 7-13 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics. She’s also a cook, baker, traveller, photographer, writer, Food Bloggers of Canada co-founder, Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto and in her spare time (!) teaches French pastry classes (focusing on macarons) around Toronto.
 
Put out a plate piled high with these bites and your holiday guests will thank you! Thanks, as always, to Mardi for sharing another mouthwatering mushroom-filled recipe!!
 
Follow along with Mardi online at eat. live. travel. write. and on Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

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