Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mushroom and Spinach Strudel

Apparently I only bother to share recipes of things that are really more of an indulgence. Truth is, my typical diet of veg + rice or couscous doesn't really interest me any more than it would interest you. So, please don't think I eat stuff like this all the time!

Cheese has become my reward food. On the weekend, if I've not gone insane and had some kind of sweets or Doritos or something, I get something very cheesy. Pizza or quesadillas or... Mushroom and Spinach Strudel.

I made these once for a Holiday party and I was the only one that ate them. Also the only vegetarian present, so I guess they don't rate very high compared to ham and fried chicken. To me they are abso-freakin-lutely amazing!

Little known secret: Cream Cheese is the world's most perfect food. Seriously. It can go savory or sweet. It can go with mild or spicy. Hot or cold. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks... another snack. Whatever you want to do with cream cheese it will LET YOU. And it will be awesome! Plus it's inexpensive, as far as cheese goes. You CAN indulge!

I got the idea for these because they sell spinach strudel in the freezer section sometimes, but I thought $4.50 or so was a lot for something I could make twice as much of for $3. Because, well, I always have mushrooms, onions, and spinach. I just had to get the crescents and the cream cheese. And by making them myself the only processed thing that went into it was the crescents- no preservatives in fresh ingredients, right? That's my justification and I'm sticking to it.

Okay I will shut up and tell you how already.


Mushroom and Spinach Strudel
Yields: 2 Hearty Meals

Ingredients:
1 Tube of refrigerated crescent rolls (SEE BELOW)
4oz of cream cheese, room temperature
2-3 oz of other cheese, shredded or sliced*
4 - 5 large mushrooms, sliced
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 cups of raw baby spinach
**Desired spices (s & p or creole or whatever)
olive oil
olive oil spray

*I usually put some shredded cheddar on top, but some sliced (real) cheese actually works out better for the stacking. The Pepper Jack sounded good with the spicy seasoning I used. Don't use cheese that comes in its own little prophylactic. Yuck. You just need a little to make the top layer stick to the spinach and not slide apart and to protect the dough from the little bit of moisture the spinach will put off.

**Just whatever flavor you want to add or what you usually throw in with sauteing. I keep a lot of mixes so usually just pick one I feel like that day. The cream cheese makes it pretty versatile.

Saute the onions and mushrooms in a little olive oil, adding in your spices at the end. (If you didn't know, some small amount of salt will help the onion brown faster). While that's happening:

Preheat your oven according to crescent roll specifications.

Spray your baking sheet, if needed, and take 1/2 of the crescent rolls and spread them out, smooshing all the seams together and shaping into a nice long rectangle.

Using the back of a spoon (this won't tear the dough like a
knife would) spread 1/2 a package of cream cheese all over as even as you can get it.

When your onions and mushrooms are finished, spread them out on top of the cream cheese.

Add two big handfuls of spinach and then your other cheese on top of that.

Carefully lay the remaining crescent triangles on top- doesn't really matter how just don't overlap them. Stuff all the spinach in there that you can where it's trying to escape. You can cut a couple slits into the dough if you are worried your oven won't get them done, but I've never had a problem with that.

Cook according to crescent roll directions. It may take about 2 minutes less since the rolls are laid out flat and not bunched up as the directions assume. Check the bottom a couple times through to be sure it's not getting too brown. You can brown the top if needed. All ovens are different, of course.

ENJOY!

You can get 2 very filling meals out of this or 4 light lunches. They are great cold or you can reheat them in the microwave. They do really well in a Tupperware in a Cooler for a picnic, too, btw. Once they are cooled off you can pretty much eat them like a sandwich. IDK how long they are good in the fridge. They've never lasted a whole day in mine before I ate them.

P.S. I apologize for a uncrispy pictures. It was rather rainy and muggy while I was making this, so no help from the sun!

P.S.S. It has come to my attention that refrigerated crescent rolls are not widely available outside of the U.S. I came across THIS RECIPE which looks very simple for anyone that has ever made any sort of homemade bread or rolls. It makes about 3x what you would need for this recipe, but states they would be good for 3 days, so possible you could make up the actual dough as rolls and save them for the next day's meal. (Or otherwise figure out how to half an egg)

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