Mushroom Turnovers Come Alive!
These are even better than the fried version! With deep, dark, woodsy shiitake mushrooms marinated in rich seasonings layered between delicate, crispy flax "pastry". Decadent! Yet very healthy. And, most importantly, alive and full of natures mysterious goodness.
This recipe takes a day or so to make right. So I like to prepare this larger quantity of the flax pastry and mushroom filling ahead of time, at the same time, and then once the pastry is crispy, assemble as needed. The crust keeps for a long time. And the mushroom filling will keep for a couple of days, and get more yummy after a day or so, but is yummy even immediately, if you can't wait!
Also, if you're looking for a raw, healthy version of phyllo dough, for baklava, or spanakopita or whatever, this flax pastry is for you!
1 cup whole raw flax seeds
2 cups water
dash of sea salt
2 cups chopped, dried Asian mushrooms (or 1 1/2 cups if using fresh)
1 cup ground walnuts (I use a rotary grater for this)
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2-2/3 cup water (if using dried mushrooms)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or 1/2 teaspoon if grinding from whole nuts)
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
dash of sea salt or 1 tablespoon of tamari or miso
Soak flax seeds in water for 1/2 an hour or so. More soaking is fine. But try to remember to use them before they get to the point of sprouting! Blend the gooey mess together for a long time! Blend until the seeds are really pulverized and what's left in the blender is fluffy and mostly smooth. You may need to add more water if your blender starts protesting, but the more water you add the longer it will take to dehydrate. Also, if you don't have a pusher thingie on your blender (like Vitamix has), use a spatula on the very edges of the inside of the blender to help move the stuff around and back into the blades while it's blending.
Spread the flax goo onto a couple of non-stick sheets as thinly as possible, without making holes in it, and dehydrate. In the sun, if you like! Or in front of a fan, or in a regular old dehydrator, on the lowest heat setting. Or just in a warm spot in your house. If you flip the pastry onto a dehydrating screen when the bottom is still moist, it might take a bit of careful scraping with a spatula, but it will hasten the drying process. You can also cut the pastry into squares after you flip them, to make assembling the turnovers easier. It will probably take about 4 hours or so for the pastry to be crispy, but might take more or less time, depending on whether or not a butterfly flaps its wings in China, or something...
I like using the dried mushrooms, since they tend to soak up the marinate better than fresh, but either will work. You can save some mess and electricity if you just chop or break up the dried mushrooms into small pieces and then mix in the rest of the ingredients by hand. Or you can stick the whole lot into a food processor and chop on low power just enough to mix everything together. I like this a bit chunky, but you can make it smoother, if you prefer. Put in a glass jar or bowl in the fridge or other cool place for several hours or overnight for best flavor blending.
Then when you can't stand it any longer, assemble the turnovers! (Or at least enough to satisfy your cravings, for now...) Alternate one layer of pastry and then one layer of mushrooms five or six times. I like to stick the whole assemblage in the dehydrator, or sit in a warm spot, for and hour or so to warm and let the middle layers of pastry soften, but you can eat it right away, too.
It's a fair bit of work, but it's well worth it.