So finals are finally done and thankfully, I'm back in the kitchen. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes last week. And now, the holiday crunch is on. I haven't started any of my Christmas shopping, so I really need to get on the ball.
But with the holiday crunch time comes plenty of holiday parties, which I think is the best part. And when having a party, there is nothing better than having some delicious foods to serve your guests. I think you can file this recipe under " Ace in the Hole" category, as it's super simple to make and throw in the oven, and with the exception of the mushrooms, you can have most ingredients on hand in your kitchen at all times.
The puff pastry did take 40 minutes to thaw, which is perfect time for doing the rest of the prep. The mushroom mixture is really just my 5-Minute Mushroom Sauce, so you know that part is easy. By the time the pastry is ready, the rest of the ingredients are assembled and ready to go. This could also be made in puff pastry shells, adding a small amount of goat cheese and mushroom to each cup. Talk about an elegant finger food!
Allow puff pastry to thaw at room temperature for 40 minutes. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and salt, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add butter, thyme, and balsamic vinegar, and cook for an additional minute or two. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 400. Unroll thawed pastry sheet and lightly roll to get rid of creases. On each side, cut 1" slits into the first crease mark. (Here's an excellent quick video to watch that explains it much better than I ever could.) On center of pastry, layer goat cheese slices down center. Spoon mushroom mixture on top of cheese, then braid pastry over filling. Place into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Serve and enjoy!