Makes 6 to 8 servings
? cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
? cup old-fashioned cream cheese (see Note below), at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
? cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, white part only, cleaned and very thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
10 to 12 ounces Maitake or chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and broken into pieces
— Kosher salt
— White pepper in a mill
4 ounces St. George cheese (from Joe Matos Cheese Factory), grated, or Italian fontina, in small pieces
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
To make the dough, use an electric mixer or wooden spoon to combine the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until it is smooth and creamy. Sift the flour and salt together and gradually add to the butter mixture. Mix in the cream, shape into a ball, and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, provided it is very well wrapped.
To make the filling, heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and saut?them until they are limp, about 7 or 8 minutes. Add the shallots, saut?5 minutes more, add the garlic and ginger, and saute 2 minutes more. Reduce the heat to low, add the mushrooms, and cook them, covered, until they are limp (time will depend on varieties of mushrooms). Remove the lid and if the mushrooms have released any liquid, simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet. To assemble the strudel, dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough to form a rectangle approximately 10-by-12 inches. Scatter the cheese lengthwise down one side of the dough, leaving an outer margin of about three-quarters of an inch.
Spread the mushroom mixture on top of the cheese and scatter the scallions over the mushrooms. Fold the edge of the pastry over the top of the mushrooms, brush the inside edges with the egg white, and press with a fork to seal the dough tightly. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg white, sprinkle the sesame seeds on top, and slash the pastry crosswise every 2 inches, being careful not to cut too deep. Carefully place the strudel on the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into crosswise slices and serve.
Note: Old-fashioned cream cheese is simply cream cheese without additives that make it spreadable. Gina Maria is a readily available brand.
Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM. E-mail Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/