Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mushroom Tart

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I love a cool autumn night.  This month, following daylight savings, is always a bit of an adjustment for me.  It really does help when the temperature is autumn-like, and this week it is.  The perfect temperature for getting in the kitchen!

We have a little neighborhood Bunco group, nothing serious, really just an excuse to get out of the house on a Thursday night, sip wine with the neighbors and catch up on what is going on around the hood.  I decided this Mushroom Tart from my chef crush would be wonderful on a chilly night with a glass of Pinot.  How right I was.  I have blogged about Chef Chiarello before, from my anniversary trip to Sonoma last year.  And this year, on our anniversary, Mr. Preppy and I placed another order from his amazing store, Napa Style.  I can almost feel like I am nibbling appetizers with his great wine and a fire outside of Bottega.  Oh, well, For now, this will have to do!

I think the squid ink made my teeth dull!  

Here is the original version from Michael Chiarello.  My few little changes are below. And I couldn't resist putting up my picture with this amazing chef.

Olive Oil
2# mixed mushrooms (I used 1 1/2# baby bella and white, and 1/2# mixed, dried)
Salt and Pepper
2 T Butter
3 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground thyme (my grocer was OUT of fresh thyme...this is not okay)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg, beaten
2 Tablespoon chopped, fresh, parsley
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen

If using dried mushrooms, place them in a bowl and just cover with boiling water.  Let stand at least 10 minutes to soften the mushrooms.  Remove from liquid and chop well.  Strain the soaking liquid and set aside.  You should have 1/2 cup or less.
Heat oil in large skillet, just enough to gloss the bottom of pan.  Add 1/2 the mushrooms and a tablespoon of the butter.  Stir and add salt and pepper and saute until the mushrooms shrink and are caramelized.  Remove and set in a bowl and repeat with the second half of the mushrooms, also adding the rehydrated mushrooms.  When this batch is cooked, add the first batch to the pan and add the garlic, shallots and thyme.  Stir well and add mushroom soaking liquid a little at a time until it is absorbed.  Add the cream and allow the pan to simmer until the cream is reduced by half.  Stir gently.  Add the parmesan and the lemon juice, stir in.  Turn off the heat and quickly add the beaten egg and parsley.  Allow the mixture to cool thoroughly.

Sauted Mushrooms....yum!

Mmmmm, delicious right off the spoon!

Preheat oven to 425 and roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface to fit into your tart pan of choice.  He used a 10" round, I chose a 4 1/2" X 14".  Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet. Lay the pastry into tart pan and trim your edges.  Lay parchment paper in the tart shell and fill with beans or ceramic pie weights.  Make sure your weights are evenly distributed and in the corners so the pastry doesn't shrink up.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before removing weights and parchment.

Yep, that is my cruddy cookie sheet...Yikes!  I never bake cookies on it though!

Heat oven to 400, and carefully put the cooled mushroom mixture into cooled tart shell.  Carefully sprinkle the blue cheese over the top.  I didn't use all 4 ounces, and his recipe actually calls for 8 ounces.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I bake on convection at a lower temperature).  Cool completely before removing the tart pan and serving.

Keep your parsley like a bouquet of flowers, lasts a long time!

 So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and cook!

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