One of the best things about engaging in a blog challenge is getting to know other interesting people who are also writing blogs. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know lots of new people through this month of April, during the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’ve got blogging friends now in New Zealand, France, England, Australia, the island of Cyprus, Canada, and all over the United States, too. I’ve learned about the benefits of adding more raw foods to my diet, how to make one after another delicious recipes from fellow-foodies, lots of gardening tips and ideas, new crafts and sewing projects, and much, much more. Another cool thing about having so many blogging friends is that now and then you can sit back and relax while they write your blog post for you! Score!
This, happily, is one of those times. Please welcome Chef William, the “90% Vegetarian” who is writing today’s blog post for me. Chef William is a retired chef who is a devotee of healthy eating and gardening, and does far more with fresh herbs than I think is healthy (just kidding, Chef! I’m just a bit jealous!). (Can you eat too many fresh herbs?? Don’t think so.) He also blogs often from his second (and delightful!) home in Mexico, which has opened my mind to the wonders and loveliness of this land so close (relatively) to me.
Chef has made a Two-Mushroom Tart for us today and in his wonderful way has taken us step by step alongside him in the process. This man knows his way around the kitchen and, unlike me, is professionally trained. The photos that he included are going to force my hand: I’m going to have to run to the store today for mushrooms because I can’t wait to try this in my own kitchen! I hope you like it, too!
Two Mushroom Tart
by Chef William of www.HealthyFoodandDiet.com
If you are into wild mushrooms, this Two Mushroom Tart will be something you will want to enjoy with just a simple green salad. With just a splash of heavy cream and a single egg, it is so rich that it is more like a dessert than an afternoon meal. I have used Shiitake and Portobello mushrooms however you can make this with wild mushrooms or other mushrooms that you have on hand.
8 ounces Portobello mushrooms, trimmed
4 ounces Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces shallots, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cream sherry
¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pastry dough for one tart
For the pastry dough
1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ stick unsalted butter cut into ¼ cubes and chilled
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 -5 tablespoons ice water
Make the Dough
First mix together the flour, salt and butter in a large bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal but still has a few small butter lumps.
Add about half the ice water and mix together with a fork until incorporated. Next squeeze a little of the dough: If it does not hold together add another teaspoon of ice water and incorporate it into the dough, test again. Do not overwork or the dough will be tough.
Turn the dough onto your work surface, divide into four portions. With the heel of your hand, press each portion a couple of times with a forward motion to work the butter into the dough.
Gather all four sections together and form into one disk shape, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Making the Tart
Set aside two or three of each kind of mushroom to be used later.
Dice the mushrooms into small pieces and mince the shallots
In the kitchen we call this Mise en place which in the broadest sense means to have all the prep work completed before you ever start to do the cooking. There is nothing worse than trying to dice a potato while the onions are already sautéing. You never want to be running, after you are in the cooking process unless it is absolutely necessary.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in a heavy non stick skillet over moderately high heat.
Add the shallots and cook, stirring with a wooded spoon for three or four minutes until they are softened. Then add the mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir this mixture with the wooden spoon until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Once they are dry, add the sherry and balsamic vinegar and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are a nice brown. Remove from the heat and place in a large bowl to cool.
Whisk the cream, egg and a little more sea salt and black pepper together, and when the mushrooms are cooled, put the cream mixture into the mushrooms and set aside. Don’t add it while the mushrooms are still hot or it will cook before it gets into the dough.
Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface, into a large 12 inch circle. Brush off any excess flour and fit it into your tart pan without stretching it. Work the sides of the dough into the little indentations of the tart pan. Using your rolling pin, roll it over the top of the pan to trim the pastry flush with the rim. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell all over with a fork and then place it into the freezer for 10 minutes.
Put your oven rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 425 degrees,
Thinly slice the mushrooms that you had set aside. Melt the remaining butter to the skilled and add the mushroom slices. Sauté only for a minute or two, turning once so that they become a golden brown on both sides.
Remove the tart shell from the freezer. Spread the filling evenly in the tart shell, smoothing the top. Arrange the sliced mushrooms on top of the mixture.
Bake the tart on the hot baking sheet until the filling is set and the pastry if golden brown. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes. Cool the tart on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove from the pan, slice and serve.
When you remove this tart from the oven you might think the recipe is incorrect because it will look thin. You can always add more mushrooms and double the cream and add another egg. But do me a favor first. Taste this Two Mushroom tart. It is so rich and delicious that in this case, smaller is better. Enjoy…and remember, this will work with any safe wild mushroom you might find when you’re on a wild mushroom hunt.
There you have it, Gentle Readers. An amazing recipe that undoubtedly is making your mouth water even as we speak, from the cultivated kitchen of Chef William! You can find more of Chef’s recipes and lots more goodness from his excellent website, www.HealthyFoodandDiet.com. Enjoy!
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