Trio of mushrooms go far in richly flavored tart

Mushrooms beyond the garden varieties have pride of place in this week’s food section.

It recently became easier for me to cook with a wider assortment of mushrooms, one of our family’s favorite foods, since the locally owned grocery store where I habitually shop stepped up its inventory. Cremini debuted in the past couple of years at Food 4 Less as the sole companion to plain, old button mushrooms.

Earlier this year, the grocer added shiitakes — loose rather than prepackaged — to the mix. Then miracle of miracles: Oyster mushrooms in all their feathery, leathery splendor popped up in the produce section.

I won’t hold my breath for morels, chanterelles or other wild species, not when the aforementioned trio can content me for quite some time. I have yet to combine them in a single dish, but this mushroom tart, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, would be an ideal place to start. Sure to please my youngest son, a fan of quiche and sautéed mushrooms, it also would inspire me to use more of my backyard hens’ eggs, which are so numerous this time of year.

Tribune News Service photo

Mushroom Tart

Crisp tart pastry (recipe follows)

1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1/2 pound plain mushrooms, such as white button and cremini, cleaned and chopped

1/2 pound fancy mushrooms, such as oyster, shiitake and maitake, cleaned and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup sherry

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese

Truffle salt (if you have it!)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled tart pastry to about 1/8 inch thin; fit into an 8-by-10-inch rectangular (or 10-inch round) tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim edges. Prick with a fork. Line with foil. Freeze, for 1 hour. (If you don’t have time to freeze thoroughly, line foil with pie weights.)

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse and chop.

In a wide skillet over medium heat, melt the butter into the oil. Add the shallots and cook, for 2 minutes. Add both types of the fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms turn soft and fragrant and many have browned, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme and rehydrated mushrooms; cook, for 30 seconds. Turn up heat, pour in the sherry and scrape up browned bits from pan’s bottom. Season with the salt and pepper. Let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs yolks and cream. Stir in the cheese and cooled mushrooms.

Set frozen tart shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Slide into a preheated, 400-degree oven and bake until shell begins to brown, for about 20 minutes. Let cool. Peel off foil. Scrape in mushroom filling. Bake until filling has set, for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with truffle salt. Enjoy warm.

Makes 8 servings.

CRISP TART PASTRY: In bowl of a food processor, pulse together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup corn flour and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Drop in 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks. Pulse until largest lumps are size of peas. Pour in ice-cold water, 2 tablespoons at a time, and pulse until dough clumps. Pat pastry into a rectangle, wrap in waxed paper and chill, for 1 hour.

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