It is officially winter here in Minneapolis. It was well below zero when I drove home from work last night and it has just warmed up to zero as I am writing this now! We have entered the deep freeze and as the temperatures drop, we are all looking for warmth. This Slow Cooker African Peanut Stew will warm you from the inside out! Easily made vegetarian and even vegan, this is hearty soup everyone will love!…
It’s that time of year. After Halloween, after daylight savings time, when it’s dark by 4pm and we’re all anticipating our winter hibernation. Suddenly it’s perfectly acceptable to eat comfort food for 3 meals a day. And what is better comfort food than mashed potatoes? Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes.…
I’ve been looking for this dish for a long time, and didn’t even know it. I’ve substituted many things, but this, this Mushroom Bourguignon is the real deal. So, just like so many awesome things in my life, this dish came in to my life by accident. Completely by accident. Well, really it was due to a minor mistake by my husband-but really, the best mistake possible. For real. …
Many years ago, I was overwhelmed with a stressful full time job, raising two kids and trying to appear that I had it all together (To be completely honest this may have not been so many years ago, or even so many months ago, in fact this may still describe my life today…but I digress). I was starting to find my way in the kitchen and was starting to read different food blogs. One in particular, Smitten Kitchen, spoke to me. I love Deb Perelman and her witty prose and her tiny kitchen in New York City. Her writing makes you feel like you are drinking coffee at her table while she is cooking for you. And at that time in my life, I was particularly in need of this. (Thanks Deb!)
So when a Facebook group I am a part of suggested we do a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Challenge, I was all in. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, correct? The challenge was designed to go chapter by chapter. One person (and sometimes more than one) would make a recipe and review it, and we would continue on until every recipe in the chapter was completed. This sounded right up my alley. Mushroom Tart? Game on.
Due to my vacation, I entered in round 3 (Sandwiches, tarts and pizza) with the Mushroom Tart. I chose this partially because I really love tarts, partially because I really love mushrooms, and mostly because I knew no one else in my mushroom adverse house would even try this-so I’d have it all to myself (yay! leftovers!). And what a great choice it was! Shallots and mushrooms combined with marscapone, fontina and parmesan to form a hearty filling. Cornmeal in the crust gives the crust dimension. I happen to love herbs, so I added rosemary, because I personally think everything should contain rosemary.
I served this Mushroom Tart with a simple arugula salad, lightly dressed with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Reduction from Queen Creek Olive Mill (if you haven’t checked out this family owned olive farm in Arizona, you need to!). Not only was it a great dinner, it was a great lunch (for the WHOLE next week).
Don’t be put off by all of the steps, many can be done somewhat simultaneously. A few tips: slice the mushrooms small enough to be bite size, if you like herbs, feel free to use slightly more thyme AND rosemary, and if you haven’t checked out Smitten Kitchen-do so now!
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced + a smidge extra for greasing the foil
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ pound (225g) cremini mushrooms sliced into bite site pieces
- 1 pound (455g) assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, more cremini) sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated fontina cheese (Can substitute provolone)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- TO MAKE THE CRUST (TART SHELL):
- Place flour, cornmeal, and salt into the bowl of your food processor and then pulse to combine.
- Add the chilled butter and pulse until butter is in small bits.
- Add the egg and pulse until dough clumps.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter.
- Place dough on plastic wrap and cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 12 inch circle.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and invert the crust over a 9-inch tart pan.
- Use your fingers to push the crust against the corners and sides of the pan.
- Put the tart pan on top of a baking sheet, and place the pan into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Remove the tart shell from the freezer. (keep on the baking pan)
- Grease one side of a 12 inch piece of aluminum foil with butter.
- Press the foil, butter side down, against the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove foil (carefully!) and bake for another 8-10 minutes until crust is golden.
- Remove tart shell from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Turn oven down to 350ºF.
- TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan.
- Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat until soft, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and rosemary.
- Although it seems that all of these mushrooms won't fit, don't worry, if you keep stirring, the very large volume of mushrooms will be quickly reduced!
- Saute the mushrooms over high heat until tender and the released liquid has evaporated, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir.
- Allow mushrooms to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone and milk, whisking until smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs and then add the fontina and parmesan.
- Finally, add the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- TO MAKE THE TART:
- Place tart shell back onto baking pan.
- Add the filling to the tart shell.
- If you haven't already turned the oven down to 350ºF, do so now.
- Bake for 25-40 minutes until golden and the custard is set.
- Cool the tart on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
Quiche. I have a life long love affair with quiche and this Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche is my latest obsession. My love for all thing quiche started when I was a teenager. Having stubbornly become a vegetarian as a pre-teen, eggs were a staple of my diet and one of the recipes that my (very understanding) mother came to master for me was a crustless vegetarian quiche filled with broccoli, cheese, and onion. It was always such a comforting and filling meal and I know my mom was thrilled that my meat eating dad and brother would devour it as well. …
Salad, salad, salad. Salad seems to be all that is on my mind lately. It’s finally warm outside. Everything is finally blooming. Gardens have been planted. Community supported agriculture programs are in full swing. Vegetables are plentiful and flavorful. This Mediterranean Couscous Salad is a great way to use up all of these beautiful farmer’s market finds. …
It is true, I’ve had a thing for corn lately. And yes, I know that Cinco de Mayo was yesterday. But is anyone truly against celebrating a little bit longer? Like all summer? Yep, seems like a great idea to me! I have recently discovered elotes–Mexican Street Corn– and all I can say, is if you haven’t discovered them yet, you are missing out. Admittedly, though, elotes are messy-and there are times when messy just won’t work (think first dates and work parties). This is where Street Corn Salad comes in. All of the same flavors as elotes, hold the napkins….
Vegetables. A rainbow of vegetables of every color. To me these beautiful vegetables herald summer, and we’re all ready for that here in Minnesota! I’ve been trying to add more vegetables to the foods that my family has been eating as, I must admit, we have slipped into a rut over the winter. I’d also like to be a better steward of the planet by eating less meat (this is sadly not so easy for my family). One of the things I am trying to incorporate into our weekly meal plan is Meatless Monday. These Peanut Vegetable Noodles fit the bill!…
I know, I know, I’ve written many times lately about the awesome weather we’re having here in Minnesota, but I just can’t say enough about it. This past weekend we have truly entered patio season, and I am embracing it. Of course as the weather heats up, and the sun begins to shine, my tastes trend towards those of summer-tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic…basically, salsa!…
As many of you know, I usually pack up my family and head to sunny Arizona for spring break. My in-laws have a winter home there, and we all love to hang out together, soaking up the sun by the pool, hiking in the mountains, and yes-I usually cook to my heart’s content. This is win-win for all of us, as my mother-in-law is a willing sous chef, my kids like to get in on the action and my father-in-law loves to try new foods. This year, I had all kinds of new favorites to try out on them, and they didn’t disappoint….