Monday, February 27, 2012

Mushroom Meltdown

This recipe was kind of a mess. The mushroom onion filling was delicious but I some problems with the tart dough. Mine got too sticky and melty when I added the mushroom sauce mixture (definitely cool it first!). It would rip and ooze everything out! And then it didn't get all nice and brown (even with the egg wash) and the edge part was too thick and didn't cook that well. I feel like I need to work on my pastry skills a bit. I had been looking forward to this recipe for months so I was a little let down by the results. Mr. Lawyer didn't seem to care much and cleaned his plate (except for the excess pastry edges). On the plus side, the place smells delicious! But it was a lot of steps and mess for a so-so dish. Meatless Monday = Semi-Flop. 
Mushroom Tart
Tart Dough 
2.5 cups flour 
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
8 oz unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
2/3 cup ice water
1. In a food processor mix together the flour, sugar and salt. 
2. Add butter. Pulse until the butter is evenly distributed but still in pea-sized pieces. Add the ice water all at once to the flour and butter. Pulse until dough forms (do not over mix). Divide into two balls and press into disks. Chill for 1 hour.

Tart Sauce (Bechamel) 
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten until frothy
4 oz coarsely grated Swiss cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
1. Melt butter over medium low heat in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour until completely incorporated.
2. Heat the milk until hot, but not boiling. Pour milk, a little at a time, into the butter mixture while whisking continually. Mix in the grated cheese and season with salt & pepper to taste and remove from the heat. Mix in egg.

Mushroom Filling
1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled & sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus whole fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten with a little water
1. Prepare the tart dough and sauce in advance. Chill the dough for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat & add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the thyme leaves and continue to cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the bottom of the skillet is dry. Add salt & pepper to taste, remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Roll each disc of dough into circles about 10 inches in diameter. The crust should be about 1/8″ thick. Place 1/3 of the filling in the middle of each circle. Leave a border of about 2 inches around the outside of the crust.
4. Spoon half of the sauce over the mushrooms. Top with half of the remaining mushroom mixture and neatly fold the edges of the crust over into loose “pleats.” Lightly brush the pleated edges of the dough with the eggwash and sprinkle each tart with 1 Tbsp coarsely grated cheese and 1 tsp coarse salt.
5. Place the tarts on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until each tart is golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme before slicing and serving.

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