Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wild mushroom and cheese tart

I was totally going to do this with more of the last of the pâtisson, but then I saw matsutake mushrooms at New Seasons, alongside gorgeous vermilion lobster mushrooms. The matsutake were $25/lb, but one mushroom was only 75 cents (sliced wafer-thin, it was enough). The lobster mushrooms were much less, as were the maitake and shitake mushrooms I picked up to round it out.

I am going out soon to pick chanterelles, hedgehogs and cauliflower mushrooms, but have to wait until the last of my arduous fieldwork is over. By 'arduous', I mean I have to live on a $110/day per diem, which means I stay in the first Motel 6 I can find that has internet and no bloodstains on the mattress. But until I have bushels of the forest's bounty that I hunted myself, I have to use store-gotten gains. I think I'm okay with that.


I lined a sheet pan with some store-bought puff pastry (don't look at me like that, making puff pastry from scratch on a work night is for losers) and set the oven to 400. I whisked together 4 eggs and some chopped thyme, marjoram and rosemary, and a little pepper. I heated up a half cup of cream and whisked it in (tempering the eggs as I went), and stirred in a few good knobs of goat cheese, a handful of grated dill havarti and a little manchego for bite (I had these all in the fridge and I tend to forget my cheese drawer for weeks, so cutting off the science-y parts was necessary).

I carefully poured the cheese custard into the pastry shell, and layered on thinly-sliced onion, the sliced mushrooms, and sliced some bits off an old hunk of slab bacon from the freezer. The custard and filling came all the way to the edges, but it was still good. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

My gorgeous friend Stacy gifted me some fancy salts on Saturday, one of which is an intoxicating Salish alder-smoked (the Salish are an ethnographic group of Indigenous/Aboriginal people of the Pacific Northwest coast, although I doubt they actually passed their time by smoking chunks of sea salt over alder fires and then putting it into chic little tins). The salt took a quick crush in the old mortar and pestle, was the perfect final touch.

All that richness was a perfect dinner with a little sliced tomato and quick-sauteed zuke from the garden. These are the very last of the good days weather-wise, and I'm finding that eating the vegetables in less-adulterated ways helps me truly focus on why I'll miss summer.

...but I sure am glad it's mushroom season.

34 comments:

canarygirl said...

Oh my GAWD. That is the most beautiful and delicious tart I have ever seen. And pairing it with tomatoes and zucchs? Perfect. And I totally agree on the puff pastry. (in fact, I don't even make it when I *do* have time. lmfao)

Emiline said...

Hey! You posted this while I was reading the other posts.

I want this tart! I haven't had any of those mushrooms, except shitake.

Great pictures

Brittany said...

Yay for Pac N.W. grub! I love the shroomies that are showing up this time of year.

BTW- don't feel bad. I RARELY make homemade puff. Fuck that noise.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Fab. I do something similar but using an even simpler 'custard' of creme fraiche. Works very well. I'm going to try your version, though, because I'm a sucker like that.

BTW, I dreamt last night that your pizza won that competition...

Peter G said...

Cool shroom tart..I agree with your puff pastry remark too!

smörgåsbroad said...

Nice. Those really do look like lobster! I really need to expand my mushroom palate. I think I may have missed mushroom gathering season in Norway, not sure...there are chaunterelles and what Germans and Norskies call "stein" mushrooms.

I like seeing the mental processes behind what you do in the kitchen. I might start doing my write-ups that way, too, instead of converting what is largely an improvised activity into a set recipe. After all, I'm still finding myself blogwise. (Oh dear christ, did I say that?)

Núria said...

I love mushrooms too and that tart is awesome Heather! Mmmm, even with all that cheese I would dive in it with my jaws opened ;D

Is it a "sport" too in the States to go forest mushroom hunting? Here people gets wild at weekends and swip the forests!!!

cook eat FRET said...

making puff pastry would be torture to me. the frozen is where it's at. that right there is bonafide custardy cheesey mushroomy goodness.

nice one

nicebroom said...

I'm relatively new to your blog, and I gotta say you give me foodgasms.

I LOVE mushrooms, almost as much as I LOVE cheese.

I'd never even attempt puff pastry. Hell, I don't even make my own pie crusts...

peter said...

I love the smoked salt; my favorite is the stuff they smoke over chardonnay-infused oak barrel staves.

For things like this I usually just make a quick pie crust- it takes 3 minutes, so it's work-night friendly.

And our mycologist friend is visiting this weekend...

kittie said...

I'm back! Moved house, have read through your last posts, drooled over your shrooms, and voted for your pizza. And now I best get back to work!

Heather said...

Nikki - The fresh veg was completely necessary or I'd end up with the gout.

Emmy - I'm ninja like that.

Brittany - You should score some mushrooms. You can collection permits for the national forests for just a few dollars.

Sketti - I was gonna do the Jamie Oliver-style with creamed potato, but that was too much work. Yours sounds decadent.

Petah - I know, right? I'm thinking I'll just use regular pastry dough next time.

smörgåsbroad - In the lower elevations there still might be some, right?

Núria - It's a hobby here, but not a lot of people do it.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

That tart is so pretty...and the mushrooms are too die for! Looks like you've figured out your camera, the pictures look great!!!

Syd said...

Heather, I can practically smell that from here. Looks divine.

maggie said...

Yum. Had a wild mushroom dish last weekend and that definitely piqued my appetite...enjoy your shroom hunting, when you get there!

lisaiscooking said...

I can't even explain how jealous I am of your northwest mushrooms! Your tart looks amazing.

Heather said...

Claudia - Frozen puff pastry is so easy, I might start eating it every night.

nicebroom - I'm glad to provide you with foodgasms.

Jube - It's good to know one of those if you can't be one. It's only $15 to join our local Mycological Society.

Kittie - Welcome back, gorgeous! We've missed you.

Judy - I think I'm starting to figure it out. Now I just need to start moving more than two inches from the food.

Syd - I bet this would be really good with crawfish and potato, bayou girl.

Maggie - I'll be on this mushroom kick for a few more weeks, until I get sick of it and can the rest of them. :P

Lisa - Oh, I'm sure you have your own awesome wherever you live. Find it! Make it into a tart!

shiv said...

that looks tremendous! i'll definitely be trying that soon.

Peter M said...

Darling, you are in shroom heaven in the NW. Lobster mushrooms? I can only dream of such food fare.

I don't have to tell you this tart (made by a tart) looks fabalicious do I?

Pam said...

You are killing me...I don't know if a meal could get any better. I've never tried matsutake mushrooms before - I'll have to check them out.

It's great to see a fellow Portland food blogger out there!

kellypea said...

Gorgeous tart. Love lobster mushrooms but don't see them often. Totally agree w/ you on the puff pastry. Life's too short.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This is INCREDIBLE. Wow. Just. Wow.

maybelle's mom said...

Gosh, all the mushroom talk makes me super envious.

Maggie said...

The tart looks fantastic!! I love stretching the tastier mushrooms with the cheaper ones.

You have my vote for the pizza contest too. It's a great sounding combination.

Cynthia said...

I get so jealous when I see the variety of mushsoom y'all get.

Heather said...

Shiv - You and Maggie are too cute. Glad you dropped in.

Mr. the Greek - I am in mushroom heaven! It's a good life.

Pam - They have matsutake at New Seasons!! It's nice to meet a new Portland blogger indeed.

Kelly - This is the very first time I've ever seen them in a store. I look for them in the woods, but never see them. :\

Jen - It's nothing much. Just some mushrooms and onions in a custard in a pastry. :P

Maybelle's Mom - The Asian stores have good mushrooms. I'm sure you know where to find those (since you make your own kimchi). ;)

Maggie - Slicing the good ones paper thin is a good way to get a taste without blowing a wad. Thanks for the vote!

Cynthia - I'm jealous of all the fish and fruit you get (not to mention your weather). The grass is always greener on the other side. :D

RecipeGirl said...

This recipe is bookmarked! Looks terribly delicious. Picking mushrooms? Sounds like a fun venture.

glamah16 said...

Yumm. Mushrooms. I jsut purchases some smoked salt and cant wait to try it in some stuff. Beautiful tart Heather.

Lo said...

I'm late to the party, but having had the chance to gawk at the beauty that is the wild shrooms... I must tell you how incredibly much you SUCK to live in such a beautiful place with so many of my favorite fungi.

Pumpkin said...

I saw a comment you left on Sugar Plum's page where you mentioned foul language. I thought, "Hmmm... I love food, I love dirty words- it sounds perfect!" I've only read a few posts thus far, and while there is far less profanity than I was lead to believe, the food is GORGEOUS, so I'll let it slide. :)

That said, if it was legal to marry inanimate objects, I would run away to Vegas and elope with this tart. Oh. My. God.

Manggy said...

Hmm, the last of the good days weather wise? Whaddya mean? It's 30°C and the sun's shining brightly here ;) But on the downside, we don't have quite the variety in mushrooms, so no incredibly gorgeous tart for me :/ I'll have to live vicariously through you!

Jude said...

Save me a piece of that crusty corner. I'm sure that's the best part.

Joy of the Kitchen said...

Oh WOW. Totally inspiring... I was given a bag of three matsutakes... going to do something similar to this.
(I don't make puff pastry either... although I'd be open to it)
Thanks for the delish pics!

javieth said...

Very nice blog!!! I love to prepare some recipe that contain many mushrooms, i really like the flavor. Mushrooms combine with some ingredients are really delicous. So when i cook i usually add many mushrooms to my recipes and my husband is happy too.
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