Teeny, tiny, cheesy, mini, mushroom tarts

I have so many memories of my parents throwing dinner parties and hosting events where food was the central focus of the preparations and festivities.

My mother used to serve the most original and interesting dishes. She used to research for weeks, reading cookbooks and selecting recipes, then she would throw it all out and invent her own dishes based on what she had read.

I used to think that was a  little nuts, but I get it now.  I work in pretty much the same way.

 These weren’t inspired by research. I have been working on them for a few years, they came about from the desire to use up leftovers and they kept changing until I came up with a version I liked.

This is a little mushroom tart that is small enough to devour in one bite but is also very satisfying.

The important thing here is the delicate balance of flavours and not allowing one to overpower the others.

I have used them for both sit-down dinners and in buffet situations.

Makes 48 mini tarts

50 gr butter

500 gr chestnut or champignon mushrooms, very finely diced

½ onion, very finely diced

½ clove of garlic, pressed

salt

75 gr emmental, grated*

200 gr robiola

30 gr parmigiano, grated

450 gr pate brisee (pie crust)

Mini muffin tins and liners

7 cm round cookie cutter

Pre-heat oven to 200 °C.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and then add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. The mushrooms and onions will release a lot of liquid during the cooking process. Once all the liquid has evaporated, season to taste and set aside.

While waiting for the mushroom mixture to cool, roll out the pate brisee and cut out rounds. Centre the rounds on the mini muffin liners and place in the muffin tins. It is not necessary to push the dough down into the wells, in fact don’t, just let the dough and liners sit as they are.

Once the mushroom mixture has cooled, mix with the cheeses until well blended.

* For the emmental, I use the the second smallest holes on a four-sided grater so that it will be easy to blend it with the other ingredients.

Spoon the filling into the dough/mini muffin liners. I use espresso spoons and one spoonful is just enough for each tart.

Place in the centre rack of the oven for 15 minutes.

These can be served warm or at room temperature. If you make them ahead of time and then refrigerate, I recommend heating them again before serving.

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