Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baller mushroom tartlets (or what I learned from my sister)

My sister is turning into a pretty serious mistress of the kitchen.

This is a particularly remarkable turn of fate when you consider that two years ago, she was a woman who hardly deigned to chop her own tomatoes. These days, you can regularly find her whipping up delectable and sophisticated dishes. Example 1 of her domestic goddess status: behold, the ridiculously adult-looking mushroom tartlets she made for appetizers at Thanksgiving this year.

These things are seriously tasty. They hardly lasted 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. If you're looking for a relatively easy recipe that will impress your guests and please their palates, try this at your next dinner party.

1 cup walnuts
10 oz frozen puff pastry
3 tbspn unsalted butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
3/4 lb of wild mushrooms (crimini and porcini work especially well; remove tough parts of stems)
finely chopped chives

1. Thaw the puff pastry. Pre heat oven to 350F

2. Lightly brown the walnuts in a baking sheet placed in the oven for less than 10 minutes. Careful not to burn! Remove, cool and coarsely chop.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Make sure you stir. Reduce heat to low and slow cook until caramelized, about 40 minutes. Let cool. In a food processor, puree with walnuts until mixture forms a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper.

5. While onions are slow cooking, line medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Separately, on a hard, smooth surface, unfold the puff pastry and use a round pastry cutter to cut into 4 inch rounds, about 1/8 in thick. Set another baking sheet (or flat weight) on top and bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven.

6. Increase oven temperature to 400F. Separately, in a medium sauce pot, bring water to boil. Blanch mushrooms for about 2 minutes, until they become a bit tender. Drain, pat dry and cut into 1/4 in slices.

7. Take each pastry round and spread puree on top (leave about 1/4 inch from the edge). Arrange mushroom slices on top, overlapping. Brush with EVOO. Bake for 10 minutes or until hot all the way through. Remove from oven, garnish with chives and serve!

Recipe taken and modified from Jean-Georges Vongerichten in Food&Wine.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Exotic Fruit Gelato on South Beach

I was planning on expounding on the many delicious values of this gelato spot in Miami, but my very attentive boyfriend is insisting that I spend this time interacting with human beings instead of indulging my food fetish.

And so, I will resort to bullet-pointed highlights of the key takeaways compliments of my former life as a management consultant:

  • (Situation) Tart frozen yogurt is still my regular dessert of choice, given that it is far more widely available BUT
  • (Complication) La Gelateria Parmalat on Lincoln Road in Miami makes some amazingly fresh gelato using real fruit which blows original tart out of the water. I tried their papaya and guava and am addicted
  • (Resolution) Sadly, I live a few thousand miles too far for this to be a regular fix. But if you're in the area, now you know - please please enjoy a cup of this deliciousness for me.
And if you get to try the supote, know that I'm extremely jealous.

La Gelateria
670 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139