Jan 20, 2011

Mushrooms & Leeks Phyllo Tarts

After a few rare days of rain, I decided it’s only appropriate to make something with mushrooms. I took my weekly drive to the new farmer’s market at the port of Tel Aviv, and stood in front of the mushroom’s stand picking out kinds I don’t normally buy: a bunch of fresh shiitake, 1 bouquet of oyster mushrooms, 4 big king oyster mushrooms, and a small basket with regular portobello mushrooms (which we usually use). Another stop to the organic stand to buy highly expensive but great looking leeks, and I’m halfway from making my favorite phyllo tarts with mushrooms, leeks and feta cheese.

It’s quite an experience buying in the new farmer’s market, which is open all week, morning till evening, except Sundays. Strolling calmed and relaxed with my shopping trolley through the stands, picking out beautiful fruits and vegetables, and finishing up with a glass of freshly squeezed apple juice and a gouda kalamata bread stick, which you can enjoy while sitting on the deck feeling the breeze in your hair. Or better yet, if you really have the time, sit at the pasta bar inside, order some fresh ravioli and a glass of wine. Some may say: ”Oh, the good life...”

But, one look at the month’s bills and expenses makes us realize that next week you will find us buying at the Carmel Market, where the hard day’s traders are much more hostile, won’t let you be too picky, (or God forbid, sometimes even touch their merchandize), and most importantly the place where you can never show up wearing open shoes... Yes, the rough cold reality which all photography classes love to document so much verses the oh-so-sterile atmosphere with an ocean view window... if there wasn’t a money issue involved, my choice for my fruit and veggies would be obvious. Anyway, wherever you get them, get them fresh and hopefully not sprayed.

These tarts are my usual choice for making something savory from phyllo dough. I love the combination of mushrooms, leeks and feta, but you can actually be totally creative and put almost anything inside and it will turn out delicious.

The concept is quite simple. 4 phyllo pages, each painted with melted butter or olive oil, cut into squares and shaped into a muffin tin to form little baskets. Fill inside vegetables and cheese to your likings, pour royale mixture to hold it all together, and bake. You can totally use just one kind of mushroom, like portobello, or mix a bunch of kinds like I did here... and it will be just as good.

These are a great treat, I think, for parties, picnics or as light dinner served with a salad.

Mushrooms, Leeks and Feta Phyllo Tarts

for the filling:
2 tbs. olive oil
250 gr. leeks, cut diagonally to 0.3 cm thick slices
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
120 gr. (about 2) king oyster mushrooms, chopped to medium pieces
100 gr. fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped to medium slices
200 gr. portobello mushrooms, chopped to medium slices
150 gr. oyster mushrooms, chopped to medium pieces
100 gr. feta cheese

for the phyllo baskets:
80 gr. butter, melted
4 phyllo sheets
2 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

for the royale mixture:
250 ml. cream
1 egg
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper to taste

for garnish:
feta cheese
micro leaves

Heat oven to 180℃.

make the filling:
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, and pour olive oil. Sauté the leeks until a bit soft, but still very bright in color, and season with some salt. Add the thyme, and turn off the heat. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over high heat, and when it’s hot enough, start sautéing the mushrooms one kind at a time without oiling the skillet: Start sautéing the king oyster mushrooms, when it looses some of it’s volume, add the shiitake, then the portobello and then the oyster mushrooms (try not to over crowd the skillet with mushrooms and give each kind the space it needs). Season with salt and pepper, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix carefully the sautéed leeks, mushrooms and crumble over the feta cheese.

make the phyllo baskets:
Lightly oil a muffin tin with olive oil or some of the melted butter.

On a clean and dry surface gently spread one phyllo sheet. Paint some melted butter on top to cover with a brush, and sprinkle chopped rosemary and thyme. Season with a bit of salt and spread another sheet on top. Repeat action with second and third sheet. After you’ve spread the forth sheet, just brush it with melted butter.

Cut all of the sheets together to 12 equal squares, and shape each one into a socket to form little baskets. Fill each basket with the prepared filling.

make the royale mixture:
In a litter cup whisk together the egg, and egg yolks. Add the cream, and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine, and pour gently on top of each tart, trying carefully not to spill mixture between the phyllo base and the muffin tin (mixture won’t cover all of the filling).

Bake in the heated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the the phyllo and filling is golden, and the royale has puffed a bit. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to cool on a rack or a plate for another couple of minutes, then serve immediately. For leftovers: keep in a tight box in the fridge, and heat for 15 minutes in an oven heated up to 180℃. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I love mushrooms and would love to be able to grow them myself in the kitchen!

    cubensis spores