22 October 2012

Hen of the Woods Bliss!

 So my friend and fellow harper, Patrick, is a mushroom hunter extraordinaire.   He's incredibly knowledgeable and so very generous with his mushroom hauls.  His lovely wife Donna was kind enough to personally deliver this beauty to me so I could use it while it was fresh.  I used half of it to make her mushroom tart recipe, and the other half in a pasta.

Saute the mushrooms with butter, herbs, finely chopped leeks, garlic, and season with salt.  For my tart shells on this particular evening, I just packed whole wheat bread onto the sides of some oiled ramekins.  A lot easier, and a lot healthier than pie crust, but not as tasty.  Up to you and your priorities really.  Mine shift often, but I was really hungry so I went with the fast option this night. 

When mushrooms have reduced, pack them tightly into tart shells, top with a generous amount of havarti cheese (or any other smooth melting cheese.) 

Bake the tarts at 350 F until cheese is well melted.  At this point, if you want, you can sprinkle on some garlic bread crumbs, which are simply panko toasted in a pan with garlic and olive oil and a little parsley.  I'm a crunch addict so I think it's a nice addition.  Then send them back into the oven to broil for a just a few minutes utnil lightly browned.  So good. 
 For the pasta, I coated the mushrooms in flour before sauteing them.  This made for a thin and crispy outer texture that is an improvement on plain sauteed mushrooms in my opinion.  

I sauteed them in butter and herbs from the garden - thyme and rosemary.  Typically, when I have awesome mushrooms I don't dress the pasta in much of anything beyond garlic and oil.  But I had a bunch of pesto leftover, so I used it to make a light pesto cream sauce.  It would be good with or without the sauce I think. 

I finished the dish once again with the garlic and parsley breadcrumbs for even more crunch.  I miss my giant mushroom now that it's gone. 


Duibheasa said...

Going to have to try the flour thing with the sauteed mushrooms. Thanks for the lovely article on our mushroom, Eileen!

Duibheasa said...

Thanks for the wonderful blog about our mushroom, Eileen! I'm going to have to try flouring my 'shrooms before sauteing them. I, too, am always looking for the "crunch"! Donna