There's a lot of work and time that goes into developing most recipes. I mean, I took me years and trials to perfect my barbecue sauces. Fortunately, for me (and for you), this one only took me one night.
How did this come to be, you ask? Well, I had an idea. I wanted something relatively easy with mushrooms, herbs and cheese. The easy part came to me as I passed the up the stock of Athens Min-Phyllo Tarts in the freezer section. (Actually, they were above the frozen foods because they can be kept at room temperature, but freeze them if you won't be using them within a week.) I have used them multiple times, like in THIS recipe. They are the perfect "already made for you" vessel to be filled with just about any savory or sweet concoction. And, they are pretty inexpensive. One (1.9-ounce) package is $3 or under.
Now, let's talk about the mushroom component; easy and economical, as well. Buy the mushrooms already cleaned, stems trimmed or removed and sliced for this recipe. Because let's think about it...why would you pay the same price for 8-ounces of whole mushrooms if you're going to clean off the dirt and trim or remove the stems? I don't know about you, but I don't want to pay for dirt and stems that I won't use. Just make sure that the sliced white button mushrooms are still white and firm and the sliced Shiitakes are in good shape.
On to the cheese and other ingredients. I originally wanted to use Gruyère, but I have a ton or aged white cheddar, so I went with that. Shallots, garlic, thyme and parsley are a natural combination with just about any savory mixture. I used butter and olive oil to sauté said ingredients because of both flavors and the oil keeps the butter from browning over a higher heat.
After taste testing, there was still something missing. In comes the crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick and a couple tablespoons of crème fraîche to make it a little creamy with a hint of decadence.
Put it all together and it is a winning combo or flavors and textures! Add this to your appetizer list for upcoming holidays or any occasion. Enjoy!
Mini Mushroom, Cheddar and Herb Phyllo Tarts
makes 30 tarts
2 (1.9 -ounce) packages Athens Mini Phyllo Tarts
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, finely diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 (8-ounce) package sliced white button mushrooms
1 (8-ounce)packaged sliced Shiitake mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste (optional)
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1 Tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup (2-ounces) grated aged white cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons crème fraîche
Set the oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. (Alternatively, you can use a mini-muffin pan.)
In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (if using) and continue to sauté until they have release their liquid and become soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the thyme and parsley and stir to combine. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add the cheese and crème fraîche. Pulse the mixture until mushrooms are 1/4-inch bits, about 5 (1-second) pulses. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the mini-phyllo tarts on the prepared baking sheet or muffin tin and bake until crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Divided the mushroom mixture evenly (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) in the warm tarts. Garnish with thyme and parsley and serve. Tarts can be kept in a warm oven until ready to serve. Enjoy!
* To Make Ahead- Filling can be made, cooled, covered and kept refrigerated up to two days in advance. Fill tarts with mushroom mixture and heat in a preheated 350° F oven for 8-10 minutes. Garnish and serve.
** To freeze...I'll keep you updated because I decided to freeze 15 tarts to see how they would turn out after a few weeks. Until then, enjoy!
Source: The Galley Gourmet