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Mushroom Tarts with Onions and Walnuts



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The Onions
The Onions
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Mushroom Tarts with Onions
and Walnuts

Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home
with a Four-Star Chef

by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman,
1998, Broadway Books

“This joint collaboration between Jean-Georges and the talented Didier
Virot, chef de cuisine at Restaurant Jean Georges, was originally served
at JoJo; it has been a smash hit there and at Jean Georges. It’s great
with shiitakes but even better, of course, with fresh porcini, if you can
find (and afford!) them.
Serve with some mixed greens dressed with Honey-Garlic Vinaigrette,
and follow with any light, simple second course…”

Makes 4 tarts

1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil
(5 tablespoons if you’re using phyllo dough)
2 tablespoons canola, grapeseed,
or other neutral-flavored oil
1 large onion, sliced
About 1 pound porcini or shiitake mushrooms,
stems removed and discarded or reserved for
stock (you can use the stems from fresh
porcini if you have them)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 6-inch rounds refrigerated puff pastry or
6 sheets phyllo dough
1 teaspoon minced garlic

1. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking occa-
sionally, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, fill with water a pot large enough to hold the mushrooms
and set it to boil. At the same time, place 1 tablespoon of the butter
or olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the canola or neutral-flavored oil in
a skillet and turn the heat to high. Add the onion and a pinch of salt
and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown,
about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue
to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender but not
mushy, 5 to 10 minutes more.
3. Place the mushrooms in the boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Drain, rinse, then drain again. (This process
allows the mushrooms to release their excess water so they don’t
make the crust soggy when it bakes.)
4. Place the onion, walnuts and pepper in a food processor and pulse
a few times. Make the mixture spreadable, but not quite a purée.
You will have to scrape down the mixture between pulses. Preheat
the oven to 400 degrees F.
5. If you’re using puff pastry, place the circles on 1 or 2 baking sheets
lined with parchment paper (or use nonstick baking sheets) and
poke them all over with a fork. If you’re using phyllo, melt the
remaining 5 tablespoons butter. Brush a sheet of phyllo with
the butter, cover it with another sheet, brush that one, and cover
it with one more. Cut two 6- or 7-inch circles out of the dough,
then repeat the process with three more sheets of phyllo to make
a total of four circles. Brush the tops of the circles with melted
butter or oil and place on 1 or 2 baking sheets line with parch-
ment paper (or use nonstick baking sheets).
6. Spread each circle with a thin layer of the walnut-onion mixture,
leaving a 1-inch border all around. Layer the mushrooms attrac-
tively on the spread.
7. Combine the minced garlic with the remaining 1 tablespoon canola
oil. Brush the tops of the tarts with about half of this mixture.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the tarts are
brown. Remove from the oven and brush the tarts lightly with
the garlic oil once again. Serve immediately.

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