food: mushroom tart


about 2 weeks ago, my wonderful husband made me a mushroom tart for dinner.  he also took photos for me.  whatta guy!

basically the idea was born from some beautiful local chanterelles that we found at the organic market.  they were so fresh and yummy looking that we bought up a bag of them without really considering how we were going to consume them.

after a little consideration, we agreed that they would be best used in a format where they could really shine.  so no heavy sauces ect… normally a simple saute in butter and garlic & served over pasta would have been the solution, but we’d eaten a lot of pasta that week already.  so… to the internet!

we found this recipe on epicurious and it sounded like just the thing.

of course there were some substitutions… the creme fraiche & heavy cream became ricotta & milk… some sherry got thrown in, since mushrooms & sherry are bff.  the tart shell became puff pastry… and some gryere, rosemary, basil & fresh tomatoes came to the party (as alton would say)

so here’s where we started…

everything fresh was local and organic… hooray for health!

and these mushrooms were kinda out of control… but then again, i’m a mushroom lover.

here’s the mostly assembled product… just waiting for those tomatoes

…and there they are!

when it came out of the oven, we had this!

it might not look like an absolute work of art, but goddam it was delicious.
we served it with a simple mixed greens that were dressed with a little olive oil, lemon juice & salt & pepper.  it was a very jamie oliver style meal.


my husband and i are back on a bit of a food mission… we’ve renewed our commitment to local and organic food but also WHOLE foods.  we’re trying to eliminate the processed stuff for sure, but also not buy things with like 20 ingredients in them.  we’re FULL TIME label readers now.
so if it’s a loaf of bread, it had better be flour, salt, water & yeast in there.  and nothing else (save for herbs or something).  no 50,000 letter long chemical compounds.  it’s a lot harder to find than you’d think.  which is scary.  and that should actually terrify & enrage you.

anyways, clearly we aren’t living this 100% yet… (pretty sure that tenderflake pastry doesn’t make the cut), but it’s something we’re actively working on.

also, as part of this, we’re no longer buying reduced fat products.
for the past 10 years (or more), i’ve been in the awful habit of buying anything low fat or fat free if it was an option.  thinking that i was making a wise decision for my health.  but no more.
we’re back to full fat sour cream for instance, which honestly, is a delight beyond words.  here’s what changed me… “In Defense of Food”.  those damn thinking books.   I’m too pressed for time right now to summarize it, but to borrow from a review of the book…

“you’ll read that processors don’t make low-fat dairy products just by removing the fat. To restore the texture — to make it “milky” — they must add stuff, usually powdered milk. Did you know powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, said to be worse for your arteries than plain old cholesterol? And that removing the fat makes it harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that make milk a valuable food in the first place? ”

eye opening, ain’t it?  and that’s not really a fraction as eloquently or factual as they outline it in the book. basically when you strip down and break apart a food to remove something, you have to put it back together with a bunch of chemicals & stabilizers.  which is usually full of shit that ain’t good for you.

and yes, let’s remember that REAL FOOD TASTES BETTER.  really.
don’t believe me?
put your fat free sour cream up against an organic regular sour cream with 4 ingredients in it in a taste test.
you may weep tears of joy when you make the mental connection that you’ve not being doing yourself any favours by buying fat free… in fact, you’ve been harming yourself.

anyways, not to get on too much of a tangent, but i think any conversation that makes you read labels and THINK is a conversation worth having.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. morningaftershow
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 17:20:35

    whaddya mean that tart ain’t pretty to look at! amazing!!!


  2. Glenda J
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 17:46:45

    Wish I could eat mushrooms with hubby but he is a mushroom hater! Just stumbled across your blog courtesy of morningaftershow – I too love eating, drinking and travelling. Thanks for your thoughts on reducing processed food intake… I’ve been trying to do the same for 10 years and have been mostly successful… I’ll be back to check out your blog again..


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