One of the recipes that has been haunting my imagination since I read Tom Colicchio’s cookbook, Think Like A Chef, was the recipe for Caramelized Mushroom Tarts. They are like little cups of perfection: a sherry vinegar caramel, seared wild mushrooms, a sweet hunk of roasted shallot, confit onions and puff pastry. Yes, please! Plus, they look amazing! An easy crown pleaser for sure! In fact, these would be perfect for a dinner party as the recipe can be doubled or tripled with ease and who doesn’t love having their own individual portion of something! Sharing sucks! Just kidding, but really….
I will include the recipe here for the confit onions, which you will need a portion of to complete the tarts. It’s a great thing to have laying around for just about anything, shmearing on bread with a stinky cheese and some balsamic, cooking it with eggs and toast for breakfast, adding it to a pasta or sauce, the possibilities are endless!
These tarts are so so good, rich and savory with that perfect hit of sweet and sour from the caramel that balances everything out quite exquisitely. They are so luxurious, you’ll feel like a million bucks when you take that first bite. Good on ya, Tom. Keep up the good work, bub.
Caramelized Mushroom Tarts
Recipe adapted from Think Like A Chef, by Tom Colicchio. Available for purchase here: Think Like A Chef
Note: This recipe will make four tarts if you are using four inch ramekins, I used ten ounce ramekins and made two hefty tarts!
- 2 large shallots
- 3/4 pound of mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, cleaned (I buy the “Gourmet Blend” of mushrooms at Wegman’s which works perfectly for this dish. It’s a mix of shiitakes, oyster mushrooms and creminis)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Onion Confit (recipe to follow)
- 8 ounces puff pastry, thawed if frozen
- extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wrap one of the shallots in aluminum foil and roast for 15 minutes, until soft. Allow it to cool, then peel it and halve it. Peel and mince the other shallot finely.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add a single layer of the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft and browning. Add half of the garlic clove, half of the minced shallot and half of the thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a plate and cook the second batch of mushrooms in the same way.
Increase the heat in the oven to 425 degrees. Make the caramel by combining the sugar with one tablespoon of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the mixture boil, then swirl occasionally as the sugar begins to caramelize and turn nut brown. When brown, remove from heat and swirl in sherry vinegar. Immediately, pour into ramekins and allow to cool for a minute.
Place one half of the roasted shallot on top of the caramel in each ramekin. Cover the shallot with a layer of the mushrooms and then top that with a layer of the onion confit.
Roll out the puff pastry a bit and cut circles from it that are just larger than the top of the ramekins. Lay the pastry circles over the onion confit. I tucked in my edges but you can also leave the pastry draping over the edges for a more dramatic look. I drizzled the pastry with a little olive oil to encourage browning and sprinkled it with freshly cracked black pepper and coarse salt.
Bake for 20 minutes on a baking sheet, until the pastry is puffed and golden and all the delicious layers underneath are hot and bubbling. Allow to cool for a minute and then carefully unmold onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cheers and enjoy!
Recipe also adapted from Think Like A Chef
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 anchovy filets, chopped
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft but not browned, about 30 minutes.
Add the stock and vinegar and simmer, continuing to stir occasionally, until the pan is dry and the onions are golden, about 30 minutes more.
Add the thyme leaves and anchovies and mix well. The confit is ready and can now be served warm or at room temperature and once chilled, it will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.