Thursday, November 11, 2010
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It has recently occurred to me that I am obsessed with tarts. Big tarts, little tarts, sweet tarts, savory tarts. Line some goodies with pastry or a crust of some sort, and I am in. Such an easy sell. Mashed potatoes? Sure I like them, but mashed potatoes baked inside a pastry dough? Give it to me right now.
This tart may contain everything I want out of comfort food. Creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes, crispy, buttery filo dough, earthy, hearty mushrooms, fresh chives, and a drizzle of truffle oil. Oh yes, that's right, I played the truffle oil card. My older, wiser sister is a firm believer that, like bacon, truffles make pretty much everything better. If that is her conviction, I think I would like to join the faith. Think there is a truffle worshiping church somewhere in Italy? There should be.
I don't know what took me so long, but I finally bit the bullet and bought a bottle of black truffle oil. I need to restrain myself so I don't put it on everything I eat for the next two months. I cannot wait to try making my own slow fried eggs with a little of the oil drizzled over the top for breakfast this weekend. Or maybe for dinner tonight, I don't know if I can wait that long.
I saw a version of this tart on Jamie Oliver's show on the cooking channel last week, and knew instantly that I had to make it. Unfortunately, it is no longer asparagus season and there is little I detest more than asparagus spears that are an inch in diameter. I am very discriminatory when it comes to asparagus, I only like the skinny ones. Maybe someday I will learn to love all asparagus spears as they are, but for now I am set in my ways. This is coming from the girl who only used to eat the 'tree tops' off the broccoli and leave the rest. I have come a long way since then.
I had to think of something that would go well with the cheesy mashed potato base, but wouldn't put me into carbohydrate or starch overload. Many of the vegetables that are in season right now would probably have that effect. I instead decided to use thinly sliced portobello mushroom caps in place of the asparagus, and add a little Gruyere, chives, and of course truffle oil to the mix. It was wonderful. The smell was heavenly and I have been thoroughly enjoying eating all the leftovers this week.
The best part is, it was really easy to assemble. Filo, or Phyllo dough can be intimidating because it is so fragile and thin, but this tart is pretty rustic, it looks better that way. You don't have to worry about tearing the sheets of dough, just slather on some more melted butter and patch it up with the next layer. You could substitute puff pastry dough for a thicker and less fussy crust, but I like how light the crust was with just five or so layers of filo.
Or you can forgo the crust all together and just bake the filling, for a gluten free version. Almost just as good. Almost.
Truffled Potato & Portobello Tart
adapted from Jamie Oliver
1 1/4 lb. (a little more or a little less if just fine) of russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3-4 medium portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
5-6 sheets of filo dough
1/2 stick of butter, melted
3/4 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced chives
truffle oil for garnish
Place cut potatoes in a pot filled with cold water and boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Take whatever dish you are planning on using, I actually used a 8 X 8 in cake pan that I lined with parchment paper (but you can using a baking dish, or a tart pan as well) and brush with melted butter to coat.
Take one sheet of your filo dough (keep the rest covered with a slightly damp paper towel so it doesn't dry out) and gently line your pan. Brush melted butter all over the filo, and repeat with 5-6 sheets of dough. You can leave the edges of the filo draped over the sides of the dish for now. Cover with a damp towel or paper towel and set aside.
In a small bowl beat the eggs together with the cream with a fork. In a large bowl, break up the potatoes with a masher, then add the cheeses and mash until combined. Add the cream and egg mixture and mash and mix until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Pour potato mixture into filo-lined baking dish leaving at least 1/2 inch room from the top of the dish. Spread into an even layer and top with your sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little extra ground black pepper and the chives. Gather the extra filo dough that was draped over the edge and crimp it together around the edge of the potato mixture. Brush more butter all over the filo crust, and bake for 20-30 minutes until middle has set and the filo is golden brown. The time will vary depending on the size and depth of your baking dish. Mine took a bit longer since it was so deep.
Let the tart set up for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Drizzle with a bit of truffle oil and sprinkle with fresh chives before serving.