Mushroom tartlets

The start to 2020 has been…well…not as we had expected it to be.

There were the fires, the loss of the family farm and our camper-trailer,  and the lingering smoke haze. Then there was the freak hail storm that left my car looking like a golf ball, caterers that pulled out the day before my husband’s birthday party and a mobile cool room who’s compressor decided to blow – meaning it was more of a “hot box” than a cool room.

But here we are. More than half way through February and things are starting to look up. My car was finally assessed as a ‘write off’ (no surprises there) , and I found a replacement car with low kms that I’m hoping pick up next week. The insurance claim for the camper is also in its final stages, and I’m pleased to report that my husband’s birthday went off without any more hitches and a great time was had by all!

So its’s time to get back in the kitchen and get a little creative. Making dishes that I wouldn’t normally make, and trying some new flavours and ingredients. For it’s no secret that the kitchen has always been my happy place.

When I looked back at my photos, I was reminded of one such afternoon in the kitchen – baking. On the menu were these lovely little mushroom tartlets, that we served as an appetiser when we had guests over for dinner.

Mushrooms, cooked in a creamy sauce that was laden with sherry, and served in crispy puff pastry. They were actually quite simple to prepare, from memory, and were a nice alternative to the cheese plate or charcuterie board that we normally serve as a starter.

I think they’d be lovely for lunch too, served with a green salad. I could probably even sneak them into the kids’ lunchboxes, although I’d probably omit the sherry.

So here’s to a 2020 that is filled more with baking and creating, than dealing with insurance companies!

Print Recipe
Mushroom tartlets
Course Appetiser
Servings
tartlets
Ingredients
Course Appetiser
Servings
tartlets
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12-hole muffin pan.
  2. Cut puff pastry into 10cm rounds and press into the prepared tin. Prick the bases with a fork. Place some baking paper in each and fill with pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove weights and baking paper and continue to bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. To make the filling - heat butter in a large frypan and sauté until golden. Add the sherry and allow to evaporate. Add the cream and lemon juice and simmer until the mixture had reduced slightly. Remove from heat and stir through egg yolks. Season to taste.
  5. Spoon the warm filling into the pastry cases, and bake for a further 5 minutes. Serve.
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Roasted Pumpkin Hummus

Miss J is proving to be quite the fussy eater at the moment. She loves banana smoothies, but wont go anywhere near an actual banana. Apples and pears are eaten by the bucket load, but grapes and watermelon are nothing short of offensive. Pasta is a firm favourite, as are prawn dumplings (!), but getting her to try new things is generally difficult.

So when she came home from day-care boasting a new love for celery (!) and hummus – well that was a combination I could embrace with gusto!

Since then, I’ve been making a batch of regular ol’ hummus most weeks. Although, recently I thought I would be a little clever and sneak some veg in by adding roasted pumpkin.

Did it work? Not even close. She turned her nose up at the combination, preferring her usual hummus instead.

On the plus side, though, we now had ourselves a lovely recipe for an appetiser to contribute at a recent lunch with friends.

We topped the hummus with parsley, sesame seeds, chilli flakes and olive oil, and served it alongside toasted pita chips, cucumber and olives. Unlike Miss J, we loved the roasted pumpkin addition – and the chilli added a little extra zing!

But I guess it will be back to regular ol’ hummus for Miss J next week…

Print Recipe
Roasted Pumpkin Hummus
Course Appetiser
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Course Appetiser
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  2. Place the cubed pumpkin on a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin.
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Place the pumpkin, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, salt and chilli in a food processor - and process until smooth. Add water, as necessary, to reach desired consistency.
  5. Spoon into a serving bowl, and top with parsley, sesame seeds, chilli flakes and a little drizzle of olive oil.
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