Thursday, June 11, 2009

Simple dinners - Caramelised Onion & Mushroom Tartlet

I feel like a bit of a cheat calling these tartlets. They are just pieces of frozen puff pastry covered in a delicious topping which are so easy to make that you can quickly pull them together for a quick dinner or as finger food for guests. But they are impressive-looking and tasty enough that I think we can get away with calling them tartlets :)

The filling for these tartlets is somewhere between an onion tart and a pizza. I added a small amount of finely chopped spicy pepperoni and anchovies because A gets confused when there's no meat in his dinner, haha. Feel free to just make the caramelised balsamic onion and mushroom topping on its own, with a little extra sea salt or grated parmesan on top. The bits of anchovy gave it a great kick of flavour though, that really offset the sweetness of the balsamic onions quite nicely.

I cut out the shapes for the pastry using a knife which I ran around some cookie cutters. I also did one big tart by just placing two halves of a sheet together. Both turned out well, though I'm partial to the mini tarts because you get more crispy golden pastry bits. I served them with some lovely garlic tinged pumpkin mash, there are a ton of pumpkins around at the moment and the sweet light mash goes great with that crisp, buttery pastry!

Caramelised Onion & Mushroom Tartlets
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
2 medium brown onions, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter
1 egg
Optional: thinly sliced salami, anchovies, parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Heat oil in a frying pan on high heat and fry onions until caramelised and soft. Make sure to keep stirring onions continuously to allow them to caramelise but not char to death. A foolproof way to ensure they caramelised is to throw in a tbsp of brown sugar at the same time.

Once onions are a lovely dark colour, add the mushrooms and fry until they have released their liquid and it has evaporated off. Add balsamic vinegar and reduce heat slightly. Simmer for several minutes until the liquid is reduced and then stir in the butter so that you have a thickened mixture that is not watery. Set aside to cool.

Cut pastry into whatever size/shape you wish and place on a lined baking sheet. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush tops of pastry with egg wash. Place a small amount of the mixture in the centre of each piece of pastry, leaving a border of about 1cm of pastry. Sprinkle pepperoni and a small amount of chopped anchovy on top if desired. You can also grate some parmesan on top but I found it tasted just as good without it.

Bake in oven for approx 10-15 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden. Timing will depend on the size of your tartlets.

Roast Pumpkin Mash
1 medium pumpkin, peeled and sliced into 4cm cubes
4 cloves garlic
Any fresh herbs of your choice
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Bruise garlic cloves and chop if half if you wish. Toss garlic, pumpkin and herbs in a generous amount of olive oil so that the pumpkin is lightly coated. Place in oven for 40 mins - 1 hour, or until pumpkin is soft. Remove from oven and mash in a bowl. Add a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper.

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  1. mmmm I agree these can pass as a quick, lovely dinner that's so easy to pull off! And I agree when sometimes there's confusion when some dishes are meat free - it's as if it's not a full meal without meat. >.<

  2. Puff pastry is so great for dishes like this. And with caramelised onion (and anchovies!) on top - yummy!

  3. You've got a really delicious blog! And your english is very easy to it, because I'm dutch. Love the idea with the puff pastry...I'm definitely going to try these...mmmm

  4. I love simple tarts like this and caramelised onion is one of my favourite things in the world. It may be simple but it only adds to its charm! :)

  5. Trisha - Haha sometimes you really just feel like some meat I guess, though the older I get the less I feel the need to have meat in all my meals...

    Belle - :D Thanks! I love the flavour punch anchovies adds to dishes

    Dutch girl bakes - Oh thank you so much! You're so sweet :)

    Lorraine - :) Thanks, I love caramelised onion too, it makes everything taste better!

  6. those are so cute and they sound great. thanks for the recipes! i love carmelised onions and pumpkin too.

  7. Aww thanks so much! And you're very welcome :)


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