Now that we are full throttle into the holiday season of cocktail parties, dinner parties and good old fashioned (and hugely populated!) holiday parties, it's the perfect time to try out these Mushroom Tartlets with Camembert.
Each little one is a delicious bite size wonder of mushroom and cheese yumminess. And they are very pretty, if I don't say so myself.
I made these Sunday afternoon for a tired and immobile group of football watching family members, using them as my own personal guinea pigs. Ha ha ha. Snicker, Snicker. I say guinea pigs because I really did make this recipe up, and I wasn't really sure whether it was going to work out so well.
This weekend innovation was prompted by two things. First, my friend Britt wrote into the weekend table blog and requested a fun, but somewhat original holiday appetizer to be served up to family midday, preferably vegetarian.
Second, I recently discovered from some food magazine that you can buy premade phyllo dough tartlets at the supermarket. Just look for them in the frozen food section (I used Athens brand). Score!
Now you are more than welcome to play around with phyllo dough all day long, but I say why go through that effort when the premade ones taste this good? And what better to fill these little tartlets with than one of my top ten flavor combos: mushrooms, camembert, parsley, shallots and sage.
You'll want to start by laying out the tartets to defrost on a cookie tray lined with foil or parchment, which makes for easier clean-up.
Next, cut up an assortment of mild mushrooms in a 1/4 to 1/3 inch dice (for step by step pictures go to weekend table). Shitake, cremini, oyster come to mind. The chop doesn't have to be perfect.
The idea here is that you want the pieces small enough so that you can get them to fit in the tartlets, but not so small that they end up forming a paste.
Then toss in some shallots, saute some more, adding in fresh sage, parsley and salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, utilizing a small saucepan (preferably one with a little spout for pouring), melt a small wheel of Camembert with the rind removed on the stove top on low heat, adding in a tablespoon of dry sherry once it is sufficiently melted.
Pour the warm Camembert into the bottom of each tartlet and then top with the mushrooms.
Finally pop them into the oven for 5 minutes to brown the tartlet.
If it sounds easy, it is. And I am pretty sure you could make these ahead of time and let them sit for a bit or even freeze them and pop them into the oven for a little longer than 5 minutes to warm up (probably more like 10-15 depending upon how cold or frozen they are).
I haven't tried that yet, but I bet it would work out well. I would also consider experimenting with just tossing the camembert into the mushrooms to literally coat them with camembert before depositing the mixture into the tartlet. But I just don't think they would be as pretty.
I must admit, I am quite proud of myself for this little invention. They taste fresh, savory and relatively light. There is just enough cheese to make you feel a little decadent, but not like a huge pig.
I am pretty sure that my family members agreed, with the exception of my daughter, who just hates mushrooms. One day I will convert her.
But I made 30 of these little wonders and plopped them in front of my cute little couch potatoes. Next thing I knew the tartlets were gone—every single one. I'm thinking that means success.
Mushroom Tartlets with Camembert
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
- 30 premade phyllo dough tartlets (defrosted)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
- 12 ounces assorted wild mushrooms
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tsp fresh sage (2-3 leaves), minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small wheel of camembert, rind removed
- 1 tbsp dry sherry
- Lay out tartlets on cookie tray lined with parchment paper or foil so that they defrost.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Saute mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes until liquid is almost gone and mushrooms begin to brown.
- Add shallots and saute for 2 minutes more.
- Add sage, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Stir for 1 more minute.
- Meanwhile, remove rind from small camembert wheel and put in a small saucepan with spout on low heat. Once the cheese is melted, add sherry and stir to blend.
- Pour melted camembert into tartlets and top with mushroom mixture.
- Bake for 5 minutes until tartlets are browned.