Friday, January 9, 2015

Starting off 2015 on a savory note...Pancetta Mushroom Onion Tarts

It was New Year's Eve and I didn't make something sweet.  To end 2014 I went savory and could not have been happier that I did.  These pancetta mushroom onion tarts are seriously delicious and I am not just trying to talk them up.  I am really just already trying to find another excuse to make them.  They are the quintessential French tart and super easy to make.  I was aiming for these tarts to taste like my favorite tart at Le Diplomate in DC, and I think I hit fairly close to the mark.  If mushrooms aren't your arch nemesis like they are a friend of mines, then your should definitely give these a try!  Plus you could definitely make these single serving size instead of making them finger food "party sized".  Either way Enjoy!

Okay I know I said these are easy but it is still a multi-step process.  First you have to cook the onions, pancetta and mushrooms.

Then after pre-baking the tart crust for just a little while on go the toppings and back into the oven.  Trust me they are worth it!

Fresh out of the oven and ready for my belly!

Pancetta Mushroom Onion Tarts:
*makes either 8 individual tarts or 18 "party-sized" tarts
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 1/2 oz diced pancetta (I just used an entire package from my grocery store)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 package of sliced cremini mushrooms, diced
1 fat glove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dry
1 box of puff pastry dough, defrosted
1/2 cup creme fraiche or 1/2 cup sour cream with 2 oz cream cheese, softened
salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place the baking sheets on the middle shelves to heat up.

2.  Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat.  Once the pan is hot add the pancetta and cook until crisp.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate covered with a paper towel.  

3.  Add the olive oil to the pan and allow to heat up.  Once the olive oil is hot add the sliced onions to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  After about 5 minutes, add in the mushrooms, thyme, garlic and sugar.  Cook for about another 5 minutes until the onions are caramelized and the mushrooms are cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper and add the pancetta to the pan, then remove from heat.

4.  Unfold/roll out the puff pastry on a clean work surface (I used a large cutting board).  Cut both of the pieces of dough into either 4 squares for personal sized tarts or 9 squares for party sized tarts. (If you want to get fancy you could probably even cut them in half and make rectangle tarts, but they won't serve as easily.)   Using the tip of a knife, score a boarder 1/2 inch from the edge without cutting all the way through the dough.  (You are really aiming to cut half way through.)  Remove the hot baking sheets from the oven, top with parchment paper, and carefully lift the squares onto them.  Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from the oven.

5.  While the puff pastry is pre-baking, in a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and sour cream and season with salt and pepper (or season  creme fraiche with salt and pepper).  When the puff pastry is done pre-baking, remove from the oven.  Spread some of the cream mixture over the base of the tart. (3-4 tablespoons for puff pastry cut in 4's; 1-2 tablespoons per puff pastry cut in 9's)  Then top with the pancetta onion mushroom mixture and sprinkle the top with a little grated Parmesan.  Place back in the oven and bake for another 20-24 minutes or until puff pastry is golden.  Rotate the baking sheets half through for even cooking.  Serve hot or warm and Enjoy!

*These can be re-heated easily in the toaster oven.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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