Mixing my passion for film and cooking is something that doesn’t happen very much. So, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to produce a recipe that ties in perfectly with our Opening Night Gala Pig.
Wild Mushrooms are not something readily available to most people, but if you can get your hands on the fresh variety, replace the dried ones in the recipe with shitake mushrooms. A warning though - foraging for mushrooms comes with danger so please only do it if you know what you are looking for and never take a chance.
This recipe makes either one large tart or four small individual ones. I think the smaller ones are prettier but it’s your choice. Canape sized bites would also work if you wanted to serve with drinks!
Nick Varley, Lead Programmer (and enthusiastic cook)
The 'Pig' Mushroom Tart
Block of bought puff pastry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
15g Dried wild mushrooms
1 small onion
150g Shitake mushrooms
250g Chestnut mushrooms
1 garlic clove minced
2 tbsp of dry Marsala or Sherry (optional)
1 tbsp finely chopped flat parsley
2 tsp Dijon mustard
100g Taleggio cheese
A few drops of white truffle oil (optional)
You will need either a 22cm or four 11cm individual tart tins. Lightly greased.
- First soak the wild mushrooms in a small bowl with water from a freshly boiled kettle.
- Peel and half the onion. Then thinly slice into half-moon shapes.
- Heat half the oil and butter in a large frying pan and when it’s nice and hot add the onions along with a sprinkling of salt. Cook them on a low to medium heat until they have gone a lovely amber colour (watch them like a hawk so they don’t burn). They should be almost caramelised. Tip them on to a plate.
- Clean the mushrooms (but do not wash them, you want them as dry as possible) and cut them into reasonably thick slices – you don’t need to be too precise and a mix of sizes adds texture.
- Heat the rest of the butter and oil in the frying pan and toss in the mushrooms and a sprinkling of salt, giving them a quick stir. The trick here is not to over stir them. Mushrooms are quite robust; can stand the heat and you want them to keep their shape. They are ready when they have taken on a nice golden colour around the edges.
- Meanwhile, drain the wild mushrooms, reserving the liquid for later. Roughly chop into small pieces.
- When the mushrooms are cooked, stir in the wild mushrooms and garlic and allow to cook for one minute. Add the onions, two tablespoons of the reserved soaking liquid and the marsala or sherry if using. Give everything a gentle but good stir and allow the liquids to evaporate – you want to end up with a dry mixture.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and check for seasoning. Allow the mixture to go completely cold. You never want to add hot fillings to puff pastry.
- Chop the Taleggio cheese into small cubes (small enough that you can sprinkle them). Mix a third into the cooled mushrooms and reserve the rest for later.
- Preheat the oven to 200°c (180°c fan). Roll out the pastry to approximately 5mm thickness and line the tin(s).
- Spread the mustard sparingly over the base of the tart case and top this with the mushrooms so you end up with generous mounds of filling. Don’t press the mixture down. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese. If using, now is the time to drizzle a sparing amount of truffle oil over the tart – don’t overdo it, as a little goes a long way.
- Bake for around 12 to 15 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serve hot with some simply dressed rocket, or green beans and new potatoes for something more substantial.
The European Premiere of Pig, starring Nicolas Cage as a truffle hunter in search of his kidnapped truffle pig, screens at Festival Theatre on Wed 18 Aug for the Festival's Opening Night Gala.