I decided to rework an early recipe for sauteed mushrooms to fill tartlet shells. Shiitakes must be fully cooked, so I start them a little before the other varieties. I hope you like these as much as we do. —creamtea
45-50 tartlets (with extra mushroom filling left over)
dried Shiitake mushrooms, tough stem ends completely removed
cloves garlic, minced
shallot, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly crosswise
fresh Shiitake mushrooms, sectioned into fourths if large then sliced thinly crosswise
fresh Cremini mushrooms, halved and sliced crosswise
1/2 - 3/4 cups
red wine (about 6 glugs)
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
packages pre-baked filo tartlet shells, each containing 15 shells
approximately 7 oz. round of Camembert, preferably from goats-milk. If you are feeling flush or having very special friends, Redwood Hill Farms Camellia is scrumptious, but the rounds are small so you may need extra rounds.
small amount of red-wine jelly such as Cabernet (optional) or
Place dried mushrooms in a custard cup in hot water to cover until softened, about 1 hour. When soft, remove from soaking liquid and slice thinly. Strain soaking liquid to removed debris (a single-cup coffee cone and paper filter set over a small bowl or your favorite coffee cup works well for this. Be sure to drink up your coffee first. You should have about 1/2 cup liquid, more or less is ok.
Pre-heat oven to 350?. Spread walnuts in a single later on a baking sheet and, when oven is hot, place on a rack in the middle of the oven. Toast walnuts, stirring occasionally, for about 12 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from oven, transfer to a cutting board chop coarsely, and reserve walnuts while you continue with the next step.
In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saute pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When butter mixture is bubbly, add garlic, thyme sprigs and shallots. Cook, stirring, until sizzling, translucent and cooked through. Add dried and fresh Shiitake mushrooms first, and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, then push aside and add an additional glug of olive oil. Add Cremini mushrooms. Cook, stirring, incorporating all mushrooms, until they have given off their liquid and much of it has evaporated. Add mushroom soaking liquid and simmer until evaporated. Add wine and simmer until most of wine has evaporated. Mushrooms should be moist and fully cooked. Remove thyme sprigs. Season to taste with salt and pepper (about 8 grinds). Recipe can be prepared a day or two in advance up to this point. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
Heat oven to 350º. Line 2 large jelly-roll pans with foil. Remove filo shells from freezer and thaw. Stir walnuts into mushroom mixture.
Remove rind of Camembert if you wish. Cut cheese round in half and cut a thin wedge from the half-round. Slice the wedge crosswise 2 or 3 times into small dice. If using red-wine jelly, place a small pea-sized dab in the bottom of each tartlet shell. Place a small piece of cheese on top of the red wine jelly, cut another wedge into dice and continue until all tartlets are filled. Place tartlets on jelly-roll pans (in batches) and place in hot oven for about 4 or 5 minutes until melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, top each tartlet with a small spoonful of mushroom mixture. Return to oven and warm another two minutes or so in oven, loosely covered with foil to prevent drying out. Garnish each with a pinch of minced parsley if you are not using the wine jelly. Arrange on serving tray. Serve hot.