Ricotta Double Mushroom Phyllo Pastry Tartlets

I was asked to be a part of an episode of the Afrikaans lifestyle programme Pasella along with two blogger friends, Fritz of Real Men Can Cook and Ilse of The Food Fox and to showcase a less common cheese. My first choice was Taleggio cheese as used in these Mushroom and Taleggio Cheese tarts – alas, I have not spotted Taleggio for the last two months.

Update

The video  of the show:

 

Say Cheese!

Watch out for the show to be aired on 29 February 2012

With Ilse (L) and Fritz (R) after the day long shoot

I adapted that recipe to make these tartlets, showcasing ricotta cheese. Ricotta is low in fat, high in protein and exceptionally versatile – use to stuff large brown mushrooms with a herby garlic ricotta for filling meat-free suppers, use in berry or banana smoothies to up the protein content of your morning beverage or use on sandwiches instead of cottage or cream cheese.

Spoon ricotta into ripe in-season figs and bake, like I did with this Baked Fig with Smoked Salt, Ricotta & Crispy Bacon recipe.

How about a low fat lasagne with punch? Aubergine Chilli Lasagne using ricotta instead of a high calorie bechamel.

I made these very simple ricotta cheese and double mushroom tartlets- using fresh and dried mushrooms, rehydrated for double the flavour in a crispy phyllo outer.

I drizzled them lightly in a lovely white balsamic truffle glaze I brought back from Andorra, that teeny country sandwiched between France and Spain last week.

I hope you enjoy using ricotta cheese and share your recipe ideas with me as well.

Ingredients

1 small onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

250 ml (1 cup) mushrooms of your choice, finely chopped

2 T olive oil + extra

3 T dried porcini (or other mushrooms) rehydrated in hot water to cover, chopped finely.

2 T Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

250 g ricotta cheese

salt and pepper, to taste

pinch nutmeg

1/3 cup butter, melted + 2 T olive oil

Method

Heat a pan on the stove on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Fry onions till softened and starting to brown. Add garlic and stir for a few seconds.

Add chopped fresh mushrooms and a little more olive oil. Fry for a few minutes, stirring, then add porcini mushrooms.

Add parsley, stir and remove from heat, allowing to cool slightly.

In a bowl add mushroom mix to the ricotta. Add nutmeg and seasonings and mix well.

Pre-heat oven to 180˚Celsius.

Grease a mini muffin or cupcake pan – 12 holder.

Set aside three sheets of phyllo pastry, covering with a damp cloth as you work.

Use a silicon mat or wax paper and place a sheet of phyllo over.

Brush one phyllo sheet with melted butter/olive oil and lay the next sheet over and repeat with remaining two sheets.

Cut the stack of three sheets into 12 rectangle of dimensions 12 x 10 cm.

Lay each rectangle into the muffin holder – scrunch up a bit.

Fill with ricotta mushroom mixture.

Spoon a little melted butter over.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

I served these with a white balsamic truffle glaze – just a a tiny drizzle.

  •  Save the liquid from the soaked porcini mushrooms, add salt and freeze in ice cube trays – makes excellent, rich stock for stews, risottos and soups.
  • Add chopped, fried bacon to the ricotta mixture
  • Serve with fresh lemon zest for a difference.
  • Best served fresh from the oven. If day old- heat in oven at 180˚Celsius for 5 minutes or unti crisp again.

 

I took these tartlets to beautiful Yzerfontein this weekend and enjoyed them with a lovely sea view and plenty of sunshine.

Behind the Scenes

behind the scenes Pasella shoo, to be aired 29 Feb 2012 – food bloggers


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