Wednesday, March 27, 2013


flour to dust work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
egg wash (mix one small egg with 1/2 teaspoon water) or milk or
1 pound of mushrooms-your choice.
about 2 tablespoons olive oil (not Extra Virgin) or vegetable oil
2 ounces Pancetta (or bacon)
2-3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 roasted red peppers, finely chopped
3/4 cup Madeira Wine (Can omit and just add more beef broth)
1/4 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 ounce mixed cheese or any white cheese, grated

Lightly dust a cutting board with flour. Unfold the thawed sheet of puff pastry pinching together the seams, if necessary. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry dough out into a 12" x 14" rectangle. Use a pizza wheel or knife to cut out a football shape in the center of the dough being sure to leave 1/4" of dough on either side. Cut 1/4" wide strip from each side of the dough. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the strips to increase their length. They need to be long enough to to reach from one end of the football to the other.

Brush egg wash, milk, or cream all along the edge of the football. Lay one strip on either side of the football dough. Cut off excess dough. Lift up football and place on a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet. Brush egg wash over the surface of the football. Use a fork to prick holes all over the dough not including the border. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you are going to bake your football as soon as your filling is ready, preheat oven to 400 degrees now
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Slice and set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium high heat. Chop Pancetta into small pieces and sprinkle in hot pan. Cook, stirring often, until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove crispy Pancetta from skillet. Drain it on a piece of paper towel. Set aside. In the same hot pan add shallots and saute until translucent. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add finely chopped roasted red peppers and cook just until all the liquid evaporates. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside.

In the same hot skillet add a little over a teaspoon of oil and a pat of butter. As soon as the butter melts add 3 ounces sliced mushrooms (about 1/5 of your total.) You want one layer of mushrooms in the pan with room around each mushroom. If you crowd the pan, the mushrooms will steam instead of caramelize. Take your time here to get good browning on each side of your mushroom slices - this is flavor!!!! Once these mushrooms are brown, remove from pan. Add more oil and butter to the pan and repeat the process until all the mushroom are browned.

Return mushrooms, Pancetta, and roasted red pepper mixture to the skillet. Pour in wine, beef broth, and balsamic vinegar. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove all the brown bits and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the moisture evaporates. Remove from the heat and add grated cheese. Stir to combine.

At this point you can either make your tart or refrigerate your mushrooms until ready to use.

To make the tart, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes until it is golden brown. Spoon the mushrooms over the center of the tart. Bake for an additional 8 minutes if the mushrooms are warm, and up to 15 minutes if they are cold.
Cut slices of cheese to make the laces and stripes on the football. Set on the hot tart to melt the cheese slightly. Serve hot.

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