Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bonjour!

Wow, it feels like it's been years since I last posted. Sorry I keep doing that, but I've been pretty busy for the last month!

First of all, the bake sale was a great success! We had a lot of fun and raised a little over $2,000 at the event. (If you didn't get the chance to donate online, you can do so at my bake sale webpage) Thanks everyone for helping me raise so much money to end childhood hunger, every dollar goes a long way in making sure kids who need help are getting fed during the school year and over the summer.

Just after the bake sale, I graduated from high school, which kept me busy, as you can imagine, and almost immediately after that, I hopped on a plane to Paris. So here I am now, blogging from Paris. Bonjour!

My mom and I have had a wonderful time in Paris so far, we've seen the Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Eiffel Tower, and not nearly everything in between. My favorite thing to do here is to choose a street (preferably one known for its food shops), walk up it, then get lost just wandering for a while until you find yourself near a metro stop so you can just hop on it and get back home. That's exactly what we did yesterday, starting a few blocks from Rue Mouffetard, which has loads of cute cafes, patisseries, and foodie shops. We walked all the way down it, all the way up, found ourselves near the Seine, and enjoyed some famous Berthillon ice cream on Ile St. Louis. This ice cream was, of course, just to go with all the caramel macarons we've been taste testing along the way. We still haven't fount one to beat Laduree!

So, amongst the massive amounts of baguettes, cheese, pastries, and caramels I've been downing (very healthy, balanced diet, I know), I've been able to cook a little as well! We're in a nice apartment with a (tiny) kitchen, so all I have to do is let my creative juices flow in the markets of Paris.

I came up with this recipe based on my cousin's love for mushrooms, my love for chevre (goat cheese), and the need for a delicious dinner!

Mushroom Chevre Tart
Ingredients:
1 store-bought (or homemade) pie crust
about 5-6 cups mixed mushrooms*
1 8 oz log goat cheese
olive oil, for sauteeing
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 egg
salt and pepper
pecorino romano cheese

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 180 degrees C, if you're in France!) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice the mushrooms into thin pieces and saute them over medium-high heat in a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
3. After about 5 minutes, when the mushrooms are browned and seem fully cooked, add the tarragon, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Continue to cook the mushrooms until all the vinegar has evaporated and mixed well into the mushrooms. Take off the heat and set aside.
5. Unroll the pie crust directly onto the prepare baking sheet. Slice the goat cheese into 10-12 rounds and arrange them in a circle, starting from the center. Be sure to leave enough space around the edges to fold the crust over.
6. Place all the mushrooms over the goat cheese, then fold the edges of the dough over as much of the mushroom mixture as it will cover.
7. Beat the egg and brush it over the dough that has been folded over (you won't need to use all of the egg).
8. Sprinkle the crust, now covered with egg wash, with salt, pepper, and crumbled or grated pecorino romano cheese.
9. Bake the tart until the crust is a deep golden brown color, about 20-30 minutes.

*I used a mixture of mushrooms that included portabellas, button mushrooms, and chanterelles (I think), but any mixture should work. Also, the amount doesn't have to be too exact. If you want your tart overflowing with mushrooms, add lots, if you want them as an accent, use fewer!



I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far, I'll try to keep posting delicious things from Paris!