" Earth Girls Are Easy" Terrestrial Tarts with Loose Morels

Flirt with the little green men in style with this great appetizer!

You will need:

For the tarts:

  • 6 sheets frozen phyllo (filo) dough, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons mixed minced fresh herbs (chervil, Italian parsley, tarragon, thyme, etc.)

For the loose morels:

  • 1/4 cup dried morel mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 cup vermouth
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups fresh wild mushrooms (morel, Chanterelles, oyster, etc.)
  • 2 cups white mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good quality, dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 probe, well chilled


1. These tarts are easy: Preheat oven to 375?F. Lay out one piece of phyllo on a cutting board (keep the remaining pieces covered with a damp cloth or they will dry out and crack). Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and herbs.

2. Repeat the process with the remaining phyllo sheets. Cut the layered phyllo rectangle into 8 equal pieces and transfer each to an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until brown and crisp.

4. Never forget your morels: Combine chicken broth and vermouth in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Add the dried morels; remove from heat and let soak for 20 -30 minutes.

5. Remove morels from broth mixture and squeeze out excess liquid. Slice thinly and set aside, reserving broth for later.

6. Slice the fresh mushrooms thinly and set aside.

7. Heat 3 tbsp. of butter over medium heat in a large saut?an and add the reconstituted mushrooms. Saut?or 2 minutes; add the remaining sliced mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

8. Stir in the chopped shallots, garlic, wine, and reserved broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

9. Add the cream; season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Keep warm until use; just before serving, whisk in the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter.

10. Place one phyllo square on a plate, spoon the mushroom mixture over and top with another phyllo square. Garnish with chopped, fresh herbs and serve.

11. Lead your space guests to the sink and introduce them to an important custom reserved for only the most honored guests...the dishes.

Serves four

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