Fish and Nameko Tart
This cheese-flavored tart crust can be used for any savory pie. It is delicious and really easy to make. The filling can also be adapted to any mushroom, although the mushrooms should be sliced and Sautéed first (rather than poaching as recommended for Nameko mushrooms). The beauty of Nameko in this dish is that these mushrooms are already quite tender and require just a brief poaching. The silky mushrooms also pair well with the soft custard of this quiche-style tart. This dish is a great for holiday gatherings or brunch!
1 oz. grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese (go ahead and use 2 oz. if you really love cheese)
½ c. unbleached flour
⅛ tsp. salt or a healthy pinch
2 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. solid vegetable shortening or lard
1 Tbsp. water
1 egg, beaten
Makes one 9-inch round tart
Method: Toss the flour, salt and fats with your fingers, rubbing and incorporating as you toss, keeping the mixture airy until crumbly. Add about 1 TBSP water and lift, rub and mix until smooth. Cover the dough and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Roll the dough out 2 inches past the diameter of your tart pan, trim the edges and slide it (with the help of your rolling pin) over the pan. Get the dough settled, patting and crimping until you've got a nice, uniform pastry layer. Prick the bottom all over with a fork and brush the entire pastry with the beaten egg. Pop in the oven and bake until golden. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack while preparing the filling.
½ lb. baked, boned and flaked Whitefish (or any other firm, mild fish). For a smoky-flavored pie, you may substitute up to a ¼ lb. of boned smoked fish.
4-8 oz. rinsed and lightly patted dry Nameko. Trim stems to about 1 inch and compost the trimmings.
½ c. milk and 1 tsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt
1 c. sour cream
1 Tbsp. rinsed capers
Pinch each of nutmeg and black pepper
2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
Chopped fresh dill, optional
Method: Lower oven temp to 325° F. Heat the milk and sugar until just below a simmer and add the mushrooms and bay leaf. Place a lid on the pan and poach for 2-4 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and strain the milk from the mushrooms, reserving both the milk and mushrooms in separate bowls.
Add the sour cream to the milk.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks, adding salt and pepper. Slowly add the milk and sour cream mixture, whisking all the while. Pour into the cooled crust.
Sprinkle the poached mushrooms, capers and optional dill over the unbaked custard and place the filled tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.