They have a dish called a chicken friand. It's a mixture of french cheese, mushrooms, and chicken stuffed into a puff pastry shell. It was the first "fancy" food I ate, and the first "fancy" dish I learned to cook by myself. Recipe coming soon (once I can muster up the self-control to put off eating the chicken friands long enough to photograph them).
This mushroom tart is reminiscent of the chicken friand, except this tart can be on the table in just a half hour. It's really versatile-- it can work as an appetizer, side, or entrée (or a dessert, if you're really strange).
One of the best parts of this recipe is that you can substitute pretty much any of the ingredients. I've made it with tons of different things, and it's always come out beautifully.
Mushroom TartYields: two 9" tarts (Serves 4 entrees or up to 12 as a side or an appetizer)
1 sheet puff pastry
3 slices bacon
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tsp Emeril's Essence*
3 tbsp water
1/4 cup shredded gruyère (or swiss, or parmesan)
1/2 cup sour cream (or cream cheese)
1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut puff pastry in half. Place on a cookie sheet lined with Silpat or parchment.
2. Cook bacon. Remove from pan, but leave the bacon grease in the pan. Sauté the garlic in the bacon grease for 1 minute, then add mushrooms, reserving about 10 slices to decorate the tart. Add Emeril's Essence. Cook until the mushrooms release all their liquid. Add water as necessary to prevent burning or sticking.
3. Remove from heat and add crumbled bacon, gruyère, and sour cream.** Spread on the puff pastry. Top with reserved mushrooms. Brush the edges with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes.
*Emeril's Essence is my go-to seasoning. I use it on everything!! You can also substitute this with your preferred seasoning.
**You can make the mixture ahead of time and refrigerate. It will keep for a day or two.