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Chicago designer Michael Abrams celebrates in Saugatuck, MI

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING: A 50th-birthday celebration that’s the picture of rustic elegance

(page 2 of 3)

Wild Mushroom Tartlets

/ serves 4

  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1⁄2 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, morel, and baby bella)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, lightly chopped
  • 1⁄3 cup brandy or red wine
  • 1⁄4 lb. sharp cheese such as Parmesan or Gruyère
  • 4 4-inch squares puff pastry
  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar reduced to 1⁄4 cup balsamic syrup
  • Fresh basil for garnish

1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until all the juices are released and beginning to evaporate.

2. Add garlic, shallots, and thyme. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often until edges of mushrooms are caramelized. Deglaze with brandy or red wine. Cook until liquids have reduced to thick syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4. Grate cheese and set aside, reserving a few pinches for garnish.

5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

6. Place the four squares of puff pastry on the parchment and top with another sheet of parchment paper and another cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and take off the top sheet pan. Carefully peel parchment paper off the puff pastry squares. (They should be about 2/3 of the way baked through. If they are still doughy, place them back in the oven without the top parchment paper and pan and bake until the centers are no longer doughy.)

8. Divide half of the grated cheese among the four squares and spread evenly. Divide the sautéed mushrooms among the four squares and spread evenly. Top with remaining cheese.

9. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

10. Bake tartlets for 15-20 minutes, until pastry is dark golden brown and cheese is melted and golden.

11. Remove from oven and cut each tartlet into 2 or 4 pieces, triangles or squares.

12. Drizzle balsamic syrup on each plate, arrange tartlets on top, garnish with pinches of reserved cheese and finely chopped basi

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