If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Mushroom and Pepper Jack Tart with Long Island Mushrooms

         

Long Island Mushroom company is the brainchild of two Rhode Island natives who grew up in the same town, became High School Sweethearts, parted ways and re-kindled their romance thirty-two years later.  Jane Maguire and John Quigley are their names and Long Island Mushroom is their second act-–both personally and professionally.  The couple have taken to mushroom farming in a big way.  Their 6500 square foot growing space on the North Fork is packed with glorious

Left to Right: Shiitakes, Blue Oyster and
Miitake Mushrooms from
Long Island Mushroom

Shiitakes, Miitakes and Blue Oyster mushrooms, the perfect combination for creating “wild” mushroom dishes without foraging for them on your own.  You don’t even have to clean them.  That’s because they are grown without soil on pressed paper and sawdust logs that they couple brings in from ‘the mushroom capital of the US’, Kennett Square Pennsylvania.  They’re grown under strict temperature controls and in very high humidity.  Each log produces ‘blooms’ of mushrooms that are harvested simply by being snapped off.  Each log produces 3 crops of mushrooms in a 48 day period before being replaced.  With Jane manning sales and John keeping the farm growing, Long Island Mushroom has found its way into the top restaurant kitchens on the East End, including “The Topping Rose House” in Bridgehampton, Tom Collichio’s wildly successful foray into the Hamptons. 

Jane Maguire’s ‘service with a smile’ is apparent in the couple’s dedication to their customers.  Given 24 hours notice, Jane and John will deliver their freshly picked products anywhere on the East End. You simply call 631-876-5401 to order.  Home cooks will also find Long Island Mushroom Saturdays at both the Greenport Farmers’ Market and the Shelter Island Farmers’ Market where you can buy their mushrooms in beautifully packaged quarts.  What Shiitakes the couple doesn’t sell fresh goes into their state-of-the-art dessicator which removes the water content and concentrates the flavor.  A pound of fresh mushrooms becomes 3.3 oz dried. The intense in the dried version is released by soaking the dried mushrooms in warm water.   While Fresh mushrooms keep well for up to 10 days, the dried mushrooms will keep indefinitely is a cool, dry pantry. 

        

Chef Suzanne Goin

I was thrilled to have these mushrooms to make into a tart, the origins of which I owe to Los Angeles’ Chef Suzanne Goin.  Actually I used two of her recipes to make my own.  Chef Goin published one recipe for a Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Tart in Bon Appetit in 2003. Then in her cookbook “Sunday Suppers at Lucques” (Knopf 2005), a second recipe appeared incorporating young onions.  Both start with a layer of creamy ricotta and sour cream and then are topped with mushrooms and cheese.  This is my take on a combination of the two. If you haven’t availed yourself of the pleasures of frozen puffed pastry, now is the time to.  

        Two brands, Pepperidge Farm and Dufour are easy to find in the freezer case.  I keep them on hand because they make life so easy.  You just take them out of the freezer, defrost for 40 minutes and roll out the sheet. One sheet cuts up into 4 pieces of tart.  To me this is so much easier to deal with than pizza crust and you can use them almost interchangeably.  Chef Goin’s original recipes called for Gruyere.  I opted for the jalapeno spice of Pepper Jack but you can choose Gruyere or any cheese you fancy.    You can make the mushroom topping well in advance and assemble the dish later.  The puff pastry does better when it is chilled.  So what I do is to assemble the tart, then stick it back in the refrigerator while the oven heats to 425 degrees.  Once the tart goes in the hot oven, you just bake for 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the half way mark and when it’s golden on top and the puff pastry has risen, check the bottom to make sure it too is golden.  If you underbake it, it will be soggy.
Here’s the recipe.



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