Appetizer, Entrée, Breakfast, Spring

MUSHROOM + POBLANO TART IN CORNMEAL CRUST

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Sometimes I make things that sound good to me, and though I'm not sure they appeal to the masses, I go forth with the idea. I put hummus on my eggs, spread greek yogurt on my toast and am aware these habits aren't normal. Like last weeks quesadilla, it raised a few eyebrows, but some of you made it and liked it! Thanks for not making me feel nuts. This recipe is a culmination of inspiration - a crust from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals and a twist on a frittata I saw in Bon Appetite this past month. It's sort of like frittata meets mexican quiche meets breakfast casserole... or something. All to say, this versatile tart could easily pass for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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Also, I wanted to direct you over to the Saveur site, where we were nominated for 2011 Best Cooking Blog! I am beyond flattered to be included amongst all that talented company, as each of them are bloggers I have long admired. You do have to register to vote, but they will not send you a bunch of spam. Thanks to those of you who believe I deserved to be there in the first place :)

MUSHROOM + POBLANO TART

Inspired by Bon Appetit May 2011 and Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck

The crust does not rise, so adjust the thickness as you prefer. Next time I may make it in an 8'' square and bulk up the filling amounts a bit. Maria did not suggest cooking it before adding filling, but mine seemed pretty moist and I made a completely different filling than her recipe, so I found this step necessary. Just keep an eye on it in the oven, it doesn't need to fully firm up, but you don't want it smushy. The crust can be made a day in advance to save time.

1 Cup Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Water

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

3/4 Cup Polenta or Corn Grits

1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1 Egg

Fresh Ground Pepper

Filling

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Cups Thinly Sliced Mushrooms (I used Crimini but Button will work as well)

1 Small Poblano Pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced thin

5 Eggs

3/4 Cup Milk (Whole or 2%)

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1/4 tsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper

2 Scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 Cup Feta Cheese, plus more for garnish

Chopped Cilantro

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Tapatio or Hot Sauce of choice

1. Bring the broth, water and salt to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta and continue to stir. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir every two minutes to prevent the bottom from burning. Turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, another 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese, egg and lots of fresh ground pepper. It should be thick. Allow it to settle another 10 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9'' pie plate. Transfer the polenta to the pie plate and using wet fingers, press to form a crust in an even layer on the bottom and up the sides. If you would like a thinner crust, set some of the polenta aside. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the tart.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and poblanos and saute for 10 minutes until both are softened and the moisture has been absorbed. Turn off the heat.

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cumin and black pepper together until well combined. Stir in the scallions and the vegetables. Add the egg mixture into the cornmeal crust, sprinkle the feta cheese on top and bake another 20 minutes until the center is just set.

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Let it rest 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with crumbled feta, chopped cilantro and hot sauce on the side.