Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fresh, novel mushroom tartlets destined to be star appetizers at a buffet table

I must have been a tartlet-a-phobe. Something kept me apprehensive about trying a new recipe for Mushroom Tartlets. Intriguing, but I didn’t see how they possibly could work. The recipe, which I kept shoving further and further back into my file, called for wonton wrappers as the base of the tartlet. Other than my Asian Spring Salad that I blogged about some days ago, I’d hardly ever cooked Asian. Where would I go in a grocery store to find the wrappers? How would a mixture such as this not stick to the muffin tins and make a huge mess?

The egg was on my face when I finally mustered my courage and decided to tackle this dish, with the recipe provided by the Chickasaw Nutrition Services. They’ve never suggested a dud yet, I assured myself as I negotiated grocery aisles to look for the wontons. Not in the Oriental foods section; not in the frozen foods either. Then as I dug further, I spotted them: in the produce department near the bagged carrots and the slaw mixtures. Well, of course. They’d be near the ingredients to make spring rolls. I was thankful I had undertaken this errand myself and hadn’t sent Hubby on this expedition, or he’d be searching around the store even yet.

Making the tartlets involved preparing a simple mixture of mushrooms, onions, garlic, spices, and cream cheese. Into each sprayed muffin tin cup goes a wonton wrapper, which houses the mushroom mixture spooned into it. You simply bake the tartlets for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges are brown. Once done the baked wonton is crisp but firm and slides right out of the nonstick muffin cup. The tartlets can cool on the tray on which you plan to serve them.

These make a wonderfully tasty appetizer that is so imaginative, you can feature it being the talk of a buffet table at a party. Everyone would wonder what it was and how it was made; one bite of the mixture encased within and these tartlets would be gone in a flash. Personally I’m thinkin’ upcoming Easter luncheon myself; these would be a great side served along a chicken dish or Easter ham.

What took me so long? Why’d I wait? These fresh little bites were astounding.

Mushroom Tartlets

Cooking spray
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fat-free cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel)
12 wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl mix mushrooms, onions, garlic, and spices. Add cream cheese; mix well Spray each muffin cup with cooking spray. In each muffin cup place one wonton wrapper. Spoon 2 tablespoons of mushroom mixture into wonton cups. If you have any mixture left over, evenly divide it among the 12 tartlets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are brown. Makes 12 servings.

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