It's not p.c. to say flat out in public, "This is ugly." But you know - it is. It just is. It is possibly the ugliest appetizer I have ever made. Next time, I shall have to disguise them in pillows of cotton in the same way I disguised my ugly drawings in grade school. Even if I spread them around a gorgeous dish of mixed greens, they would still be ugly.
But - they're tasty. Maybe I can only make them for family members who still trust me and close, really-close, extremely-close friends. I don't know the future of the recipe - I only know it was tasty enough that my husband asked me what sort of meat I used. When my husband is eating mushrooms and thinks its meat - that usually means pretty tasty.
In another lifetime - (this would be my actress days when I stopped waitressing and was typing in an engineering office - oh - you do get the picture... how I never speak about my "acting" jobs ...) - anyway - in my past, I was inspired to make chocolate truffles. I don't know why - I saw a recipe and thought, "I could do that." Well. No. I couldn't. I mean - it tasted really good and I had the nerve to bring a platter of them to all the engineers I worked for and stepped aside to listen to the critiques. Some remarks were not G or PG rated and since I write for children, I shall not dwell on the exact words - you can imagine. But by the end of the day, all the truffles were eaten. By the end of the year, I married one of the engineers.
Ugly food can win hearts.
An hour ago, I made fifteen of these little tartlets - filled with mushroom mousse. My husband, daughter and I are the only ones around today. My daughter (just before she popped one in her mouth) mentioned, "I'm not going to lie to you. These look disgusting." Well, there are two left.
In the interest of being politically correct and standing up for ugly food - below is the recipe. It is from Tastes of Italia.
MUSHROOM MOUSSE TARTLETS
You need: (Serves 6 - or in my case - 3)
8 oz mushroom
1/2 medium onion
2 T olive oil
2 T Italian parsley
1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 package of frozen phyllo dough tarts (15 to a package)
Coarsely chop the mushrooms and onions. Heat the olive oil to medium high and add mushrooms and onion. Salt and pepper the mixture. Cook till browned - about ten minutes.
Cool. Transfer to food processor. Add butter and parsley. Pulse till the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Fill tart shells.
Note: They tell you to fill a pastry bag to pipe it into the shells. I didn't. I saw their photo - it was still ugly. They also tell you to serve it a room temperature - which I did. Tasty - but I think next time (see, I am thinking of next time), I will warm them briefly in a 250 degree F oven.
Anyway, ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.