This is from my Facebook for the beginning of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. It was originally written on October 7, 2015.
New Jersey. The third state and our focus for this week’s Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. Since I was on a plane from London for a good part of the day yesterday, NRT got moved out one day, but not to be missed!
New Jersey joined the union on December 18, 1787 and was one of those states that found itself greatly influenced by the major cities around it; New York and Philadelphia. Such a melting pot. And alas, a bit of a quandary in finding it’s unique identity in the food arena.
I spent a lot of time searching for a “signature” dish for New Jersey. And much to my chagrin, I came up with some stuff that just wasn’t making the cut. Jersey Tomato Pie, Pork Roll Sandwich, Ripped Hot Dog. Yeah, not happening for me. So instead I went with the Garden State. And with that, I settled on the cranberry.
New Jersey is the third largest producer of cranberries in the US. And the cranberry is only one of three fruits commercially produced in the US that is also indigenous of the US (the Blueberry and Concord Grape are the other two).
There are lots of sweet things that you can do with a cranberry, but I wanted a savory dish. What I found was an interesting “tart” made with sausage, mushroom, cheese and dried cranberries. The recipe called for pre-packaged sausage, but I opted to make my own (because you just don’t know what’s in sausage these days). Really easy and it only adds about 5 more minutes to the recipe, so why not?
The end result was a tasty quiche like dish with an interesting combination of flavors. The one thing that I would actually change was the cranberry. This used dried cranberries, which were a bit clunky in the dish. I would either use chopped fresh, minced dried, or maybe a combination of the two. But it was really tasty and I would probably make it again and tweak it to make it better.
I give this a B+ with potential to move up with a little work.
For the Sausage:
• 16 ounces ground pork
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1⁄2 teaspoon dried parsley
• 1⁄4 teaspoon rubbed sage
• 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
• 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
• 1⁄4 teaspoon coriander
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Tart:
• 1 refrigerated pie crust (½ of 14.1-oz. pkg.)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Pork Sausage recipe from above
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 ½ cups sliced fresh button mushrooms
• 1 ½ cups sliced fresh baby Portobello mushrooms
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• ½ cup evaporated milk
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
• 4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
Preheat oven to 450°F. Press pie crust onto bottom and up side of 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom; trim edge (I used a regular pie plate and it worked fine).. Prick bottom of crust with fork. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Reduce heat to 375°F.
Cook sausage in olive oil in large skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet; set aside.
Melt butter in same skillet. Add mushrooms; cook 5 min. or until tender and liquid has cooked out, stirring occasionally. Place in large bowl. Add eggs, cheese, cranberries, evaporated milk, parsley, 2 tablespoons of green onion and sausage mixture; mix well. Pour into tart shell.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with remaining onions. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 8 wedges to serve.