Why you make this fig and walnut tart, of course.
Pies + Tarts
Now that Spring is finally in high gear around here, I thought I'd share another meatless recipe highlighting the veritable king of the season, asparagus. For such a fancy looking thing, there isn't a lot of work here, especially if you use a store bought crust. There are a few steps to bringing it all together, but much of the time spent in making this is hands-off as your crust rests, and your veggies roast.
A couple of days ago, Muppet, who had decided that we'd been making not nearly enough desserts as of late, sauntered over to our cookbook collection and pulled down Joanne Chang's fabulous Flour cookbook for a look-see. Five minutes later she was waving the book in my face, showing me all of the post-it tags that marked recipes she wanted to try. As most of them were rather large layer cakes, I asked her to take another swing through the book and try to find something a little more modest in size, "oohhh…good idea, she said, "bikini season's right around the corner"
My thoughts exactly.
On the ocassion of our college guy gracing us with his presence at the beginning of his spring break, I decided to pull out all the stops for dinner this past Saturday. We started with his all-time favorite, steak with sauce bernaise to which we added a new treat, creamed kale (recipe to follow soon), and to finish off the feast this awesome chocolate tart.
HA….we're on a roll now. This tasty treat turned out to be the perfect foil for a 1/2 used jar of Trader Joe's Apple Butter hogging space in our fridge, and as easy as that the inventory of our refrigerator condiment museum took another hit. Perhaps we should craft a song for the occasion…."50 bottles of condiments in the fridge, 50 bottle of condiments….you take 1 out, and put it to use, 49 bottles of condiments in the fridge" Ugh, with 47 bottles left, this could take a while…..
Let me just start by saying that I could eat this tart every day of the week and be a very happy camper. Of course, my doctor might have something to say about a diet that consisted of wedge after wedge of this deliciousness, but I'm just sayin'.
Look, I love chard just simply sauteed with a little garlic, some EVOO and maybe a few red pepper flakes, but the kids…..not so much. They are much more liable to snarf down this super-nutritious veggie if surrounded by a buttery crust, some melted goat cheese, and a few chunks of pork sausage.
Hey, can you blame them?
This lovely treat of a thing is something the Mrs. whipped up as a going away present for Grid, our recently departed college freshman. Always a fan of the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination, she was sure that this pie would be a fitting climax to his final dinner at home before leaving for school.
It seems that over the past year whenever we had guests that offered to make a pre-dinner nibble to have with cocktails, they decided to craft something using frozen puff pastry dough. Given that each of these folks brought a fresh box of pastry sheets with them, and used only half a box to make their appetizer, we recently discovered that we had 83 half used boxes of puff pastry in our freezer (no wonder we're running out of room there).
As I was starting to panic, wondering what the #@*& we were going to do with that many pastry sheets, my wife found this simple but delicious recipe in our latest issue of Bon Appetit. This recipe is for little cherry pies, using a combination of fresh and dried fruit, but any type of fruit would work. Beware though, if you're using a really juicy fruit you may need to up the amount of cornstarch used in order to guarantee a nice thick filling for your pies. I'm thinking fresh apples and dried cranberries would be lovely, or how about peanut butter with a fresh strawberry compote, or dare I say, Nutella with some orange marmalade? Oohhhh…..
I’m not much of a Facebook guy. Any of you who have been to my Oui, Chef Facebook Fan Page, can undoubtably attest to that fact…..sorry. I set up the page on a friend’s recommendation because “everyone” has one, so I should have one too. Problem is….I can’t figure out what the #$%& to do with it, so all it really contains are re-postings from my blog….ugh. To the 310 of you who have become my fans (Thanks!), please accept my apolgies for there not being anything more compelling on the fan page than what you find here. If any of you have any recommendations as to what I should do on my fan page, please let me know….I’m all ears. Perhaps one day I’ll figure it out on my own, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.
I’m really no better with my personal Facebook page, in fact, I’m starting to think that I just don’t get the whole Facebook thing. All my “friends” find on my page are linked posts from this blog….I”M SO BORING. I mean, I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with old acquaintences from high school and college, but after a brief “hey nice to see you’re still alive”, and a “so what are you doing to keep yourself busy these days?”, I quickly run out of things to say. It’s not that I don’t care. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
This lovely confection comes to us courtesy of MY lovely confection, my wife. We are quite swimming in cranberries these days up here in “Pilgrim Country”, the bogs are flooded, the harvest is on, and big bags of our local tart treats can be found on every corner.
When we had our neighbor, Richard (who used to be in the cranberry biz) to dinner the other night, I thought I’d use the occasion to kick off our cranberry cooking season with a bang. I was originally planning to cook a chocolate – cranberry tart that I had found on Epicurious, until my lovely reminded me that Richard is not a big fan of chocolate (a little factoid that I continually forget, most likely because I find the notion so utterly preposterous….”you don’t like chocolate, huh….you ARE joking aren’t you?“) When I shared this little bit of trivia with Muppet, tears welled up in her eyes…“that poor poor man, I can’t imagine not liking chocolate. You don’t think he’s contagious, do you? Because if he is, he has to go home now…and I mean RIGHT NOW!”