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Posts Tagged ‘flaky crust’

I sat daydreaming in front of recipes for several hours today, overwhelmed by the freedom I have gained after completing my exams. What will I cook, I asked myself, unsure of what to do since until recently my cooking was restricted by time and what was in the fridge. I was overwhelmed with the decision of what to cook, yet I yearned to create something.

I came across a few savoury tarts, and made up my mind. Tonight’s meal would be simple, a goat cheese tart with red peppers and a green salad. I could hardly wait to get the ingredients, and get the tart in the oven so that the apartment would be full of delicious aromas when my partner G. came home from class.

Goat Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Ingredients

1 savory shortcrust pastry

2 large shallots, finely sliced

1 Tbsp butter

Pinch salt and pepper

1 small package plain goat cheese

1 egg

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Pinch salt and pepper

2 pieces of prosciutto (optional)

1 red pepper, cored and sliced into thin rounds

1 Tbsp honey

Directions

Prepare the shortcrust pastry and let rest at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, slice the shallots finely. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat, and sauté the shallots until they become caramelized, stirring occasionally, around 15 minutes. The key is to cook the shallots slowly as it allows them to caramelize without burning. Once ready, season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.

Wash and core the red pepper and slice it into thin rounds. Set aside.

Whisk together egg and goat cheese until smooth. Add the nutmeg and the salt and pepper. Let stand while you roll out the pastry between two sheets of wax paper, and place in a buttered pie shell or tart pan. Crimp the edges with with your fingers or a fork, and prick the base of the shell with a fork.

Spread the goat cheese mixture over the bottom, then sprinkle half of the caramelized onions. Slice the prosciutto (if you want to make this with meat) and drop the pieces evenly over the goat cheese mixture. Top with the red pepper rounds, and then drizzle the honey over top.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the red peppers cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle the remaining half of the caramelized shallots over before serving. Serve this tart with a large and simple green salad. This tart would be great for a simple weeknight meal (especially if you make pastry in advance and store it in the freezer like I do), or would be a lovely piece to take over to a friend’s potluck dinner party, as it does not require reheating!

Enjoy!

-Sitelle

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A few of my family and friends have begun to complain about the lack of Canadian cuisine on a blog partially dedicated to Canadian food!  I plan to remedy this over the next few months, but for now, I leave you with a recipe for tourtière, a delightful Quebecois dish.

True tourtière lovers are passionate about this dish – some even refusing to call certain meat pies tourtière if they are not “authentic” enough.   I myself am not fussy about the recipe as long as it is perfectly moist!  There is nothing more disappointing after smelling this dish than to take your first bite and despair at its dryness.   Luckily, my grandmother’s recipe is the antithesis of dry tourtière – deliciously moist and full of flavour, there is everything to love about this meat pie.

Instead of a double crust, I often oft for a lattice, which is far prettier and makes for lighter dinner fare.  While many people use broth to moisten their pie and spices such as cinnamon and cloves to spice it, this recipe’s secret ingredient is cream of mushroom soup.  It adds just the perfect amount of creaminess, while retaining the richness in flavour.  This recipe makes enough for two pies, so we traditionally savour this dish on Christmas Eve, freezing the second one to enjoy a few weeks later!

Tourtière

(makes two 9-inch deep crust pies)

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef

1 1/2 lbs lean ground pork

1 small onion, minced

1/2 cup HP sauce

1 cup chili sauce

1 10-oz tin of cream of mushroom soup

1 Tbsp dry mustard

3 Tbsp Worcester sauce

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Pastry for 2 9-inch double crusts or a lattice 

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Beaten egg white

 

Directions:

Brown meat and onions.  Drain fat, add remaining ingredients, and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes. (If you taste test at this point, don’t worry if the flavour is slightly odd – as it simmers, the flavours will mellow and meld together beautifully).  Cool meat mixture.

Meanwhile, roll out pastry to fit pie plates.  Divide meat mixture evenly between the two pies, and top with pastry (or lattice).  Pierce pastry with fork to create steam vents.  Brush the pastry with beaten egg white.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.  Let pies cool slightly and enjoy!  Delicious served with pickled mustard relish or fruit chutney.

To freeze pies: cool, wrap, and freeze for up to three months.  To serve, thaw overnight in fridge and reheat before serving.

Bon appetit!

– Catherine

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