Thursday, November 09, 2006

a tart to remember

Tarts are one of my favorite meals. No, that doesn´t mean I am a tart, just that I like them.

And given the fact that you can basically use anything you have in the refrigerator, throw it in there and you have a meal, I usually resort to making all sorts of tarts/pies/quishes, whatever you wanna call it.

The usual thing here in Argentina is for people to buy the pastry at the grocery store. Yet it´s so freaking simple to make it yourself with a food processor that I just don´t see the point. I´ve seen my mom do it in 10 minutes for as long as I can recall. As with most people, my mom is my inspiration in terms of cooking, it´s where I get my attitute towards cooking and food... luckily, she is a good model in that respect.

So, anyway, recently I began experimenting more with the pastry, trying to reduce the fat content as much as possible, but to add tons of flavor. I had run out of fresh pesto, so I just added a clove of garlic to the flour and the salt in the food processor and processed that a bit before adding the liquids. You have no idea how good that tastes. Then you can add anything else for flavor. I added a bit of sundried-tomatoes-and-parmessan powder and some red pepper flakes to give it a bit of a kick, but you can basically add any flavor you like. When I make confit tomatoes in the oven, I use the left-over oil that is filled with tomato flavor to replace with normal vegetable oil I generally use.

Last week, I made a leek and mushroom tart. Awesome combination in my opinion. I´ll try to come up with a decent recipe after the photo, but you´ll have to use your common sense as well as the recipe because this are all aproximations, since I don´t use any recipes but follow my guts.

leek and mushroom pie

Leek and mushroom tart

Pastry
self-rising flour (5 cups*)
salt (around 1 tablespoon)
raw garlic, peeled (1 or 2 cloves)
red pepper flakes (2 teaspoons)
sundried-tomatoes-and-parmessan powder (1 tablespoon**)
vegetable oil (around 2 tablespoons)
water, room temperature (around 1/2 a cup)

*It can be all-purpose with 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
**Again, you can replace this simply adding sundried tomatoes when you add the garlic and processing it, and some parmessan cheese.

Instructions

1. Put the flour, salt and garlic in a food processor and blend until you think the garlic has been turned into powder.
2. Add all the liquids and blend again. Add more water bit by bit if necessary until you achieve the right consistency.
3. Remove dough from the machine and knead with some extra flour until the dough is completely homogeneous. Cover it with a plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling (you can skip this step if in a hurry.)
4. Roll the dough till you achieve the desired thickness, put it in a pie tin, pinch with a fork and place in 350°F oven (180°C) for 5-10 minutes.

Filling

leeks (5 big ones)
onion (1 medium)
salt (to taste)
mushrooms (around 10 if you are using champignones, 5 if you are using portobello)
cheese (mozzarella or any other soft cheese, to taste really, I probably used 1 cup or somthing like that.)
eggs (1 big one)
low-fat milk (1/4 cup)
grated parmessan cheese (1/2 a cup)


Instructions
1. Sauté the chopped leeks and the onion with some salt until they are tender. Add the mushrooms, chopped, while the mix is still hot.
2. Cut the cheese in thin layers or in small squares.
3. Beat the egg with the milk just to mix them a little bit and add some salt if you like. You can also add any herbs or flavors to this mix.
4. Mix the eggs and milk with the vegetable mix. Pour over the pastry (To avoid any problems with moisture later on, I add some bread crumbs or panko over the pastry before pouring the vegetable mix.)
5. Cover vegetables with cheese.
6. Sprinkle with grated parmessan cheese.
7. Cook in 350° over for around 30 minutes. Obviously check every 10 mins.



I hope you enjoy it and please let me know how it went if you make it :)

2 comments:

Jaime said...

Hi Pip,

I found this recipt through your link to The Wednesday Chef, and I made it last night. I followed your recipe exactly, except I only used 3 leeks.
I had two issues: I had to add more than 2 cups of water to get the texture even close to dough, and because I was trying to get everything to stick, I ended up over-kneading it. Next time I make it, I'm going to try reducing the amount of dough -- I ended up with enough for two pie plates, and I only have one! Should have frozen the other half, but ended up chucking it.
The end result was a big hit, though: very flavorful and filling, without feeling too heavy. I'll definitely be making this one again!

Marce said...

wow, Jaime, so glad to hear you tried it out! I was beginning to think no one was trying my recipes.

About the water, that sounds like quite a bit to add. As I said, the amounts are quite approximate since I don´t measure the ingredients when inventing a recipe, but I wouldn´t expect to add more than 1 cup of water since the dough doesn´t have to be sticky at all.
What I do when I have leftover dough is extend it as if preparing another crust and cut it in squares with a knife, then I bake them in a pan and use them as snacks since the dough is full of flavor.
I´m sure you could also freeze it.
OR you could add a top crust to the tart. Anything goes really, except for throwing away food (or so my Italian grandma says hahaha).
If you even have a question about one of my recipes, just ask me and I´ll be glad to help you out :)