Tarts/Quiche Archive

Sunday, December 2, 2007

ratatouille tart

ratatouille tart

When I made my version of baked ratatouille back in July, I had intended to follow up with suggestions of other things you could do with leftovers, or leftover ingredients, as I always have leftover components but have not yet found a store that will sell me two-thirds of one zucchini and a half an eggplant. I really hate having a quarter eggplant leftover, because I’m very unlikely to use it and incapable of throwing it away, so what usually happens is I stash it in the fridge where it gets forgotten about, rots, is found a month later as when I scream in horror and throw it away afterall, having flashbacks to that time I lived with three friends and we were cleaning out the fridge and found something completely awful way in the back and Dave said “sorry, that was my kiwi” and I was like, “uh, that’s a lemon.”

monday dinner

I digress. Here are some of the other ways we have used elements of this non-traditional “ratatouille”:

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, October 11, 2007

butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

I love fall. I mean, I know how decidedly unoriginal that is to say, but I can’t help it. I just want to inhale it, take a picture of every flame-thrown tree, mull over all of its cider and crunch through all of its dried leaves. I have been fortunate enough to marry someone who feels exactly the same way, but the only problem is figuring out how to make fall longer than it is and that solution, my friends, is to drive north to catch the early show.

upstateupstatesandals in octoberupstate

We headed upstate last year for the weekend and stayed at the most sigh-worthy B&B–where every window is ringed with tiles of stained glass and a man named Richard makes you amaretto-brushed French toast on Sundays–and made a point to get back there this year. Of course, its hard to predetermine when fall will peak; last year, we felt that we were a week too late, this year, we went a week earlier and felt that we were two weeks early. I hear an 80-degree October will do that.

Nonetheless, I have a whole new appreciation for early fall. I used to eschew its predominantly green cast and lack of ta-da shrubbery, but now I really get its charm: how else will a few superstars stand out?

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, January 25, 2007

a tatin, auditioned

tomato tarte tatin, attempt

Just a few days after returning from our honeymoon, Alex and I celebrated our two-year dating anniversary — which just seems now the most precious thing, celebrating ever teensy weensy moment that passes; oh, how married we’ve become — by going to DB Bistro for dinner. Though I never thought we could have a bad time anywhere, we really, really did not enjoy the meal; the waiter rushed us, I could have sworn one made a face when I opted for two appetizers and a side instead of an entrée, we were squeezed in like sardines next to possibly the most annoying female half of a couple, ever, and oh, a plate was whisked away from me before I was done. Meh! A few days later, I did something I had not done before or since, and wielded my mighty pen, drafting off a full-paged To Whom It May Concern, expressing as diplomatically as I could that I think we are the least fussy diners, ever, but were still sorely disappointed. Two days later, the manager called me, personally apologizing and inviting us back for a free champagne cocktail or some such; a few days after that, a signed letter from Mr. Boulud arrived backing up this offer. Very gracious, indeed, though I can’t say we’ve ever taken them up on this.

Onwards! I’d completely forgotten about this meal until browsing Eat and then Lobstersquad a couple days ago, both of whom had made tomato tarte tatins, something I’d ordered and absolutely loved at DB that night, and had sworn I’d try my hand at one day. Ignoring the fact that it is presently the opposite of tomato season and also that I’ve never made a classic tarte tatin before (though I will, very soon), I decided to follow my intuition (always a scary thing) and make what I approximated to be a similar version of it. Charmed by both the stellar quality of the canned, whole and utterly flawless San Marzano tomatoes we’ve had the luck to bring home lately, as well as the roasting-toasting step in the tomato soup I made a while back to bring out their flavor, I opted for the canned variety. Discarding their innards as gently as I could, I cooked them on the stove for a good 20 minutes in a big pat of butter with a pinch of sugar and a much larger one of salt, cooking off a lot of their liquid, then covered them with sliced coins of chèvre and a round of puffed pastry. Following Molly’s wonderful tatin instructions, I baked it for about 45 minutes until puffy and golden, inverting it a few minutes later on a plate.

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, January 14, 2007

leek and mushroom quiche

mushroom and leek quiche

Come on, be honest. Is there anything better than a homemade quiche? I could eat it with a pile of baby greens for dinner every night of the week. Or lunch, brunch or a post-gym snack. Is there anything more versatile? Oddly enough, I didn’t have a proper quiche pan until yesterday, when a trip to my beloved Bowery Kitchen Supply put me face-to-face with one for ten bucks. (Alex’s favorite kitchen name, ever, is Fluted Removable-Bottom Tart Pan, followed by Reamer. What, you didn’t know I was married to a twelve-year-old?) I was actually there to get my knives sharpened (mwa-ha-ha, it sounds so sinister, right?) and to look at pasta-makers (this excitement for later, but yes, I can barely contain myself, too), and within 2.5 seconds, I knew we were having quiche for dinner.

Unable to decide between Julia Child’s leek quiche and her mushroom variety, I opted instead to use a little of both. She suggests you braise the leeks for 30 minutes with a little butter, water and salt and you should listen to her. Remember those brown-braised pearl onions from the coq a vin? Well, they’ve got competition. She has you cook mushrooms in a way I haven’t before, but it will now be my go-to method for sautéed mushrooms because it was divine: a pat of butter, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of port, cooked low with the lid on for eight minutes. How does she do that? How does she take something you’ve done your whole life and convince you each time you could have been doing it better because they’ve never tasted this good?

mushroom and leek quiche

Continued after the jump »

Monday, October 23, 2006

spinach quiche

spinach quiche

After a week that felt nothing short of chaotic and angsty, this weekend was just what the over-tangled brain ordered. Saturday, we headed to the surprisingly-empty and orchre-tinted foliage deprived Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a few hours. Still, wandering around snapping up this and that to contribute my quota of flower pictures to the internet was turned out to be exactly the antidote my week called for.

brooklyn botanic

Alas, no day could be perfect without cooking for the people I love, I insisted upon pulling together dinner for my husband and sister-in-law before heading out to see The Prestige. Along with the reheated stinktastic galette leftovers and the best pantry staple, Caesar salad, in some sort of miracle I managed to get my favorite quiche together in under an hour. I’ve been making this spinach quiche for so long, I feel almost possessive of it, forgetting that that somewhere, other people must too, and now I am encouraging you, also. It’s fantastically simple, three everyday cheeses, some green onions and a box of frozen spinach, and keeps so well, it’s actually tastier the next day, with the flavors cool, settled and happily enmeshed. Don’t be put off by its overly-healthy and wholesome appearance, it tastes like a treat and I can’t wait to feast on it with a green salad for lunch this week.

from the oven

Continued after the jump »


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