August 12, 2013
Tomato season! Tomato season! Hurrahhhhhhh!
One of my colleagues grew these adorable and flavorful cherry tomatoes in his backyard. One day when he brought a tupperware full of them to work, I couldn’t resist eating a few every time I stopped by the kitchen, and he mentioned that soon he would have more tomatoes than he and his family could possibly eat.
So, I made him a deal: bring me tomatoes, and I will make something with them for the office.
Flaky pie dough is rolled out into a big circle and filled simply with sweet, fresh tomatoes and just enough goat cheese and basil to make it interesting. The edges are folded up rustically, brushed with cream, and the whole thing bubbles in the oven, just until the tomatoes soften and pop and the crust gets all golden at the edges.
Is it weird that I accidentally woke up at 6am and decided to make a tomato tart? Maybe. Was I still pretty jetlagged? Certainly. Did bringing this in to work make me way more popular that day? You betcha.
November 13, 2012
This is one of the appetizers (besides the copious charcuterie and cheese) that I served at our last little get-together.
It’s simple, seasonal, and extremely flavorful — the sweet butternuts squash is accentuated by the chile-infused honey and the crispiness of the puff pastry is mirrored by that of the sage. When I made it, I used an entire bird’s-eye chile and found it a bit too spicy — I’ve scaled that down to 1/2 a chile here to rein it in a bit.
November 5, 2012
You know what I don’t understand? Crustless quiche. First of all, isn’t that just a frittata? Secondly, the crust is clearly the best part of quiche, so why would you want to get rid of it? (I know, I know, it’s because it’s fattening… but seriously people, we need to get over our fear of butter for some things, and quiche is one of those things.)
Perhaps I’m biased because, well, I make some excellent pie crust. It’s the easiest thing, and I like to have a couple of discs of it in my fridge at all times just in case some fruit takes a turn and must immediately be turned into pie, or I have savory leftovers begging to become pot pies.
The only equipment you need is your fingers, a counter, a bowl (though this is optional), and about ten minutes of your time for an outstandingly flaky, buttery, versatile crust. Here’s how I do it.
October 2, 2012
Say that you are having a party. Say, a large party, one with lots of guests. The kinds of guests you want to impress, but are svelte health-conscious types, so you don’t want to go overboard with dessert and serve a seven-layer chocolate cake or something.
This. This is what you should serve.
Not only are these tarts impressively beautiful, they’re something of a Cinderella dessert: despite all their frills and puffs, at their hearts they’ve got the honest flavor of down-home apple pie, all cinnamon and sugar and sweet homey reminiscence.