Apple Onion Tart

June 24th, 2019

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I have been thinking about  making a savory apple tart for a while.  So it seemed like fate when I made a quick trip to the Union Square farmer’s market on Friday.   Not surprisingly, by early evening in the middle of winter, the selection was pretty slim.  I pretty much could buy apples, apples, or apples.

So, um, I bought some apples.  I also bought onions because I use them in everything and would always rather have a few extra from the farmer’s market sitting around.  And then it clicked: what about an apple onion tart?  I was intrigued.

It turned out so great.  I made mini tarts, but you could also make a big one for a brunch or as a light dinner.  I think this recipe would be great with other cheeses too — gruyere would work really well, I think, but you might want to mix the cheese after sauteeing the apples, away from the burner, and then stick the tart back into the oven for 5-8 minutes to melt the cheese (and make them extra delicious)!

Apple Onion Tart

INGREDIENTS:
For crust:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 tbsp water

For filling:
1 golden apple, peeled and diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan
1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place flour, sugar, salt, butter, one egg, and water in a food processor. Pulse until blended into one large ball of dough.
3. Roll dough out on a floured surface, into an approximately 12? circle. Roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it on top of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
4. Press the dough into the pan so it fits into all the edges, particularly on the sides of the tart pan. Trim the excess dough from the edges of the pan.
5. Refrigerate the tart dough for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the tart from the refridgerator, and line the inside of the tart with aluminum foil. Place pie weights (or dried beans, or rice) in the foil.
7. Bake for 30 minutes (the tart is easier to bake if you place the tart shell on a cookie sheet).
8. Remove the tart from the oven and remove the foil and pie weights. Return to the oven and continue to bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the tart’s edges are is golden, but not browned. Place on a counter or table to cool the tart shell.
9. In a medium saute pan, saute onion in olive oil until translucent. Add apple and salt and saute an additional 4-5 minutes on medium-low heat. Add parmesan, and mix for an additional 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
10. Remove filling from heat, and spoon into cooled tart shell. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

→ 38 CommentsTags: appetizers · food · main dishes




baked quinoa and eggs

June 19th, 2019

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I haven’t always been a breakfast person, but I find that as I get older (and, more importantly, busier), breakfast has become my favorite meal of the day. 

Let’s be clear: I’ve always loved eating breakfast foods.  I regularly go out for dinner and order omelettes and bagels when they’re on the menu, but somehow eating a big meal first thing in the morning has never been my thing. 

That changed a lot when I got pregnant — to avoid morning sickness, the first thing I’d do after waking up was to make myself a few slices of toast for breakfast.  And eventually, it became a bit of a habit — after the first trimester was over, I still found myself craving something healthy and delicious in the mornings.

And this is the perfect recipe for those cravings — it’s a boost of protein, vitamins and whole grains in a single dish.  It’s a yummy, nutritious way to start your day! 

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Baked Quinoa and Eggs

INGREDIENTS
2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked according to package instructions)
4 cups spinach leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chives
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375.  In a medium saucepan, saute the spinach and bell pepper in olive oil, adding Parmesan cheese, sea salt and ground pepper to taste (approximately 5-8 minutes).  In a medium-sized baking dish, spread cooked quinoa across the bottom of the dish, and then top with the spinach and bell pepper mixture.  Carefully break four eggs on top of the spinach mixture, keeping the egg yolks intact. 

Bake until the egg whites are set, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chives and additional ground pepper.  Serve warm.

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→ CommentsTags: Breakfast and Brunch · food




Chocolate Mocha Mousse

June 17th, 2019

My family goes to the same spot in Jamaica every year, and my dad always tells us that he swears the restaurant at the resort we stay at puts something in their chocolate cake to make it completely addictive. He might be right, because I always find myself going back for an extra bowl or four. Finally, after several years of listening to this, I asked one of the waiters what was in the cake my dad raves so much about.

He kind of laughed, and told me that it was actually a chocolate and tia maria cake. No wonder it was so addictive. But it speaks to a fundamentally true dessert concept: while chocolate is good, chocolate, coffee and liqueur are great.

Well, I have managed to turn my dad’s favorite dessert into a chocolate mousse. And I’ve realized, now, what my previous mousse recipes were lacking, and what made them go wrong: they needed several very generous splashes of liqueur.  Ok, well, maybe that couldn’t have saved all of my previously chronicled mousse failures, but it was actually a large part of the texture problem. The chocolate section of the recipe needed something to make it a little bit lighter, so that it could incorporate itself into the egg and cream without deflating them: water and liqueur.

I didn’t figure this out entirely on my own, though. My DVR helped quite a bit, because it happened to record an episode of America’s Test Kitchen, which is pretty much my favorite cooking show, and in that episode, they tackled chocolate mousse.  With this knowledge, and adding a few of their tweaks to my prior recipe, I was ready to boldly go where I’d never (successfully) gone before.

But, if I do say so myself, this one knocked my expectations out of the park.  It was just incredible.  I served the mousse in pretty little dessert cups at the end of a great dinner party, and everyone loved them. And now that I have the basic principles down, there will be plenty more chocolate mousse recipes where this one came from — it’s a perfect dish to entertain with because it’s made ahead of time, and everyone loves chocolate. But don’t take my word for it — go make it yourself!

Chocolate Mocha Mousse

INGREDIENTS:
For the Chocolate Mocha Mousse:
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tablespoons tia maria
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp water
3 eggs, separated
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar

For the Whipped Cream:
2 tbsp tia maria
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp chocolate shavings

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine chocolate, butter, cocoa powder, 4 tbsp water water and 3 tbsp tia maria in a double-boiler, and heat until chocolate melts to a smooth consistency.
2. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate warm, but not hot.
3. Beat together the egg yolds and 1 tbsp of sugar. Stir a little bit of the warm chocolate into the egg yolks, and then stir all of the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate.
4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites and one tablespoon of sugar until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
5. Beat one cup of heavy cream until it forms soft peaks (do not overbeat!). Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
6. Spoon the mousse into serving dishes. Refrigerate the dishes, covered with saran wrap, for at least 8 hours or up to one day.
7. Immediately before serving, whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar to soft peaks. Beat in 2 tbsp tia maria until incorporated. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream onto each of the mousse dishes, and garnish with chocolate shavings. Serve.

Makes about 10 small-ish servings, or 6-8 medium-sized ones.

→ 30 CommentsTags: desserts · food