Tomato Tartlets

Colorful, summery and perfect when you need a little bite.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 C grated Fontina or Swiss cheese (2-3ounces)

3 medium tomatoes, cut into twelve ¼- inch slices

Extra virgin olive oil for brushing

Ground pepper

1/3 C small basil leaves left whole or large and thin sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin and roll out the puff pastry to 14×16-inch rectangle. With a 4 inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. With a fork, prick each round all over. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese on each, leaving a small border, and top with one tomato slice; brush with oil, season with pepper.

Bake until pastry is deep golden at the edges, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Let cool completely before garnishing with basil. Makes 12.


Chicken Pot Pie Soup

soupAn old favorite, demoed years ago and back by popular demand.

4 puff pastry shells
4 T butter
1 C diced onion
3/4 C diced celery
3/4 C diced carrots
1½ C diced potatoes
1½ t poultry seasoning
1/4 t white pepper
½ salt
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 C flour
4 C chicken broth, preferably home-made
2 T dry sherry
2 C cooked chicken
½ C corn kernels
½ C peas
1/4 C heavy cream
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley

Bake puff pastry shells according to directions; set aside. In a large pot, melt butter and add diced vegetables; cover and sweat 10 minutes. Add seasonings; Whisk in flour, cook 2-3 minutes; slowly add broth, stirring mixture to incormporate and prevent flour from clumping. Add sherry; cook soup 15 minutes until thickened. Add chicken, corn, peas and let these simmer about three minutes until hot. Before serving, stir in heavy cream and parsley. Serve in large bowls, each serving topped with a puff pastry shell.


Rustic Beet Tart and Wilted Greens

BF_BeetTart2

 

 
A beautiful tart to add to the buffet table or serve as an appetizer. Try making a couple with different colored beets and you’ll be sure to wow the guests!

3 small (2 to 3 inch diameter) beets, any color, with the greens
½ package of frozen puff pastry, or equivalent of homemade
1 egg
¼ – ½ C half and half, whole milk or cream
3 – 5 ounces soft chevre style goat cheese, room temperature
Pinch of nutmeg- to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the greens from the beets, wash, remove thicker stems and set aside.

Scrub the beets. Place each beet on a small square of aluminum foil, wrap in the foil and bake at 400F anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your beets. They’re done when they are knife tender and can be pierced with the tip of a paring knife with ease. Once the beets are knife tender, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

While the beets cool, roll the puff pastry out until you have a rough 10-inch square. Transfer the square to a parchment-lined baking sheet or lined with non-stick foil. Roll in the edges of the pastry about an inch on all 4 sides so that you create pastry wall. Use a little water to seal the edges. You want to make sure that the custard doesn’t leak out when poured into the “shell”.

In a small bowl, mash the soften goat cheese with a fork or wire whisk. Add the egg and mix well. Slowly add the half and half, ¼ cup at first stir until you have a thick but pourable consistency. It should be no thinner than pancake batter, so don’t over pour.

Peel the skin from the beets and slice into rounds. You should get 5 or 6 rounds from each beet. Pour the custard into the pastry shell, then lay the beets on top, being careful not to overflow the pastry shell.
Bake at 400F until the pastry is golden, the custard is set, and the top is just a little brown, about 15 minutes.

About 5 minutes before you pull the tart out of the oven, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Roughly chop the beet greens and sauté them until wilted, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add them to the top of the tart, scattering loosely to distribute evenly. Finish baking a few more minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.