Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tarte Fine à la Tomate & Moutarde

Tomato & Mustard Puff Pastry Tart

The tail end of summer is winding down fast.  Here's an easy tart to pull together that uses the last summer tomatoes you may have on hand.  This makes a great lunch when served with a salad, packs well for picnics or makes nice appetizers if cut into bite-size pieces.

200-230g / 7-8 oz puff pastry (either fresh, or frozen that has been thawed)
5-6 ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly and seeded
about 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of grated gruyère or swiss cheese
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
herbs de provence, to taste
chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)
1 tablespoon capers (optional)

It's so easy, that you can practically follow the pictures to understand how to do it:

  1. I used a 26 cm / 10 inch glass pie pan - I buttered the bottom before laying out the puff pastry dough inside. Make a decorative edge by pinching the sides with your figures (we'll just call it rustic then).  You could also make this in a rectangular shape or cut into small individual circles.  Use a sheet of parchment paper underneath in these cases.  Dock the dough; rest in fridge until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C /400°F (I used convection).
  3. Cut your tomatoes thinly and seed them.  Coat with olive oil.  Set aside until needed.
  4. Spoon the mustard on the bottom of the puff pastry dough.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese.  Just a thin layer is enough.  This isn't really about the cheese, it's all about the tomato.  Sprinkle sun dried tomatoes over the cheese (if using).
  6. Place the sliced tomatoes in a rosary pattern around your tart, on top of the cheese.  You could even cut them in half again to get a tighter pattern. I didn't do that today, but when I do, it looks really nice.
  7. Season well with salt, pepper and herbs de Provence (or substitute with rosemary, thyme).  Sprinkle a little more chopped sun dried tomato and capers, if using.
  8. Bake in oven about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned on the  top, side and bottom (the advantage of the glass is that you can actually see it).  The tomatoes should be cooked down a bit & there shouldn't be liquid left from the tomatoes. 
  9. Remove from oven and let rest about 15 minutes.  Can be served room temp or slightly warmed but I find that it's not as good if served piping hot out of the oven.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Bye Bye Bali...Back to Paris

It's been forever since I've was in Bali and returned to Paris.   Since end of April in fact.  Don't know what happened here.  Time seems to have just evaporated, like it tends to do. The year has been busy with several events, private dinners, cooking lessons and the such, but also with lots of visitors.

OK, so that's my way of explaining why I haven't been around much.  "Stuff" has been happening.  Oddly enough, it's not as easy to restart as I thought.  The longer the break, the more difficult it is. 

The good news is that I've been cooking up a storm this year...!

Anybody still out there?  (I hope, I hope!)