Tian Tourte

Where the hell have I been? Having a severe case of creativity block.  Himself and I decided to do lots more vegetarian fare, and I’ve been using all my brain for what the fuck to cook for dinner. This didn’t leave much energy for the blog.  Then I made this the other night, and my favorite Biker Betch at work saw the Instagram and was like,” is that going on the blog or what?” And, poof. There we have it. All thanks the awesome BB. Thank you, sweetness, you are the best!

This is a recipe for a 20cm (about 8”) tarte, and will give 4-6 big slices.  So, enough for four with a salad. I baked this lovely in the forkin’ amazeballs tarte pan I got from Lakeland.  Seriously – without blind baking the bottom crust was crisp and not soggy. I love this pan so much, I want to marry it.

Seriously – can you see that crispiness at the bottom? SO awesome!

When you’re picking out the tomato, squash, and onion – try to get them as close in diameter as possible.  Because you’ll be stacking them, the uniformity will become important.

Well, shall we? Let’s do this.

Tian Tourte

The Crust
⅓ a recipe of Martha’s pate brisee. (I used a 4:1 ratio of AP to WW flour, though)

The Base
¼ c. Ricotta or Greek yogurt ( or ¼ c tofutti sour cream mixed with ½ tsp. Lactic acid. If you were feeling REALLY lazy, you could also just use the egg and 1/4c. Boursin and skip the garlic and herbes)
1 egg
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. GOOD Herbes de Provence


The Veg
1 zucchini, sliced 1/4” rondelles
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/4″ rondelles
1 small white onion, siced in 1/4″ rondelles
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced in 1/4″ strips

Topping (optional):
¼ c to ½ c shredded cheese (Gruyere, romano, asiago, etc.)

Alrighty, my lovelies.  Roll out your crust ¼” thick, form it in your quiche tin and stick it in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 375*.

Get your mis en place going – slice the veg, whisk together the base. Get out a cookie sheet and line it with parchment.  I find it much easier to bake loose-bottomed pans that way, plus it catches any drips. Once you’re set up, take the raw crust from the fridge and set the pan on the lined tray. Pour in and smooth the base.  Next, pick up one slice each of the tomato, squash, onion, pepper and stack them. Set these on their side on the prepared base, working from the outside edge of the pan. See the picture to reference what it should look like.

 Keep adding your alternated veg in a circle until you make it all the way around. Then start the next ring and go until you’ve used up all your veg. Sprinkle it with some S&P, and cheese if you are lucky and not dairy-impaired like we are, or some olive oil if you are.

Slide the tray in the oven and bake about 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden and the veg tender. Your nose should tell you when it’s done.

Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. To get this bad boy out of the pan, once it’s cooled a bit, set the pan on a bowl or soup can – something narrower than the bottom.  The ring part of the pan should just drop down the counter, leaving you to slide the pie from the bottom on to a serving plate or cutting board.

(And, if you want to put this puppy over the top, make some really good garlic butter and toast some breadcrumbs in it and then sprinkle that on the slices as you serve them. Soooo yummy!)

That’s it. Bon apetit. Let me know if you like it!

Cheesy Herb Garlic Zucchini Sticks

It’s one of those uninspired weeks – where I start thinking on Wednesday, “What am I going to blog about this week?!?”  I want to go nuts with the cakes and cookies, but it’s just kind of mean to make the whole house smell like that when Bill can’t eat any…..So, I went with what was in the fridge: zucchini.  

Cheese Herb Garlic Zucchini Sticks
Cheese Herb Garlic Zucchini Sticks

 

 

And, I just love zucchini with lemon and thyme, but I only had the dried herb.  I knew I wanted to roast the squash, but that was really incompatible with those hard little sticks – what to do, what to do…. so I pounded it with some salt and garlic in the mortar and pestle. Problem solved!

ZucchiniPanel1

ZucchiniPanel2

 

Bill says they’re good. And, although the garlic smell is really out there while they’re cooking, the end product is just lightly garlicky.  Heads up, though! You might think you’re in Gilroy while they’re baking. 

mmm......crunchy cheesy bits....
mmm……crunchy cheesy bits….

And, who am I kidding? This might have been the best part of the whole thing – cheesy paper for grown-ups! 

Let’s make some – and tell me how yours turn out!
For the toss
1 clove garlic
½ tsp. dried thyme
Dash kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp lemon zest
For the rest
2 zucchini, cut to look like wedge fries
¼ freshly grated pecorino romano or parmeggiano reggiano
Instructions
Preheat oven to convection 400* (or plain old 375*)
Smash the garlic clove in the M&P.*
Add in the salt and thyme and pound till the thyme is no longer hard little sticks.
Add in the olive oil and lemon zest, and pound it a few more times to mix it all together.
Transfer the paste to a bowl, toss zuke sticks in it and then spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle w/ the cheese.
Bake 20 minutes, then turn to broil for a few to get things crunchy and brown.
Notes
*You could totally skip the M&P if you have fresh thyme. Just mince the garlic, then smoosh it with the salt and thyme with the side of your knife right on the cutting board.

Velouté d’asperges et courgettes au thym et citron (it sounds so fancy for leftovers…)

Some parts of being a former French teacher I will not let go – the biggest being a serious French Food Fangirl, and proud of it. Why? Allow me to illustrate – they can take the bits of stuff we would have thrown out and turn it in to something extraordinary.  This is creamy asparagus soup made with asparagus butts. You know, those end pieces you trim off and throw away? 
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This is a super simple recipe and you can discern every ingredient with each bite – the sweetness of the squash and onion, a faint note of celery, the earthiness of the asparagus, touches of lemon and thyme and through it all the gorgeous richness of that butter. Oh, my.

 

This beautiful, rich, fresh-tasting soup came to be because I was going to post about a roasted asparagus salad but wound up with some serious woody asparagus stems.
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And that made me think of my last French host mom, and how horrified she would be if I threw that much food away. So, I put those, and a couple chopped up courgettes, a celery rib and a slice of onion in the steamer.
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After twenty minutes, I puréed it with some warm chicken stock, pushed it through a mesh sieve, put in a ton of butter and a dash of lemon zest and fresh thyme and called it exquisite. Which it was. 

Asparagus Courgette Soup

The next time you have some asparagus butts, make this. You will be SO happy!

Asparagus Squash Soup with Lemon & Thyme
Serves 2
Fast, healthy creamy soup equally delicious hot or at room temp.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
217 calories
12 g
46 g
18 g
6 g
11 g
367 g
28 g
8 g
1 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
367g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217
Calories from Fat 159
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
28%
Saturated Fat 11g
56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 46mg
15%
Sodium 28mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
40%
Vitamin C
74%
Calcium
7%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of asparagus butts
  2. 2 courgettes (zucchini/dark green summmer squash)
  3. 1 small celery stalk
  4. 1 thickish slice of an onion (about 1/4")
  5. Chicken broth as needed
  6. 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  7. 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  8. 1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Instructions
  1. Steam the veg for 20 minutes.
  2. Purée in your food processor for a good bit with enough hot broth to get it going. You can add the rest of the ingredients here, or after you strain it - your choice.
  3. Strain the purée through a mesh sieve to get out the woody parts of the stem and celery strings.
  4. Serve with a lemon wedge, and if you're feeling truly daring another pat of butter.
  5. Now in your best Julia voice, say "bon appétit!"
Notes
  1. Serve with some garlicky croutons and Yum!
beta
calories
217
fat
18g
protein
6g
carbs
12g
more
Adapted from La Dinette de Crevette
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/
 

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