Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We had the distinct pleasure of welcoming one of my blog readers and a couple of his friends over for dinner the other night. Actually, I think our guest's wife is the major blog reader, but she couldn't make the trip up from Atlanta, unfortunately! Anyway, one of our guests is a vegetarian, so I decided that most of the meal would be meatless. I wanted to create something elegant for her and I found a wonderful leek tart, or Tarte Saint-Germain, to make. Oh my stars is about all I can say about this dreamy recipe. I decided though that the recipe I chose was a bit heavy on the cream, so I substituted sour cream and light cream for the heavy and was amazed at the results. When I removed the gorgeous, golden tart from the oven, it was as light and airy as a souffle, and stayed all puffed up until I put it on the table.

I also took one of my crust recipes and substituted whole wheat flour for regular. Smashing..Greg tells me he wants this on the regular Fall menu.

So, first for the crust:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar
2/3rds cup butter chilled and cut into pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water

Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter and shortening, using your finger tips, incorporate until mixture resembles course meal. Add enough water in teaspoons to form a ball of dough. Turn out onto floured work surface and smear dough away from you with the palm of your hand, ensuring that the butter is mixed throughout. Don't overwork, or the dough will be tough. Gather in ball, wrap in wax paper and chill for at least two hours.
(This all takes approximately 10 minutes, dough really isn't that hard to make. I usually make it just before going to the grocery store for the rest of the ingredients so that it is chilled by the time I get back from running errands).
When chilled through, roll into circle and place in quiche or deep dish pie plate, overhanging the edges of the dough , crimp or fold over the make a thicker edge. Partially bake for at least 10-12 minutes with a foil cover and baking beans for weight at 350 degrees

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 sweet onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
6 leeks trimmed, washed and sliced
2 egg
2 egg yolks
1 cup light cream
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
freshly ground nutmeg to taste
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese

Sautee onions and garlic in the butter until soft, add the leeks, cover, and let simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir often. take off heat and cool
Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolks, light and sour creams and spices in a bowl. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
spoon leek mixture into partially baked pie crust and then add egg mixture to top. Spinkle the cheese on top and pop in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until it looks like the picture above. (mine took about 55 minutes).
Let cool and set for a few minutes and serve warm.



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