Tuesday, August 01, 2006

3Tides in Belfast was written up in the Bangor Daily News Living Section on Sunday as a great place to eat at the bar. We happened upon the reporter clandestinely scoping out the joint one night and invited her and her friend to join Greg and me at the bar. Apparently we told some secrets that we shouldn't have! Oops! Sorry David! It was a great write up though..congratulations!


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.



Monday, July 31, 2006

I was trying to make homemade pesto yesterday with basil from the garden, but the hail last week did a number on my plants and everything looked as if it had been shot through. So, pressed for time and unwilling to go the to grocery store for basil, I took what little basil I had and combined it with some sage and some mint leaves. added toasted pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and I had a pretty good tasting pesto, but not quite what I wanted for a "sauce" for our pork chops. I then made an aioli with mayo and garlic and then combined it with the pesto, chilled it for several hours and voila, had a wonderful accompanyment to grilled meat.



Sunday, July 30, 2006

OK, been there twice now just to make sure it wasn't a fluke (it wasn't) and I can say with assurity now that David's restaurant at Willy World on Route 1 in Northport has the best New York Strip Steak around, better than the Edge. I couldn't believe it when we went there the first time last week and I found it on the menu for $16.95 for a 12oz cut, thats over $10 less expensive than the Edge and you get the whole steak, not slices. Their onion rings are hand battered and light and crisp as a feather. Just amazing. Even their lobster rolls are huge, with just a hint of mayo. As we were dining, two friends came in for dinner because I told them how good it was and they were raving about their burgers, juice dripping down their arms and everything.
I have never been there when there is more than one other table of diners and I just can't figure out why. The food is excellent, the prices are low and the atmosphere is just hysterical. You have to go!