Saturday, 2 August 2014

Spring garden green tart

I'm back :-) I did not intentionally plan on taking a blog break, but my Macbook decided to go into hospital and as such needed to get repaired or replaced. There are now apps where you can blog on your mobile, but I'm not such a big fan so decided to wait for it to fix before sharing posts, plus it was good taking a breather from blogging for two full weeks! Although I have not been blogging, I certainly have been cooking and reviewing. I am looking forward to sharing several giveaways, reviews and even a bbq off in the next coming weeks. At the start of summer we experienced a surge of glorious sunshine which for food lovers means so many things: al fresco dining, feel good foods and natural lighting perfect for all those foodie pictures.
This recipe, Spring garden green tart is everything summer should be: light, refreshing and seasonal. This tart from my go to tart and pastry book, Eric Lanlard's Tart It Up is quick, simple and easy to make, which means one thing: I must make this again. 
Here is how my Spring garden green tart turned out:

Serves 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes,  plus  chilling. 
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Butter, for greasing
Plain flour, for dusting
350g shortcrust pastry
200g green asparagus,  ends trimmed
70g fresh garden peas
70g fresh broad beans
75 g Greek yoghurt 
200 ml double cream
100 ml dry white wine
1 tbsp snipped chives
100g Parmesan cheese,  freshly grated
Salt and freshly grounded black pepper

Butter a 26 x 20 cm rectangular tart tin,  3cm deep. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the tin. 
Lightly prick the base with a fork.  Allow to rest in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.  
Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil.  Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, or until  cooked but still firm. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh under cold running water.  Repeat with the peas, cooking them for 3 minutes,  then the broad beans, cooking them for 5 minutes.  
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the yogurt,  cream, wine and finally the fresh herbs. Beat well to blend,  then season with salt and pepper.
Cover the bottom of the  pastry case with half of Parmesan and arrange the asparagus,  peas and beans over the top in an attractive way. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan. Carefully pour over the egg mixture - it should come right to the top.  Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes,  or until set and nicely golden. 


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Prawn and chorizo pie.

I love a good ol pie, especially a pie made with a good pastry and a delicious filling. Savoury pies is a traditional British meal served regularly up and down British pubs and are especially comforting during the winter months. I also like sweet pies and regularly make a Mississippi mud pie to cater to my love of pastry and chocolate. As we are firmly in the season of Spring and looking forward to the summer months, I felt it was time to bake a pie which has summer flavours. Tart It Up by Eric Lanlard is a fantastic book for all pie and tart lovers as this cookbook contains 100 sweet and savoury recipes dedicated to the pastry. As I will shortly visit Espana over the coming weeks, I thought I would get in holiday mode with this Spanish inspired pie. Prawns reminds me of the summer months, these delicate seafood are always refreshing and paired with the flavoursome, robust flavours of chorizo and the flavoured rice makes this pie a vibrant change to the traditional pairings and also for those who have visited Spain will remind you of those sunny days. I thoroughly enjoyed not only eating but making this pie. Don't be put off by using the rice in a pie, it holds the robust flavours and I think the idea here is having a paella style pie.
Here is how my prawn and chorizo pie turned out:
Prawn and chorizo pie.

Prawn and chorizo pie baked and cut.

Prawn and chorizo mixture.

Prawn and chorizo pre bake

Prawn and chorizo prebake

Prawn and chorizo pie baked

Serves 6
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes

450g shortcrust pastry
plain flour, for dusting
butter, for greasing
200g chorizo, thickly sliced
500g tiger prawns shelled and devined (I used peeled frozen prawns)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150ml passata or tomato sauce
300g Spanish rice or long grain rice, cooked
1tsp paprika
100g fresh peas
1tsp salt
1tsp freshly ground pepper
1 egg beaten

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Grease a 26x20x4cm large pie dish or oven dish.
Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the dish. Roll out the remaining pastry to make the pie lid and set aside.
Put all the ingredients, except for the egg, into a bowl and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into the pie dish.
Moisten the edge of the pastry with half of the beaten egg. Drape the pastry lid on top and crimp to seal.
Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg to glaze, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

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