Monthly Archives: March 2014

NEW – From the Web Wednesday!


Not sure why I feel the need to be on this kick to tie my recipe to a coordinating day…but since so many of us get our recipes from our inbox or facebook feed, I thought I’d go ahead and add from the web day on, of course, Wednesday.

I promised that Monday’s magazine pick would be true to the written recipe, well, I am not going to make the same promise about Web Wednesday! I’ve always known that I rarely follow recipes, but until I started the Magazine Pick I had no idea how difficult it is for me to follow a recipe. I see dozens of them in the dozens of magazines I subscribe to, but whenever I read them, I am always making adjustments for a wide variety of reasons. A recipe is really a source of inspiration, a guide! And you should see them that way too!

That said, today’s web inspiration is pretty true to the original recipe from Saveur magazine’s blog. I simply made the crust gluten free.

I first made this a year ago on a dessert-making spree for my birthday weekend. It is an amazingly simple tart, that packs a wallop of both flavor and impact – it is really pretty and doesn’t look at all easy to make. I will warn you that you do need to allow time to prepare this, each stage has to cool and set before you move on.I was told it is the best dessert I have ever made…I have made a lot of desserts!

I’ve made this several times over the past year and it never disappoints. A couple of notes. The crust is thick and essentially an enormous chocolate cookie. Don’t be expecting a thin pie crust here. I think the thick cookie is needed to balance the layers of caramel and chocolate. But if you want a thinner crust, go ahead and cu the recipe down.

Be sure to cook the caramel to 340. I did get impatient once, was convinced my thermometer was off and pulled the caramel too soon. It was hardly a disaster, it just meant that the caramel layer didn’t get completely firm. It maintained a thick sauce quality rather than candy and when I cut the tart it ooozed out. Still delicious and believe me it didn’t keep us from eating it!

So make this for a special occasion, make this when you want to impress your friends, make this for yourself because it doesn’t get any better than chocolate and caramel…just make it!

1 1/4 cups GF AP Flour (I use King Arthur)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teas salt
10 TB unsalted butter, room temp, cubed
1/2 cup plus 2 TB powdered sugar
2 egg yolks, room temp
1/2 teas vanilla

In a medium bowl mix flour, cocoa powder and salt.
In large bowl or stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy, add egg yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients.
Press crust into a 9-inch fluted, removable bottom, tart pan. Press evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
Pierce crust all over with a fork. Bake 20 minutes. Cool completely.

1 1/2 cup sugar
3 TB golden syrup
1/4 teas salt
6 TB unsalted butter
6 TB cream
1 TB creme fraiche

In a 1 qt saucepan, whisk sugar, syrup, salt and 6 TB water until mixed. Bring to a boil.
Cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 340 degrees.
Remove pan from heat, stir in butter, creme and creme fraiche. It will bubble up. Stir until smooth.
Pour into cooled tart shell.
Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

In a small saucepan bring cream just to a boil over medium heat.
Place chocolate in a bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Pour over chilled tart. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

Maldon salt or Fleur de Sel
Sprinkle with salt just before serving. Serve chilled.



Monday Magazine Pick – Spanish Tortilla


It’s back!

My Monday magazine pick has returned. After spending most of February battling a never-ending cold, then the flu, and spending that last few weeks trying to get back on track, finally….I’ve been doing quite a bit of cooking lately, but this the first magazine pick since starting to feel like spending time in the kitchen again.

The article in the February 2014 issue of Country Living was about eggs, the many uses that go way beyond breakfast and brunch and are very easy on the budget. This one caught my eye from the get-go because few people see tortilla and think of anything other than quesadillas or burritos. Well the Spanish tortilla is hardly even a distant relative of the Mexican version. They are both round. A closer cousin would be a frittata or open-faced omelet. It is an egg and potato dish, often served as tapas. It is wonderful in it’s simplicity, open to a variety of ingredients, whatever is in season, whatever you have on hand.

For this one I had everything I needed on hand except the Manchego cheese. I don’t keep that in the fridge on a regular basis. If you don’t want to go out and get Manchegeo, which has a great nuttiness to it, you can use Parmesan or Romano for this particular combo. Also feel free to add different veggies and switch up the cheeses…the two constants will need to be the eggs and onions.

I did make a couple of alterations to the recipe as written…I know, I know, there she goes again!

Well, I only had 6 eggs, so I added just a bit of water to increase the volume some.

I didn’t use a nonstick pan because I don’t own one.

When I got to the final batch of potatoes, I did 3 batches. I added about 1/4-cup chicken broth to the pan first, scraped up the yummy browned bits, then added the remaining potatoes, cooked them until the broth was reduced and thick and the potatoes were soft and added all of that to the bowl of reserved onions and potatoes. Then I wiped out the pan and carried on as instructed.
Another note, it really is best to have these potatoes sliced thinly, 1/8-inch is perfect. If you don’t have a mandoline, or aren’t used to using one, pull out that slicing blade for your food processor. This is what it’s for!

This is a great brunch dish, afternoon lunch, terrific for a family get together.

Spanish Tortilla with Manchego and Green Olives
Country Living, February 2014
page 94

1/4 cup plus 3 TB olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/8inch thin slices
1 1/2 teas salt
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes), cut into 1/8 inch slices
1/2 teas freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/4 pound aged Manchego cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat a 10- to 12-inch ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium heat, add 2 TB olive oil. Add onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet over medium heat, add 2 TB oil. Working in batches add a third to half the potatoes. Add salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add to reserved onions. Repeat until done.

Add eggs and olives to onion-potato mixture and stir to combine.

Wipe the skillet clean. Add olive oil. Add half of mixture, use back of spoon to create a smooth even layer. Top with cheese, then cover with remaining potato mixture. Cook fo 10 minutes on stove top, then transfer to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Adjust oven to broil and brown the top for 3-5 minutes. Cool pan on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes. Invert onto serving pan and slice.

Can be served hot or at room temp.

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