Hello everybody! And blessings to you this sunny day.
We continue to create more new recipes for you and new spiritual musings on line even though our cookbook Inspiring Cuisine has now been published. The recipes in Inspiring Cuisine are different from the ones we’ve been posting on the blog, and each chapter includes recipes for a whole meal (A Taste of Italy, A Summer Dinner etc.)
Scroll down to discover the “how” of ordering the cookbook. You will find the information at the end of today’s Food for Thought.
But for now—Voila!
Flamiche aux Poireaux (Leek Tart)
At the grocery store the leeks were beautiful – dark green leaves and firm white bottoms. I picked up some, not knowing what I was going to do with them, but I just had to have them. Usually I make leek and potato soup but I wanted to do something different. When I got home I pulled several cookbooks off the shelves and sat down in my big blue Queen Ann arm chair. After I checked indexes and flipped through several books, I found what I wanted in a book of French country recipes – a tart. That is what the book called it but quiche is more descriptive. Tart sounds like it should be a dessert to me.
Now if you are thinking, “Yuck! onion pie?” realign your thoughts. Leeks, like everything else in the onion family, become sweet when they are cooked. Think about the flavors in a good French onion soup, and your expectations will be headed in a better direction. It is incredibly delicious.
Do this recipe in a 9 or 10-inch pie pan, not in one of those shallow tart pans. The old cook book suggested serving sausages with it. So I did but found their texture lacking in contrast to the quiche. I would have rather had a tiny salad like cut up cucumber and tomato graced with salt, pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar. The eggs provided enough protein for my supper. It was so good I ate a fourth of a 9 inch pie!
I gave a fourth to a neighbor but still had half left. For breakfast the next morning, I cut another fourth and reheated it for one minute in the microwave. It was great, not overly cooked and no soggy crust. I am sure that you will enjoy this as much as I did. Guess what’s for lunch tomorrow.
If you have your pastry crust recipe memorized, use it. If you don’t, try this one.
You will need:
1 1/3 cups A. P. Flour 2 Tbs. Cold Vegetable Shortening
6 Tbs. Cold Unsalted Butter ½ tsp. Salt
3 to 6 Tbs. Cold Water
1. Cut the butter into the flour and salt with knives, pastry blender or food processor until the butter is the size of peas.
2. Add the cold water and mix with a spoon or pulse with the food processor until the dough starts to come together.
3. Turn the mixture out onto a sheet of waxed paper and shape the dough into a 6” disk.
4. Wrap the dough, and let it chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour or longer. You could leave it in there over night!
5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to fit your pan.
7. Place the pastry crust into the pan and crimp the edges.
1. Bake blind for 15 minutes. To do that, fit a sheet of aluminum foil into the pie pan. Pour dried beans or rice or pie weights to fill the pan. This is to keep the pie crust from buckling up.
2. After 15 minutes remove the aluminum foil and weights and bake for ten minutes longer. Baking blind keeps the crust from getting soggy.
3. Take the crust out of the oven.
4. Reduce the heat in your oven to 350 degrees.
For the Filling:
You Will Need:
2 large Leeks 2 cups of Half and Half
1 medium Yellow Onion 1 tsp. Salt
¼ cup of Butter ½ tsp. Ground White Pepper
4 large Eggs ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- Cut the tops off of the leeks. You want to keep the white part and about 1 inch of the light green part.
- Pull several layers of dark green leaves off of the severed tops until you see another inch of light green leek. Cut the light green part off and discard all of the dark green leaves.
- Cut the white and light green parts of the leeks into one inch segments, then split the segments in half, top to bottom, so that they fall apart.
- Wash the leeks thoroughly.
- Chop the leeks into fine pieces with your chef’s knife or food processor. If you are using the food processor, chop them in two batches. Thoroughly chop but do not puree.
- Mince the onion with your knife or food processor.
- Break 4 eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat slightly with a whisk.
- Add 2 cups of half and half (you can use one cup of whipping cream and one cup of whole milk, if that is what you have on hand) and beat with the whisk until it is combined with the eggs.
- Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Set this mixture aside.
1.Melt the ¼ cup of butter in a skillet or sauté pan over a medium heat
2. Add the leeks and onions. Cook and stir over the medium heat until the vegetables are thoroughly heated – about 1 ½ minutes.
3. Turn the heat down to low, put a lid over the skillet and steam the vegetables for 10 minutes to make them soft.
4. Pour the contents of the skillet into the waiting pastry shell. Spread the vegetables evenly in the shell.
5. Pour the egg and cream mixture on top of the vegetables.
6. Put the assembled tart into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown, or an inserted instant thermometer reads 155 to 160 degrees.
7. When the pie is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for ten to 15 minutes. Then slice and serve.
8. A little salad, a bottle of wine and someone who wants to be with you, and you’ll have a lovely evening.
Food for Thought:
Are you in a rut? Does everything seem dull and dreary? One way we can escape our ruts is by trying something new. It might be a quick snack recipe from Martha Stuart—a dollop of ricotta cheese topped with cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumber. Or it might be an experiment with bison in a stir fry (Have you checked out our last blog?). Or it could certainly be Dale’s delicious leek tart.
Balling up my crust into a disk then chilling it for 30 minutes before I roll it is something new to me. This crust has to be super flaky!! I think. A day passes and I discover it is. Yes, I prepared it last night for my family and they raved.
My son Stephen and I tried something new last Friday afternoon. We drove to Manitou Springs, tackled the new metered parking system and strolled to an untried coffee shop. We reveled in French roast coffee and cheesecake bites. Mine was chocolate. His was raspberry. Small bites, big satisfaction. The excursion lit up my day.
Sometimes stepping out of our rut requires courage. I really didn’t want to tackle that parking system, and I was not prone to visit Manitou Springs at all due to the traffic. But Stephen spurred me on, and the new venues were fun!
Actually I’ve been in a deep rut all year. Consumed with hip and stomach issues, I’d been taking long naps every day. Then the second week in May the Lord lifted me out of the pit and set me in Estes Park for the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.
The workshops were in different buildings, so we all had to walk a great deal. I’d been afraid it would be too much for me. But there was so much energy and inspiration among writers, agents and editors, so many ideas and encouragements to answer God’s call and write, write, write, that I walked like a Super Woman (well, almost). God gave me a new vision for a writing schedule, new direction for the world of my novel in progress and exciting pointers for marketing our cookbook Inspiring Cuisine. I’m stronger physically and more productive than I’ve been in months. Nothing is too hard for God.
When Jesus began His ministry, he resisted the people’s pleas for him to stay in the same place. Day after day he traveled to new towns, as God led him, so they too could hear the Good News.
When Jesus spoke to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew by the Sea of Galilee, he bid them leave their vocation of fishing, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
If you’re in a rut, try seeking God’s guidance first. Then begin creating a list of new things to try this coming month. Be prepared to be filled with energy and hope.
Why not start by trying our new recipe for leek tart (including setting your disk of pie crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes).
Or you might want to order Dale and RuthAnn’s signed copy of their cookbook Inspiring Cuisine. Simply send a check to: RuthAnn Ridley, 665 Pony Lane, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. The official price is $24.50 including shipping. If you have any questions e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t wait to hear from you!