I believe the last time I entertained properly was for LeeLee's first birthday - when the funds aren't there the fun's not there if you know what I mean but, Mom's friend Cindy was coming to town and suddenly we were having a get together of four (make that 5) bloggers, all of whom love good food and to boot there was a Tablescaping gig going on in Blogland...my inner foodie was itchin' for some new kitchen creations...
I don't know which was more fun; preparing for my guests or actually entertaining them. Savvy City Farmer, Farm Girl Cyn, Frey Girl 4 Life, Amélie's Fabulous Destiny and of course Moi gathered around the table and though we did not break bread we did cut into two amazing tarts and one to die for cake. This would be a never ending post (even more so than some of my others) if I posted all three recipes so I will start with the one that has been requested by Farm Girl Cyn and I will let you fine ladies choose which one you would like next.
As you can see this was a riot of an afternoon (HomemakerAng you were sorely missed!!!!) Our bellies laughed and our taste buds danced! I dream of cooking for people every day so this was so fun to exercise some of that energy. Who wants to come over next? I could get used to this!!!
Tomato Tarte (adapted from Gourmet Magazine 2001)
You will need:
For the Crust
1 1/4 Cups Organic, Unbleached flour
3/4 stick homemade or organic sweet cream butter cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons cold shortening (Spectrum makes and organic tub available on Amazon.com)
2 tablespoons Parmesan or Romano cheese (I chose Romano)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
I think you will find that this would not be a disaster if you used rice flour to keep it gluten free
For the filling:
3/4 pound of fresh mozzarella, not unsalted and very thinly sliced
2 lbs mixed heirloom tomatoes (Since it's not really tomato season I used 3 regular tomatoes and a package of colorful ones to give the presentation I was looking for)
Blend together flour, butter, shortening, Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt in a bowl of in your Cuisinart, pulsing. Do so until mixture resembles course meal with some pea size lumps. Gently squeeze it, if it does not hold together without falling apart add a little more water.
I tell you what, I am so impatient and I routinely add more water than I should but it always works out in the end. Keep working til you get the consistency you are looking for but don't abuse your dough or it will become tough!
Work the dough with the heal of your hand once or twice if the fat does not look distributed then gather it into a ball, pat it to a disc and chill for one hour the fridge (wrapped in plastic wrap).
Preheat oven to 375. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 12 inch round and fit into a 9" tart pan with removable sides. Roll rolling pin over the edges to trim the dough and make it flush with the trim. Prick shell with a fork.
Line the shell with foil and fill with pie weights or rice. (I LOVE my pie weights and don't know what I ever did without them!) Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake until golden. About 15 minutes more. Cool.
Remove the sides (and bottom if you can) and place the shell on your platter if you can restrain yourself and not eat the entire thing. Arrange one third of the mozzarella in the bottom of the shell and spread 1/3 of the pesto on it. Arrange one third of the tomato slices...lather, rinse, repeat.
Season with salt and pepper and just imagine this baby with the tomatoes from your garden this summer!
I made this in honor of Cindy who I know loves tomatoes, she took a bite and said, "Oh! It's like summer in a tart!"
Oh, I almost forgot!
You choose the next recipe: Balsamic Onion tart with Goat Cheese OR Blackberry, Buttermilk Cake.