Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mother of Invention Tarts

This week I expect a two lots of company, and the Bite Club meets on Tuesday.  Greek food.  So all this means some action in the kitchen.

So I took a look through various Greek cookbooks on the suggested list, and the only one that didn't involve lamb, ew, and eggplant, ew, and other items I'm not so fond of, was a vegetarian one, in which I found a recipe for phyllo dough.  Now I don't like buying prepared food at all, reluctantly once bought phyllo dough to make an Ottolenghi recipe, and thought hm, why not try making this and trying it on the Bite Club guinea pigs, I mean members.

So I checked it out, watched a YouTube video, and though I was dying to do it, quickly realized that minutes and minutes of kneading would do me in, and not be a smart move. Sigh.  But there was a nice recipe for a fruit and nut filling for a phyllo coil.  Perhaps I could make that...

Then I read the ingredients.  Dried apricots (can't use, they give me asthma, the sulfur) and almonds (didn't have).  So I decided to sub fresh pitted dates and chopped walnuts.

Then I thought maybe a regular pastry, which I can make, very little handling, would not work so well for the coil, might be heavy.  Sooooo. Why not make individual tarts and fill them with the mix I sort of invented?

So far so good, but it took a lot more fuss than I expected to get the pastry to pick up in a nice ball to roll out gently.  I eventually managed it without making it too tough to eat.  And then came the decision about oven heat and time.  This was not like the pastry recipe nor the coil recipe. Hm.

So I put them in muffin tins, at 375F for 20 minutes, tested, then turned the whole thing around (you do know to do that, no? when baking, at some point turn the pan 180 to make sure the baking is even, ovens not being even).  Anyway, tested one after five more minutes and in fact it's okay.  Mother of Invention Tarts.

I plan a little drizzle of great maple syrup over each one once cool. The filling, if you want to know:  about a cup of chopped walnuts, all I had, a cup of whole dates, which when cut up fine made a lot more, oh, ah, about quarter cup of brown sugar (made by drizzling molasses over white sugar, I never buy the brown) three tablespoons good honey, two tsps ground cinnamon.  All cut up together and mixed with a wooden spoon in a big bowl, to give room to push it about a bit.  Notice how crumbly the pastry looks. This is a good sign, means it's tender to eat.

Astute readers will note that this leaves me with nothing but excuses to take to Bite Club, oh well.  I'll give them an IOU for the phyllo dough, which I am determined to do at some point.

Yesterday, after a wonderful day out with friends, was just right for being home alone and cooking for company.

I made a tomato and chickpea soup, a banana rum raisin loaf, and put Alaskan pollock in Worcestershire to marinate.  I'll bake it for this evening's guest, with panko crumbs, together with mashed potato, I think. Soup, fish, and now a choice of desserts should do it!

Handsome Son reports that he has found a job, is doing orientation tomorrow and will start very soon, yay!  thanks from me to everyone who was supportive during the Big Quest.  He is continuing with the consulting work and with his own small computer assistance biz, too.   So I hope he's all set now after a difficult year.

1 comment:

  1. Necessity (and what's in the cupboard) is the mother of invention - or so it's said. These tarts look good! (and congratulations to H.S. - hope all goes well for him!!).


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