Sunday, June 9, 2013

Berry Tarts

I don't think I've posted this before, and it is one of my very favorite recipes. I make it all summer long--with whatever berries happen to be in season. Cherries, strawberry rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries--they are all simply fantastic. Top with whipped cream. From Joy of

Berry Tart Recipe

Pastry Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined.  Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds).  Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched.  Add remaining water, if necessary.  Do not process more than 30 seconds.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gather it into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an one hour before using. This will chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.
While the pastry is chilling, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, remove the pastry from the refrigerator and divide into four equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of pastry into a 7 inch (18 cm) circle. Place the four pastry circles onto the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator to firm up the pastry while you make the filling.
Filling: In a large bowl, combine the berries, sugar, lemon zest (if using), and flour.  Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and divide the filling between the four pastry circles, leaving about a 1 inch (2.5 cm) border around the outside edges of the pastry. Gently fold the edges of the pastry up and over the filling, leaving the center of the tart open. Press the edges gently so the pastry sticks together. Once all the tarts are assembled, cover and return to the refrigerator for about 15 - 30 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Remove the unbaked assembled tarts from the refrigerator and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling and start to run out from the center of the tart. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before serving. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 4 individual tarts.
(Can double recipe for 8 tarts.)

Pate Brisee (Short crust Pastry):
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water
1 pound (454 grams) berries (combination of cut up strawberries, cherries (halved and pitted), blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste
Zest of 1 lemon (optional) (outer yellow skin of lemon)
1 - 2 tablespoons (10-20 grams) all purpose flour

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hawaiian Chicken

I made this up last night and I'm calling it Hawaiian chicken because it's somewhere between Connie's chicken and Hawaiian haystacks.

3 large chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can crushed or diced pineapple
1 small onion, chopped
1 can chicken broth
1 small diced red bell pepper
1-2 cups chopped carrots
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
S&P to taste or some onion soup mix to taste

Stick all of that in the crock pot and cook it for 6 hours on low. Then take out 1 cup of liquid from the top of the pot. Add 3 tbsps of flour and whisk into the liquid and then it return to the pot. Turn the crock pot up to high and stir a few times so it can thicken. You can start to break up the chicken into chunks with your spoon at that point. I kinda like it a little bit shredded.

Now I put on a pot of rice to cook. By the time the rice is done cooking, the sauce is nice and thickened. Serve the chicken/sauce over the rice. I topped it with crunchy chow mein noodles. It was delicious and easy!

Probably serves 5-6