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Friday, April 20, 2012

Random Food Fridays - Puff Pastry to the Rescue!


I've had a few weeks. Boy Howdy! Have you ever had a run of stuff? None of it was about me, I just had several people in a row (and simultaneously) to worry about. Too many trips to the hospital. Too much emergency stand by. Too much stress.

I like my life a lot. Emergencies make me super edgy and super schmoopy-grateful all at the same time. My worry-people are out of danger and in recovery. I'm looking at the azaleas and dogwoods and seedlings coming up. I have a robin family living in my yard. The world is busting out green and new.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! All kinds! All kinds!

That's a little song I sing when I'm feeling grateful. When I sing All kinds! All kinds! I lock my eyes on some thing of beauty and splendor and address it directly. It's silly, simple and repetitious, but it sure works. 


I want to acknowledge all those people who are going through extraordinary stresses in their lives. I like to share good, homemade food on my little blog. I hope that folks will find my food accessible and encouraging. But I, for one, will not give you the stink-eye when you stop for pizza or a sandwich or a burger when your life has prevented you from seeing to your own needs. Sometimes you just have to eat what you can and get through it.


That said, a Saturday of shopping, chopping, cooking and eating can be a blessed relief after two weeks of mostly eating out. I was also able to get out in the garden and plant my little lemon tree and some seeds. Tending my life is so sweet. Chores can seem like a chore, but when you know you are willing and able to care for your own life and home, chores become a sacred occupation.

Our lovely, at-home meal had an assist from frozen puff pastry. I'm really sold on this stuff. I found a version at whole foods that came in rounds. The one I've gotten from Trader Joe's is square. Both are almost impossible to render un-delicious.

I was inspired to make an asparagus tart by this entry from Good Life Eats. I didn't read the instructions very carefully, so mine is a little different. Really, you could make this yummy with any veggie and cheese you like.


Another of the magic properties of puff pastry is that it comes in packs with two sheets. TWO SHEETS! That means a jammin' girl like me can make a tart, lickity-split! I spread red raspberry jam on half of this circle, leaving about an inch for sealing. I brushed the edges with an egg wash made from the egg whites leftover from the asparagus tart. After folding and sealing, I brushed the top with egg wash and sprinkled with sugar crystals. 20 minutes at 400, and Ta-Daaaa! Jam Tart!

Asparagus Tart
1 round of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup grated gruyere
1/2 cup sour cream
2 egg yolks
about 1 lb. asparagus
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the thawed puff pastry on the parchment. Mix the cheese, sour cream and egg yolks and spread on the pastry, leaving an edge of dough. Trim the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends. Arrange the asparagus on the cheese. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

2 comments:

  1. Lots of "stuff" around my joint too. It's nice sometimes to take a time-out to do ordinary stuff. Cook, weed, sit around in the garden. I just wish I had a little more time for it right now. Tarts look amazing, and I too am a frozen puff pastry convert.

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  2. Thanks, Sarah. Let's hope for a general simmering down on all fronts.

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