Archive for May, 2012

Here is the savory Swiss chard tart I tried to trick out today and messed up to an as-yet-undetermined degree (it’s still cooling):


The tart-damning modification that kicked off a series of issues was the decision to use my new springform pan. I thought: oh yes! Geological layers of beautiful food – plus I won’t need or want to have a full pie crust’s worth of dough!

So, to make the layer idea happen, I placed jewel-like nubs of roasted squash on top of the Swiss chard mixture before pouring the cream fraiche and egg concoction on top to finish the tart.

It looked like soft orange ships had been wrecked in a sea of dairy – not pretty. But the true trouble started when white liquid began dripping from bottom of the pan, around the edges.

Why did no one tell me spring form pans aren’t water-tight? Isn’t the point of them that you can make molded things in the oven then, voila, remove the sides and serve? Once my sad lunch labor springs free, I will have to investigate if I assembled it wrong or if I just misunderstood the concept of the pan.

The one good modification I made to the recipe was to add in mushrooms in a new way, a duxelle. (Thanks to Peachie Keen for the hot tip.) This French mushroom preparation involves dicing mushrooms really finely then throwing them in a pan with a little butter, minced shallot, and an acid of some kind (vinegar or lemon juice seem popular). The idea is that the mushrooms release all their moisture, which you cook away, and are then left with a rich, savory paste. The end product would be as delicious as part of an entree ensemble (as in this tart) but also could be an egg dish protagonist. I’ll probably add this to risotto right before serving, too.

Finding out about duxelle is incredibly exciting not just because it will make the dish better but because I have found a way to enjoy mushrooms. I’m all about their flavor – it’s the rubbery, molar-slippage texture that I find revolting.

Time to try the tart…

Forensic evidence below:

Duxelle prep

Layering on the squash

Swiss chard (stems and leaves), duxelle, and Gruyere

Squash shipwrecked on dairy seas. MAY DAY.


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