Friday, August 31, 2007

Last Night's Dinner #21: Pizza Puff Duo & Lonely Peach Tatin

So since I had lots of left-over filling from Wednesday's calzone meal, I decided to tweak last night's dinner. The original plan was to only make tomato parmesan puffs, but instead I decided to make one more type using the leftover filling.

Difficulty: Really Easy
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes (split into two sessions)

You'll need:
- Olive oil for drizzling
- fresh basil leaves
- 1 tomato (pick a nice one!) sliced into thin rounds, as thin as you can get them and remove seeds
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Puff pastry (I used 6 store-bought puff pastry shells, I couldn't find the regular kind)
- coarse salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven at 400F.
Thaw out the puff pastry if frozen for about 20 minutes.

Step. 1 Once soft to touch, spread out shells on a cutting board or counter.
Step 2. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the grated parmesan over the shells and gently pat it down with your hands so that the cheese sticks to the dough. Turn over the shells and repeat - make sure you get the sides too. Transfer shells to a parchment lined baking sheet.
Step 3. Bake for 10 mins or until just golden. Don't cook them all the way as the package suggests because you'll put them back in the oven once topped. Let the shells cool down.
Step 4. Make sure your tomato slices are dry (pat down with paper towel to get as much of the natural moisture off), place 2 slices on each shell and sprinkle with grated parmesan. You can also add a couple of leaves of fresh basil if you have some around.
Step 5. Cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is nice and golden.
Step 6. Drizzle with olive oil before serving, add a fresh basil leaf and grind some fresh black pepper and coarse salt.

The other kind I made used the cheese & meat filling from Wednesday night, it was really good!


The inspiration...

I was going through the fridge looking for something to eat and this lonely peach caught my eye. I wasn't really in the mood to munch on a peach so I thought what a great opportunity to try something new. I'm currently obsessed with pies and tarts so I immediately think pie! I didn't want to go nuts and come up with a filling so I thought making a tart tatin-inspired tart would do the trick. I was also lucky enough to have one tart crust in the freezer left over from my dulce de leche tartlettes. Unfortunately it was already cooked, so I couldn't make an authentic tatin (upside down). I've seen plenty of recipes where the fruit is gently poached in a butter and sugar mixture; other recipes use a white wine based sauce. I really wanted to combine the two ideas...

I wasn't sure if I could combine the two, so I first made a sauce using equal parts of sugar and butter. I didn't want to ruin the entire batch, so I took a spoonful of it and placed it in a tiny bowl and mixed in a splash of chardonnay. Tasted good to me! So I added about 2 tbs of wine to my butter and sugar mixture. It wasn't exactly a tatin - I got a little carried away with fanning the peach slices. It was good but I think I have to make some minor adjustments before sharing the recipe! I served it with vanilla ice-cream, I guess a dallop of Crème fraîche would've been good too.

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