Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The messy kitchen leek and swiss chard tart

We've all done it. You do a bunch of cooking over the weekend but what you didn't do was clean up along the way and you decided to just let everything 'soak' so that you could ignore the mess and move on to more fun things like knitting and play dates. Monday rolls around and you are left eating your cereal with the last spoon in the drawer which also happens to be one of the three that have been mangled by garbage disposal. What's a girl to do but make the kitchen even messier. It had to get worse before it could get better.

I still had some swiss chard left over from last week and it was looking like it might shrivel up in the fridge if I didn't use it ASAP. I was bound to send this chard into our bellies rather than the Earth Machine. My favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, just so happened to have a new entry with a leek and swiss chard tart. I had everything but the leeks and I never miss a chance to buy leeks. I'm not sure why I like them so much, but I do. So, I did the dirty pot shuffle to make some space on the countertop for the chopping board and in a matter of time, we had a delicious tart waiting for us. The recipe is so simple and I love the concept of using puff pastry as the crust. The 'real men don't eat quiche but still eat the crust off of it' husband of mine even liked it--but then again he was starving and doused it in hot sauce, because he's a condiment maniac like that.

I only made one addition to the recipe and that was adding around a cup of grated swiss cheese, you know, because it's good for the baby, not because I belong to the 'add cheese to everything' school of thought. No, no, I'm just looking out for my baby.

If you want to see pretty pictures of the tart, see them on Smitten Kitchen's site because my kitchen was way too messy to take pictures and I so did not need solid proof of it! I have to say, mine looked just as nice as hers did!

Leek and Swiss Chart Tart
Bon Appetit, October 1999 by way of smittenkitchen.com

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream (I used whole milk)
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 cup of grated Swiss cheese (my addition)

Roll out pastry on floured work surface to 12-inch square. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold under; crimp edges. Cover; chill.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chard; saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Whisk cream and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust.

Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 15 minutes longer (this took my oven a total of 25 minutes once oven temp was reduced). Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes.

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