mardi 20 février 2007

Tartin' it up.

Has this site devolved into one about cooking? Maybe. Maybe I thought you were tired of hearing about how, again, a friend and I somehow ended up back at these goobers' bachelor pad post-drinking, where they tried really really hard to get into our pants, but my friend had already said at the outset, "If we come back with you, you can't make a move on us," to which they agreed... and then they were stuck trying to figure out how to make their move while sorta keeping true to their word. In short, they couldn't figure it out (although did they ever try, and their efforts included a lot of wine, champagne, candles, and Journey), and while one looked like Matt Dillon, if you think he's cute, he got progressively less cute the more he talked, and he talked a lot. There is nothing worse than an insecure guy. (Perhaps an insecure dog that pukes blood when its owner isn't around, but that's another story.)

Plus, I'm still trying to figure out how they got back to their place and lit a whole bunch of candles before we got there, when we got our car first from the valet.

(Yes, it was very very cheesy. I almost snorted with laughter when I walked in.)

Anyway. Back to food, where the more cheese you have, the better.

So I had a whole bunch of asparagus. And while I love nothing more than asparagus roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, I wanted to fancy it up this time. I went through recipes I had saved, and came upon this lovely recipe for an asparagus and potato tart. Super-elegant, and it involved puff pastry. And I love puff pastry.

I ended up changing it around a bit, based on what I had at home. For one, I didn't have any crème double, so I used half-and-half (again). Since I didn't have a rectangular tart pan, after rolling out my puff pastry dough a bit to make it thinner, I used an 8x8 brownie tin, laying the dough in the pan and then folding the extra dough over itself around the edges to form a nice vessel into which to arrange my tart. And, for the life of me, I could not figure out how to cram 2 potatoes' worth of slices into my tart, and settled for a couple of layers. Oh, by the way? You'll think that 2 eggs + cream is too much liquid, but surprisingly, it isn't. It really does fit. Finally, rather than arranging the asparagus spears so all the tips were at one end, I alternated them so that everyone could get a nice piece with both tips and ends. Because I am generous like that.

I had all those leftover potatoes, though! So I improvised a tortilla española with the excess potatoes, adding in some onions as well.

It was a study in contrasts - a restrained, elegant asparagus tart (with puff pastry!) juxtaposed with a more rustic, homely tortilla. But slices of both with some leafy spinach lightly dressed, and they made for a lovely light evening supper.