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Monday, December 04, 2006

A Gift From a Very Special Friend and WCC No. 12!

I have been just waiting for the perfect opportunity to share with yous this:

From Ivonne :D

This was a completely unexpected surprise that I received in my mailbox last month, around my birthday! My dear, sweet friend, Ivonne, sent me this package of some excellent Canadian cooking magazines, two adorably printed packages of cocktail napkins and a tart (or quiche) pan! I've wanted this pan for soooooo long and she knew I wanted one and she sent me one. I didn't know what to say.. I still can't find the exact words to express how special she has made me feel and how grateful I am to her for sending such a lovely present with a special message inside the cute, glittery card. Again, Ivonne, thank you! Thank you, so much! =)

And so, this perfect opportunity has arisen. The lovely Sara's WCC No. 12 - Party Foods! What better party food than a scrumptious tart, yes? There are sweet tarts and savory tarts, tarts made with mousse and tarts made with fresh berries and fruit. There are delectable tarts made of fresh veggies and tarts made of chocolate! The possibilities are endless and I think I've managed to link to most of the reasons why I've wanted a tart pan so badly! hee!

With an incredible craving for asparagus this past week, I decided that I needed to find a recipe for a savory tart that featured asparagus. I searched high and low through my cookbooks to no avail and then all over the interweb until I happened upon a new site to me, Food Down Under. A pretty cool site, featuring cuisine from all over the world. Catagorized by either country or type of dish, finding tart recipes was a breeze.. finding tart recipes featuring asparagus was even easier! There were a few to choose from, but I settled upon this one. I liked the idea of a crust made from phyllo dough and the cheeses included in the ingredient list were pretty mild, so I knew the asparagus would shine through. And that it did. =)

Asparagus Tart
Asparagus Tart No. 182
Courtesy of Food Down Under

Asparagus Tart II


12 sheets phyllo pastry
2 TBS. butter
1 lb. asparagus
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup marscarpone cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBS. chives
2 TBS. parsley
1 TBS. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 TBS. bread crumbs - plain or seasoned

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Melt the butter and lightly brush a 9 inch deep pie plate or quiche tin. Set aside.

Open the phyllo pastry on a flat work surface and brush a little butter around the edges of 1 sheet, brushing a 'zigzag' of butter up and down the sheet of pastry. Place another sheet on top and butter as before. Fold these two sheets in half (so that you have a four sheet depth) then place this in the prepared tin, hanging over the edge slightly and covering part of the sides and base.

Repeat with the remaining sheets of pastry, buttering and folding as before and placing in the tin until the base and sides are totally covered. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then allow to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.

Trim the asparagus so that each spear is 3 inches long then slice all the remaining offcuts of asparagus finely. Cook the asparagus spears in a pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes then drain well on kitchen paper.

Mix together the milk, marscarpone cheese, eggs, cheese, chives, parsley, tarragon and salt in bowl then season with pepper. Add the finely sliced asparagus off-cuts and mix well.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of dry breadcrumbs over the base then pour the cheese custard into the tin. Arrange the asparagus spears in a circular fashion on top of the custard, tips towards the edge and ends meeting in center.

Bake until tart puffs well and the top browns, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly

This tart was delicious. It was creamy and had a great crunch thanks to the crispy phyllo dough. The taste of asparagus paired beautifully with the mascarpone and parmigiano reggiano cheeses. It was very easy to make and I had it done within an hour. This tart can be served warm or at room temperature. Perfect for parties! It's quite pretty too, isn't it? :D

The only thing I changed in this recipe was to roast the asparagus instead of boiling it. And the only thing I would change the next time I make the recipe is to omit the tarragon. I could do without it.

Now I would like to apologize to Sara for getting this recipe in so late! She's already got the round-up posted - go check it out, the submissions are fabulous! And I'd like to once again thank my friend, Ivonne, for much more than a wonderful birthday present, but for just being my friend. =)

Okay enough with the mooshiness.. I'm going to bed. :P

xoxo

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Comments on "A Gift From a Very Special Friend and WCC No. 12!"

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12/05/2006 12:29 AM) : 

What a wonderful package! And what a beautiful tart! I'll take the big slice please!

 

Anonymous Tanna said ... (12/05/2006 2:25 AM) : 

Oh, yes that does look like a very wonderful tart! And you're so right, it's a wonderful package but the friendship is the really special part. Lovely.

 

Blogger Ed Tep said ... (12/05/2006 2:31 AM) : 

Happy belated birthday!!! Your asparagus tart looks delicious!

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (12/05/2006 6:52 AM) : 

A wonderful present from one wonderful person to another :)

And that tart looks simply superb - I'll more than happily ask for a piece!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12/05/2006 9:22 AM) : 

That's an excellent package and a lovely tart! Does the tart ship well...? cause I'd like some...

 

Anonymous peabody said ... (12/05/2006 9:41 AM) : 

Isn't Ivonne the best! She does such a wonderful job of encouraging food bloggers.
What a special treat, a tart pan is always useful.
Speaking of tarts, your asparagus one looks fantastic.

 

Blogger Ruth said ... (12/05/2006 11:50 AM) : 

Lucky you and happy belated birthday!

The tart looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12/05/2006 12:27 PM) : 

This looks delicious! When asparagus comes back to being in season, I'm going to have to try something like this out! I LOVE asparagus.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (12/06/2006 7:21 AM) : 

Thanks everyone =)

Unfortunately, I can't ship you any. Hubbs, who snubbed his nose while I was making this tart ("Tart? Tarts are not manly food!"), has eaten the whole thing. Lucky for me I had to cut out a couple slices for the picture or I wouldn't have gotten any. =)

 

Blogger emily said ... (12/06/2006 9:38 PM) : 

That's gorgeous - I looove asparagus!

 

Blogger gattina said ... (12/08/2006 6:33 AM) : 

Lis,
beauitful gifts!
The asparagus tart really lovely, from the look, the ingredients (cheese and more cheese!) and the herbs! Shall we expect more wonderful tarts keep coming, hehee...

 

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