Free-Form Tart with Potato and Asparagus

To be honest, I’m a little bit behind with uploading this post, as Asparagus season has been and gone. However, I still want to share it with you and to remember it for myself, as it’s very easy to make (in advance too), budget friendly, vegetarian and suitable for any occasion, such as dinner, picnic, or you can make it as individual portions for dinner parties, basically it’s very versatile. In a way, you can adapt it to suit the season. For example, now, you can use courgettes, or perhaps green /runner beans instead of asparagus.

FREE-FORM TART WITH POTATO AND ASPARAGUS

(Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food Collection)

Ingredients:

1 pack of all-butter puff pastry or shortcrust pastry

2-3 boiled potatoes, cooled, cut into thick slices

8-10 asparagus spears, blanched for 2-3 minutes in a boiling water in advance, let it dry

2-3 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

140g Gruyere or any other preferred hard cheese (I used Cheddar)

200g soured cream

1 egg

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C fan with a baking tray inside.
  2. On a large sheet of baking parchment dusted with a little flour, roll out the pastry into a rough circle about 30cm wide, until the thickness of 2 x £1 coins.
  3. Trim the asparagus, snapping off woody ends. Cut the potatoes onto thick rounds.
  4. Brush the mustard over the pastry. Arrange the potatoes, asparagus and most of the cheese in layers in the centre of the base, leaving a border of pastry that’s roughly 5cm all the way around. Season and fold up the pastry edges to enclose the vegetables and cheese, pinching the edges to seal. (If you noticed on the photos, this time I missed this step completely, as I was short of pastry. And unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos first time around).
  5. Whisk together the soured cream and the egg with a little seasoning, then pour into the centre of the tart. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 mins until the pastry is golden and crisp. Eat just warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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Potato Pancakes

To celebrate The Pancake Day (yesterday) I chose a less conventional recipe for pancakes. Someone, probably, would debate even if you can call them ‘pancakes’, but that’s how we call them at home and I will continue to do so.

When we grew up, we didn’t really have any ‘take away’ places and the only ‘fast food’ we knew, it was the food made by our Mums and Babushkas. It was always the food with few ingredients, probably not always healthy (but what sort of  ‘fast food’ is?), but always comforting and delicious! These pancakes are in that ‘fast food’ range. And you don’t need to wait for Pancake Day to have it really, it’s perfect any time, when you crave for the comfort food.

Potato pancakes / Druniki

POTATO PANCAKES

Ingredients:

4 potatoes, peeled

4 tablespoons plain floor

2 eggs, lightly beaten

salt to taste

vegetable oil for frying

soured cream for serving

Method:

  1. You can grate finely, coarselyor mince the potatoes by hand, or you can simply put it in a food processor and blitz it until it becomes fine mass without any big pieces (imagine you blend the soup, so the consistency of the potatoes should be like that).
  2. Add the eggs, flour, salt and mix thoroughly to avoid lumps.
  3. In a pan pour oil, wait until its hot (but not burning!), put potato mixture with a spoon. Fry each side until brown, flip. The pancakes brown rather quickly, so do not walk away very far from the pan, keep an eye on them.
  4. When the pancakes are cooked put then on kitchen towel to drain the excess of the oil. Serve meanwhile they are hot, on its own or preferably with soured cream.

Potato Pancakes

Salad Love

I am thinking to have a weekly post on salads, because I have a special place for salads in my heart. However, I am not going to write about the ‘usual’ salads, the salads that the majority of you are familiar with. I’d like to introduce you to the salads I grew up with, salads which came from the Baltics. And let me be honest with you, some of these salads won’t be shy of calories, but don’t let that put you off too quickly, have a go,- little bit of what you fancy in small quantities is good for you and didn’t harm anyone yet. Never the less, I will introduce you to the healthy varieties too (it’s not only about meat, potatoes and mayo!).

Today, I’m going to open the ‘marathon’ with the simple but one of my favourite variety of Potato salads, to be precise..

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HERRING SALAD

Ingredients:

3 medium potatoes

150 g (approx 3 fillets) herring – marinated in oil

100 g cucumbers

100 g cooked beetroot

25 g fine chopped shallots or spring onion

100 g soured cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

salt, black pepper to taste

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Method:

1. Boil the potatoes unpeeled until it is fork tender and cooked through (about 30 mins). Cool it completely, peeled the skin off and cut into small cubes.

2. Cut the cucumbers and herring fillets into similar sized pieces and combine with the potatoes, add shallots (or spring onion).

3. Add soured cream and mustard, salt and pepper and mix into the salad base, combine everything together but gently, do not over mix.

4. Cut the beetroot into the same sized pieces. At this stage you can combine them into the salad mix but I prefer to create a separate lever (see a picture below), otherwise everything will look like a one big pink mess.

You can serve it as a starter or a light lunch with slice of rye bread.

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