In mine I have a spinach, mushroom, and potato tartlette that was much adapted from the recipe to be found here: Mashed Potato Tart
Not surprisingly, I was on the wrong website, I wanted to be on epicurious.com, but whatever. It's an interesting recipe and despite the fact that I can't have pastry, the person I was looking for can't have cheese, and I don't tolerate eggs, oh and Barry shudders at the thought of mushrooms... I had to give the recipe a try. So. What happened? Well. I had fun.
It was my first "big cook" since the gastric bypass. Wow. I miss cooking. Alot. I miss the chopping and the rhythm you get into when you start to cook, the sizzle and the heat of a skillet, and the smells of the kitchen. I found that I was alot cleaner now that I am not able to meander and taste (lol) and that I had more fun. It was an enjoyable experience. Of course, my new iPod speakers might have had something to do with it. ;)
Here's all my ingredients laid out, but the bacon was an accident. So I have, starting with the milk, in clockwise order, milk, mushrooms, an egg, spinach, a shallot, 2 cloves of garlic, butter, and mashed potatoes. The bacon is for tomorrow's experiment, stuffed tomatoes.
I took buttered 2 chicken pot pie tins (the disposable ones, not recycled) and then using 1/4 of the mashed potatoes formed a shell for the tart. I baked these at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes until they were nice and browned. They are shiny because I dabbed a little butter on them. You could probably skip this part if you are health concious.
I sauteed thawed frozen spinach and then mixed with the remaining mashed. This is where I think I went wrong. The spinach tasted dirty
. It didn't taste like fresh spinach or even canned or even normal frozen spinach does, it tasted like it hadn't been cleaned properly. It threw the flavor of the dish off. Which sucked royally. Also, I didn't use enough salt. But more on that later.
Yum. Nothing smells quite as good as sauteeing mushrooms and onions, or in this case, shallots. Ok, I have a confession. I've never used shallots at home, and now, I'm a convert. Onions+garlic all in one ? I was going crazy over the smell. As I sauteed the mushrooms I started breaking them down because they were waaaaaaay too big for me, but for people who are *normal* and haven't jacked around with their body, there shouldn't be a problem here. I could eat sauteed mushrooms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While the mushrooms sauteed, I mixed the mashed potatoes and the spinach together a little better in a bowl and chopped some garlic up. I think that the next time I do this, I will use a higher potato to spinach ratio, and although the original recipe calls for frozen spinach, I might use fresh, or chop the spinach more, because it was a workout to mix the mashed potatoes and spinach together. (It reminded me alot of bubble and squeak)
Do these pictures seem out of order to you? I took them in order... this is the remains of the mushrooms, garlic, and shallots once sauteed down. Gorgeous, aren't they? They smelled much better, let me tell you. Also, let me pause a moment to tell you that I LOVE my pans. We got them from COSTCO when my in-laws where visiting from England back in 2004. What a deal. The pans we had from the apartment had all died and burned up, but these pans are still going strong, the non stick is still there, and they are just a dream, no hot spots, no uneven cooking, and they are beautifully weighted. I love my pans. Thank you Tom and Rita. ::hugs:: (Even though I know they don't read my blog)
Ready to go! There's the mushrooms, egg mixture, and mashed potato/spinach stuff in the bowl, and then theres the beautiful tart shells in the foreground. In hindsight I think they could have been cooked a little longer, maybe at a lower heat, but they were tasty. Oh yeah, there is the salt that I didn't use enough of. I am thinking that I should have used some spices in the spinach mixture, I was considering nutmeg, but that would have given it a homier feeling than I wanted, what would have kicked it up more? What would have added the bite or contrast that cheese usually does?
Now they are filled and ready to go. They look pretty tasty, kind of remind me a little of green bean casserole. LOL. While these were baking at 375 for about 5 minutes, I was grilling chicken tenderloins that had been rubbed down with cracked pepper and soy sauce for Megan and Barry, and stirring up a pot of day-glo mac n'cheese.
Take a deep breath, the unmasking of my tart was a terrifying adventure. Mashedpotato pastry is a fragile thing, but viola! it worked, and isn't it beautiful!! And there it sits on my Wonder Woman plate (after the bypass I asked for my own melamine plate set like Megan's because they are smaller, and Barry got me a Wonder Woman set. However, it's dinner sized... but still, hello! it's WONDER WOMAN, so it's all good) The pot pie size is a little too big for me to eat in a single sitting, but I gave it my best shot.
Oh man, I would so get an F if I was getting graded on plating for this. so so so get an F. And the worst thing is, I actually chided someone the other day for their poor plating skills... Anyhow, this is Barry's dinner du jour. Chicken, Spinach Potato Tart, and day-glo Mac N' Cheese. He actually at about half of his spinach tart, I'm shocked. He ate more than me.
Next time, clean spinach, or canned spinach. More salt. Different spices; any suggestions?
Looks good though, huh? It tasted delicious, except for the dirty part.