If you are like me, you just enjoy making individual portions of food. By this I mean making mini versions of big things. Rather than baking a tart, I usually prefer to make tartlets. Maybe because I find them cuter (and girls like cute, don’t they?) or because it reminds me of our visits to Spain with its tapas which I could have literally every day. In any case, cooking mini “things” helps me to better determine how much is needed for a meal with guests since I count according to the number of tartlets. You surely do not run into the issue of
messing damaging the dish while cutting. It stays cute!
Last week, I decided to make mini filo tarts because I had some filo pastry left that I needed to use. I usually use frozen filo pastry hence always need to make sure I will have a good supply of ideas to use what is left. I had come across this recipe many many years ago, after going to Avoca Café in Dublin, Ireland. I had loved the place right away – mind you, any place with brown bread is sold to me!- and of course, bought their cookbook, Avoca Café Cookbook, which I used to make this recipe. This cookbook offers a great variety of recipes for soups, breads, salads and traditional Irish cuisine, well documented and accompanied by lovely pictures. And in short, if you ever go to Dublin – P’s home – make sure to stop at Avoca Café. They do have different locations across town and I find it an ideal easy place for lunch. Of course, I just drool at the thought of brown bread!
Or those landscapes from our trip to Ireland in Sep. 2004.
Did I say that in New Zealand, you could recognize Irish lanscapes?
Ring of Kerry, Ireland
On Dingle Peninsula, along the coast, Ireland
One of the ingredient which adds a lot to the dish that follows is the groseilles (red currant). Although the recipe asks for cranberries and adds it as optional, I would not only use groseilles instead but not ommit them since the taste of all ingredients together is enhanced by the acidity of the groseilles. This fruit belongs to the family of red fruit (in French we refer to this family of fruit as les fruits rouges) and is often used to make jams and tarts. As long as I remember, my mum, grand-mothers and aunts have always kept big bushes of groseilles in their gardens, and today, I keep a great memory of summers spent picking them to make all sorts of preserves. I miss this activity today, but really hope to be able to do it again in the future.
I made some changes to the recipe according to my taste, but the main idea remains the same.
- Filo pastry (about 5 to 6 sheets)
- 2 tbsp red currants
- 200 fresh spinach
- 80 g blue cheese
- 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 4 tbsp cream
- Olive oil
- 4 tbsp pecan
- Preheat your oven at 350 F (180 C).
- Grease a muffin pan (for 6). I have a silicone one but any muffin pan is fine.
- In each mold, place 2 to 3 layers of filo pastry cut to match the size of the mold and each time, brush the filo pastry with olive oil.
- Wash the spinach and cut it coarsely.
- Crumble the cheese.
- Mix together the spinach, cheese, pecans and red currants. Divide between each mold.
- Beat together the eggs, egg yolks and the cream.
- Season with pepper and salt.
- Pour over the vegetables.
- Place in the oven for about 25 mns. Check regularly as the filo pastry cooks quickly and you do not want it to burn. This is delicious on its own, as finger food or for a light lunch with a salad.