I have learned one thing. As much as I like to think of myself as a queen of multi tasking, I have to face reality. I cannot do it all, and if adding one thing to a list already too long, I am bound to encounter unpleasant surprises.
It occurred a few weeks ago when I set myself to cook, style and shoot three recipes in one day, and while this was happening, I also decided to make puff pastry — well yes, I never buy pastry, I just can’t! Like expected, I took the required butter out of the fridge so that it softened before I used it, but I also did not pay attention to the fact that it was 85 F outside. And, oh yes, shall I add that we do not have AC in the house? When I was finally ready to start working my dough, the butter was so soft that it looked mushy. Now, at that point in time, most people with a minimum of common sense would have stopped and rethink about the puff pastry project. “The butter is too soft, no need to try, it will fail.” Not me, and do not ask me why. I am sometimes *stupid* like that. In fact, it reminded me of the time when I went to WholeFoods to buy quinoa from the bulk department. I pulled the plastic handle to release the quinoa out of the tall container but forgot to put my bag under, to collect the grains. Instead of stopping immediately at the view of the quinoa covering the floor, I stood there and watched the grains fall like rain, not knowing what to do. My mind had been geared a certain way and I was unable to change the plan — and I do not necessarily want to know what this indicates.
So my puff pastry project failed and I had to start over again. Because I am also stubborn and would have done so until it came out nicely. This time however, my puff pastry reached the perfect consistency and puffed beautifully while cooking in the warm oven. I was able to make one of the recipes I had imagined a few weeks before. In fact, it was a great opportunity to test the recipe a second time and make it better. In the end, one thing served the purpose of another one, and both P. and I really liked it. But then, we love to eat tarts, don’t we and perhaps, we would not be wife and husband otherwise.
So here you are. I had promised recipes with Sainte Maure. Recipe number one.
You need eggplants, thyme, fresh radishes, honey, fleur de sel and chive flowers. What else? A bit of love and play to bake uncomplicated lovely individual-sized tartelettes. Mangées en une bouchée. Ou presque (Eaten in a mouthful, almost). I needed something easy, to recuperate.
- Puff pastry (about 9 oz for 8 tartlets)
- 1 Sainte Maure cheese
- 2 small eggplants, Italian type
- Fresh thyme
- Honey (flower, liquid)
- A few pink radishes
- Olive oil
- Chive flowers
- Fleur de sel
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Wash the eggplants and slice them. Place them in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 30 min, so that they release some water.
- Use papertowel to pat them dry. Heat 2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook them on each side for about 2 to 3 min. Add more oil if necessary. Keep on the side.
- Roll your dough finely into 4 inch squares.
- Make small holes with a fork, leaving a border. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 min.
- Preheat your oven at 410 F.
- Take the dough out and place a slice of eggplant on each square. Add one to two slices of Sainte-Maure.
- Sprinkle with some fresh thyme and a dash of olive oil. Season with pepper. Cook for about 15 to 20 min.
- Once golden in color, remove the tartlets from the oven. Top each with fresh slices of radishes, fleur de sel, a chive flower and 1/2 tsp honey.
- Pâte feuilletée, 250 g environ pour 8 tartelettes
- 1 fromage de Sainte Maure
- 2 petites aubergines, type italiennes
- Thym frais
- Miel aux fleurs
- Quelques radis roses
- Huile d’olive
- Fleurs de ciboulette
- Fleur de sel
- Poivre du moulin
- Lavez et coupez les aubergines en fines rondelles. Mettez-les dans une passoire et saupoudrez de gros sel. Laissez-les dégorger pendant 30 min.
- Enlevez l’excès d’eau qu’elles rendent, puis faites chauffer 2 càs d’huile d’olive dans une poêle anti-adhésive. Faites-y revenir les rondelles d’aubergines pendant 2 à 3 min de chaque côté. Ajoutez de l’huile si nécessaire, les aubergines aiment cela. Réservez-les.
- Étalez votre pâte finement et découpez des carrés de 10 cm.
- Piquez-les avec une fourchette, puis placez-les sur une plaque de cuisson. Couvrez avec du film alimentaire et mettez au frigo pendant 30 min.
- Préchauffez votre four à 210 C.
- Sortez la pâte et déposez une rondelle d’aubergine sur chaque carré et continuez avec une ou deux rondelles de Saint Maure.
- Saupoudrez de thym effeuillé et d’un filet d’huile d’olive. Poivrez. Je ne sale pas car le fromage et les aubergines le sont déjà. Faites cuire pendant 15 à 20 min.
- Une fois dorées, sortez les tartelettes. Décorez-les de rondelles de radis roses, d’une fleur de ciboulette et d’1/2 càc de miel liquide aux fleurs.
Technorati Tags: Food Styling, La Tartine Gourmande, Food Photography, Sainte Maure, tartlet, Eggplant, honey, thyme, radish, chive flower
I didn’t know that chive flowers were that pretty purple color! What wonderful tarts. I can understand your stubborness, as I am like that often 🙂
Hi Bea, could you pass on a recipe for puff pastry? Thanks!
Evidemment les photos sont à tomber !
Love the story, the shots and the recipe 🙂 Maybe you watched the quinoa rain down because it was fascinating? Beautiful in some way? Making puff pastry in 85 F heat is crazed! 🙂 I have made it once, love it, its a long term process, lets you put lots of love into it (I love making bread by hand) .. but I personally use storebought puff pastry because I need to focus on the other aspects of the shoot (and also changing diapers and feeding babies, way too many other non-photo things! :-))
Puff pastry is always a challeng for mi.. Always !!! I admire your courage to start again in a hot temperature.But the result showwing in the photo was so goody.By the way i didn’t know chives flowers.They are pretty.!!!
This looks gorgeous and delicious. Makes me want to run into the kitchen and get cooking, as with everything you cook, Béa. For those with questions about pâte feuilletée, if you can read French, I recommend Pascale’s tutorial at C’est moi qui l’ai fait. If a recipe for puff pastry in English is what you need, I’ve got one here.
Ces tartelettes sont à tomber, avec leur petit nid de chèvre lové au milieu de la pâte, un pur bonheur!
You should take part to Ligne et Papilles’ game! Your tartlets are really appetising!
They are lovely as usual. Puff pastry is hard work, but twice in a day, you are a hero 🙂
Bea~ so beautiful~
I think I’d have to try this one!
What a beautiful presentation! It looks so delicious.
They look as if they could melt in your mouth… and I mean that in the least cliche way possible. I love your story about the grains at Whole Foods… how often have we simply stood there when we are supposed to react, unable to wrap our minds around being in the moment? A testament to being here now, I suppose.
Enfin je vais pouvoir essayer les tartelettes. Quel est le moule que tu emploie pour découper les tartelettes. Tu devrais faire des photos de tous tes moules que tu utilises en cuisine. J’adore les photos.
Moi aussi j’ai fait une recette de carrés feuilletés au Sainte-Maure ! Ta version avec de l’aubergine me tente carrément, à tester prochainement 😉
These are one of the prettiest tarts I have ever seen! You are trulyl a food artist!
Those little tartlets are stunning!
Oh, I was laughing at the Whole Foods story–I can relate!
As for me, I take 85* as a sign not to cook at all! And certainly no baking! You are a trooper:-) But beautiful, as always.
These look terrific !
Je suis comme toi avec la pate feuilletee. C’est tellement facile a faire, long mais facile. Une de mes associations preferees c’est fromage et pate feuilletee…comme dirait mon papi, c’est pas gras ca, de la pate et fu fromage!
Blague a part, les tartes, tartines et tartelettes, c’est un peu pour ca qu’on s’entend bien aussi le mari et moi!
J’aime beaucoup la derniere photo.
Using flowers for food presentation is always a good and beautiful ideas. I started doing that too and have had a lot of fun. Hehe…now I only wish I can eat the flowers!!! LOL.
These tartlets are so cute. I love the colorful and “pink” radish touch and the association honey+sainte maure+thym is all that I crave for.
Eggplant, thyme and the radish . . . not the combo I’d come up with but one that instantly communicates “I’m such a sensation in the mouth!” Beautiful tart.
Love the story – I figure it’s just sometimes the brain goes stupid. Perhaps it’s a time when it renews and opens itself to all those wonderful moments that it’s strikes genius ideas.
Absolutely divine! I’ve never ever seen chive flowers before, I think I really need to get a herb garden going so that I can grow my own!
Your tarts are so beautiful – I want to just pop them in my mouth! And you are definitely the queen of multitasking for making, styling, and shooting three recipes in one day!!! Btw, I think it would have been a wonderful picture of you standing next to the quinoa pouring out!
What pretty tarts! Sigh…one day I might attempt homemade puff pastry…your pictures are inspiring 🙂
bravo!! c’est vraiment très beau!! bises micky
The black looks stunning! Such a gutsy photo.
Lovely! If I can figure out a way to make gluten-free puff pastry I’ll make these for my wife.
One thing, though — it seems I have to read both versions of your recipes! Only the french one says “Je ne sale pas car le fromage et les aubergines le sont déjà.”, and only the English one says to leave a border when pricking the dough. It’s as though instead of writing it and then translating it, you just wrote it twice, slightly differenty, in two languages.
No matter, it’s a lovely recipe, a great presentation idea, and as always the photos “sont a tomber!”
Merveilleux petit billet où tu dévoiles un peu de ta personnalité. J’aime beaucoup, et la tartelette aussi, bien sûr!
I can just imagine all the grain on the floor. Great story. And as always, great photos.
I am currently in a tart-mode. And with puff pastry buttery goodness…I am all there. I cannot multi-task, I might end up putting the butter in the pantry and god knows where. Gorgeous pictures as usual!
Thanks Kat. Yes you should try them!
Maminas, did you see my last comment on this one?
Tiuscha, merci bien 😉
Nika, ahaha yes! I guess I do nothave the same constraints at the moment 😉 You know, the quinoa story happened more than once!
Sylvia, I need to clarify. I started a few days later. Not in the same day! 😉
Mary, merci de la clarification! Les étapes de Pascale sont géniales.
Lauriana, merci beaucoup.
Lolotte, c’est quoi ? Je ne suis pas au courant.
Gracianne, merci, well a hero, peut-être pas quand même 😉
Yoyo, thank you, once more. Btw, I tried to leave a comment on your blog the other day but was unable to!
Jeff, I should think so!
The cooking Ninja, thank you.
Molly, yes you are right. So well said indeed. It is nice to notice simple things like this, isn’t it?
Hélène, très bonne idée. Tu sais, on me l’a déjà demandé, je dois le faire. Pour ces tartelettes, j’ai utilisé une roulette pour faire le décor.
Lilo, ah oui, je les vois. Super jolies et appétissantes, comme d’habitude.
Anh, thanks so much for the kind words!
Tea, ahah a trooper yes, a way to put it. Maybe crazy is a better adjective!
Chroniques du plaisir, merci bien.
Helen, ah on a alors aussi ce point-là en commun! Ton pépé est bien marrant, dis-moi.
Bee, thank you. You can eat them indeed, not a problem!
Noémie, you know, this is what I loved about them too. The radish gave a great complement in texture and color.
Tanna, totally right!
Ellie, oh yes, you MUST!
Anita, yes I am a good multi-tasker, I have to say. As to the quinoa, I should think I will have more opportunities, as it happens quite often 😉
Joey, you will not go back once you make your own!
Natasha, thanks so much for your nice comment.
Berry, ah oui, j’ai du faire cela un peu bien vite. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! 😉 I will reread and correct. Now, if you find a way to make puff pastry gluten-free, let me know. My father-in-law is celiac!
Ninnie, merci bien. Oui, un petit défaut que je dévoile là, pas vrai?
Peabody, thank you!
Veron, tart mode! The way to go. I am ALWAYS in tart mode, it seems
LOL I have had a Whole Foods moment before too! Except it was with brown jasmine rice.
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What a gorgeous meal. I also never seen chive flowers before. They add a nic color to the final presentation. No woder you won Julys DMBLGIT (I was the third, but it feels like my picture skills are waaaaaaaay beyond yours (bow)).
Are those chive flowers edible, btw? Why people dont sell em in stores?
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ADOPTEE! en plus avec de la pate feuilletée maison, ta tarte (sans le miel pour nous) est à tomber. Il n’en reste jamais! Merci!
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