Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Celebrate Bastille Day with a French Tomato Tart

Celebrate Bastille Day July 14th With Some French Dishes
In France today is the annual commemoration of the storming of Paris's Bastille Prison in 1789, an event that began the decade-long French Revolution. Frustrated by a severe food shortage, high taxation, and the frivolous spending of Queen Marie Antoinette, thousands of Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops stormed the prison in search of gunpowder. The prison held only seven inmates: four forgers, two lunatics, and one deviant aristocrat. The prisoners were annoyed by the disturbance. The conflict escalated; the crowd grew to 10,000. There were beheadings and stabbings. Informed of the insurrection, the king asked his advisor, "Is it a revolt?" His advisor answered, "No, it's not a revolt. It's a revolution." Bastille Day became an official holiday in France in 1880. There are military parades, speeches, fireworks, and public revelry, with chants of "Vive le 14 juillet!" (Long live the 14th of July!)
information from Writer's Almanac

Today is also a day to celebrate the French culinary scene. The following are recipe links previously posted on Ever Ready to traditional French foods.  
http://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2012/11/aperitifs.html
http://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2012/11/whatyou-do-makes-difference-and-you.html  (soupe de jour)
http://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2012/11/salad-nicoise.html
http://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2012/11/i-like-to-help-women-help-themselves-as.html (Croque Monsieur-lunch)
http://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2012/12/french-desserts.html

Puff Pastry Tomato Tarts 
Cook's notes: One recipe-two variations.
This recipe can be served as an appetizer or a side for a light dinner/brunch. Recipe inspiration from Cuisine at Home  Serves: 4 tarts
Option 1 pictured above
Pastry Ingredients:
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (17.3 oz. box) thawed but cold
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Filling Ingredients:
  • 3-4 oz. goat cheese, softened
  • 2 TB. minced fresh basil, more for garnish
  • 1 TB. fresh chives or 1 tsp. choices more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 2 TB. milk
  • 20 small tomatoes any color, grape or cherry
Pastry Directions
  • Thaw puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Using a ruler, cut one of the puff pastry sheets into 4 even squares and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, a few inches apart. 
  • With the other sheet, cut into 8 strips, each 3/4" wide (you will have leftover puff pastry). Cut the 8 strips in half crosswise to make 16 strips.
  • Place four strips around the edge of each square, overlapping the corners. 

  • Lightly brush the edges and corners with egg wash. Sprinkle with a spice Garlic Bread Sprinkle. Bake until puffy, about 15 minutes.
Filling Directions:
  • Cut tomatoes in half and pat dry on a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, use a fork to gently mash together goat cheese, basil, chives, minced garlic and milk. Stir until creamy. When puff pastry is done, remove from oven. The middles will be puffy, push them down gently with a fork and divide cheese mixture among the four tarts, spreading evenly with a spatula. Top with tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 4-5 minutes and garnish with basil and chives. Serve immediately.

Option 2 

Pastry Ingredients: same as above in option 1
Option 2 Filling Ingredients:
  • Garlic and Herb container soft cheese e.g. Alouette
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Diced fresh basil
Option 2 Directions:
  • Follow the same directions as above for assembling and baking puff pastry tarts. 
  • For the filling add heaping teaspoon of garlic herb cheese in middle of tart. 
  • Top with sliced drained tomatoes and basil. 
  • Grate Parmesan cheese over the top of tomatoes and basil. 
  • Follow the same baking directions as in option 1. 
Bon Appetit!

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