Peak Season Vegetables
Peak Season Fruit
POTATO AND CHEESE TART WITH BACON
These deceptively easy-to-make tarts use phyllo dough—blind baking it in a mold—then adding a mixture of potatoes,
cream, and cheese. You can make miniature versions as an hors d'oeuvre by using mini-muffin tins. This is another
one of those appetizers that would be a fine lunch accompanied by a salad. The tarts also lend themselves to free
adaptation: You can replace the Beaufort with Cheddar, or leave out the bacon, and they will still be delicious.
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4 sheets phyllo dough, 12-inches by 17-inches each (if frozen, let thaw to refrigerator temperature)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 pound fingerling potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 potatoes)
8 cups cold water
8 slices (5 ounces) applewood-smoked bacon, 1/8-inch thick (or thinner, if possible)
1/2 cup finely diced onion
3/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2/3 cup finely grated Beaufort or other hard mountain cheese such as Gruyère or Comté (from about 3 1/2 ounces cheese)*
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Black pepper in a mill
* FreshDirect Note: As suggested in the recipe, we've elected to substitute a
Comté for the Beaufort in this recipe.
|Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put 1 layer of phyllo onto a flat surface. Use a pastry brush to brush the dough sparingly
with melted butter, making sure to lightly coat the corners. Top with another sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Repeat with
the remaining sheets of phyllo, making a single stack, but do not apply butter to the top of last phyllo layer.
Cut four 4 3/4-inch circles out of the dough.|
|Shape the dough circles into 3 1/4-inch wide by 3/4-inch deep metal molds. Fill each mold with pie weights or
dry beans and blind bake until the phyllo is golden-brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the weights; set aside.|
|Put the fingerling potatoes in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and cover with the water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and
bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender to the tines of a fork, approximately
25 minutes. Drain the potatoes. For a rustic effect, leave the peels on the potatoes; for a more formal dish, peel
them when they are cool enough to handle. Set aside.|
|While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon and onion:
Put the bacon slices on a rimmed cookie sheet and cook in the oven until the bacon is crispy, approx 20 minutes.
If you like your bacon extra-crispy, use tongs to turn the slices over once about halfway through the cooking time.
Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. (Do not turn off the oven.) Set aside. |
Put the 1 tablespoon of room-temperature butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt it over low heat.
Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, approximately 8 minutes.
|Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash them with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the crème fraîche,
Beaufort, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 teaspoon salt, about 6 grinds of pepper, or to taste. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes over medium heat
just until the cheese melts; the potatoes should still be chunky.|
Immediately fill the phyllo crusts with the mixture and top each tart with 2 slices of bacon. Rewarm in the oven for 1
minute, then remove from the oven, unmold onto individual plates, and serve.
Top each tart with thinly sliced scallions or chives.
Excerpted from ARTISANAL COOKING copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons.
Reprinted with the permission of John Wiley & Sons. All Rights Reserved.