Monday, February 27, 2012

Hearty Tart

Once again, a visit from my mom spurred me on to try a new recipe. Verdict? It's a keeper. And I think it could be pretty versatile, adding some vegetables when they are in season or scrambled eggs to breakfastize it.

Potato, Cheese, and Onion Tart
Cook's Country

2 (9 1/2 x 9-inch) sheets puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator (or in a couple hours on the counter if you have only skimmed over the recipe like me) 
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyére cheese
4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
6 slices bacon, chopped
3 shallots (I used 1 1/2 small white onions)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon (I didn't have it so I skipped it)

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place puff pastry on prepared baking sheet and press sheets together at short ends. Brush perimeter with water and fold over to create 3/4-inch border. Poke interior with fork and make shallow horizontal cuts around outer perimeter. Top with 1 cup cheese and bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, pat the potatoes dry with paper towels. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 1 minutes. Stir in potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop bacon and stir into potatoes.

3. Combine sour cream and tarragon in small bowl. Top prebaked pastry with potato mixture. Cover with remaining cheese and dollops of sour cream mixture. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Serve.

I say I cooked for my mom, but she came into the kitchen and asked, "What can I do?" and since I hate cooking bacon, she pretty much took care of step 2. Which means yes, she did the bulk of the cooking on this one.

I have two very minor complaints about this recipe: 1) they called it a potato, cheese, and onion tart and then listed shallots which I know are similar to onions but why not just say shallot tart? and 2) they labeled it as a "30-Minute Supper" which is misleading when the ingredients require thawing, and 30 minutes would be optimistic even when everything is thawed and ready to go. But it tasted good, so I'll let all that slide.

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