Potato, Leek and Asparagus Tart

Mon, Oct 13 • 0

Completely decadent, serve this with a salad, as a side, or as a first course. It’ll definitely wow them at the pot-luck dinner.

You could really go over the top with this recipe, adding cream to the potatoes, and using a ton of butter, but I tried to keep it a little less than sinful — but go ahead and use the cream, especially if you’re going vegetarian. You can use any single cheese you want. I think the smokiness of the chedder added a lot to it, though. Smoked gouda might work well, too. If you’ve never worked with phillo dough, be sure to read the hints on the box, about working quickly, and keeping the unused layers with a moistened towel — if the dough gets dried out (which doesn’t take much), you might as well be working with newspaper. You can omit the eggs — which I did, by mistake — to save even more calories, but they help firm up the potatoes, and make it much easier to cut. Either way, it’s delicious.

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
4 fist-sized yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
3 ounces smoked chedder cheese
3 ounces fontina
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup chicken broth
3 eggs
1 package phillo pastry
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring two pots of water to boil, one for the potatoes (boil for about 10 minutes or until soft), one for the asparagus (parboil for 4 minutes). Saute the chopped leek in one tablespoon of the butter until softened, and melt the rest (either in a small pan, or in the microwave). Mash the potatoes, adding in the chicken stock, and the shredded cheeses, as if you’re making mashed potatoes.  Add the leeks, and the eggs, and mix until smooth.

Start lining a baking pan, or, ideally, a rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom, with the layers of phillo, spreading a little of the melted butter between layers, overlapping the edge of the pan. Keep layering until you have 6-10 layers. Spread the mashed potatoes into the middle, and smooth. Press a single layer of asparagus into the potatoes, and moisten with any of the butter left over. Fold over the hanging bits of the phillo to form a flakey crust.

Put the pan in the bottom of the oven, and cook for 20-30 minutes, then let it cool for at least 10 minutes.


Potato Gratin

Mon, Dec 31 • 0

Traditionally, this recipe calls for shredded gruyere cheese, but jack cheese, or even smoked gouda works well, too. If you want to save some calories, you can replace the cream with either milk or chicken stock that’s been thickened on the stovetop with a roux of a tablespoon each of butter and flour.

2 or 3 yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
2 shallots diced; or 1 onion, diced; or 1 leek, cleaned and diced
2-4 oz of your favorite cheese, shredded
¼-½ c cream
salt and pepper

Potato Gratin

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an oval gratin pan, or even a small cast iron frying pan, with a little butter or olive oil. Lay down a layer of potato slices, covering the bottom. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and the diced onion. Add a little cheese, and moisten the layer with cream. Repeat 2 or 3 more times. Cover the pan with foil, and bake for 60 minutes. Remove the foil and cook 10-20 minutes longer until the liquid is bubbly.


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