Sunday, October 7, 2012

the one in which i express my undying love for Jamie Oliver

Hey Kids & Kittens,

I know, it's been a LONG time since we've blogged.  Well you know life just got in the way.  Here's a quick rundown of life since our last post.... on 4/23/2012 (I don't count the message about writing more posts and then not doing it as a post):

  • we adopted another amazing little man, Bender Bending Rodriguez, the adorable hell raising kitten found in the gate area of our last apartment.
photo credit: Benders Aunt Linda :)
  • we moved out on our own, into an apartment that is shaded on all sides at all times and perpetually 40 degrees colder than outside.
  • we got the mac-daddy of VitaMix blenders, and use it almost everyday!!
  • oh yeah, we got engaged too :)
    Photo credit: Eric Nguyen's Creeper Photography
  • and we went to Cancun!!
oh yeah, work it out, sexy beast :-P

And finally, our good friend Emily started an awesome (and much more frequently updated) food/lifestyle blog over at the  You should absolutely check it out.... now.... then come back here and read on!!
And now on to the food!

So.... since we moved in to the aforementioned darkest apartment ever and decided to ditch cable in favor of faster, cheaper internet, I have been at the mercy of Naris' (and Hulu of course) procurement of various TV shows.  This has forced me to branch out a bit in my show selection, and spend less time watching TV.  This system has it's pluses & minuses:

+Jesse watches less TV
-Naris is in control!!
+Jesse gets to demand things of Naris
-Naris can vote no on TV shows
+Fry loves the quiet living room
-Bender is a monster and is never quiet

But the one biggest plus is the discovery of a new show, Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals.  This show has really got our cooking butts back on track.  Jamie shows how to combine store bought ingredients with fresh to make quick, healthy and tasty meals, and shows you the ropes in 30 minutes or less.  Each meal consists of a salad or side, an entree and a dessert.  Now, one reason I've been slacking on cooking is simply time, lack of it and the amount of it needed to cook great food.  But we've stocked up a recipe list from this new show and are working our way through it.

First up, the Portuguese Egg Tarts featured in the show's premiere episode (Recipe, Video)
Now, we've made these twice in the past week and can vouch for their utter deliciousness and serious ease of making.  So let's fire up that stove and get cracking!

The Ingredients:
  • Plain flour, for dusting (we only had gluten free flour, but for dusting it worked just fine
  • 1 pack of pre-rolled puff pastry (usually found in the freezer aisle, check out Good Eats episode "Puff the Magic Pastry" for guidance on defrosting)
  • 2 tbsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup creme fraiche (Safeway doesn't carry this, so we used whipping cream)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract (vanilla paste is $13 at William-Sonoma, invest in it kids... it's amazing!)
  • 5 tbsp sugar- split into 1 tbsp and 4 tbsp (we're trying to kick white sugar, so we used coconut sugar, but you could use any sugar you want)
  • 1/2  orange (zest first before beginning)
The hardware:
  • microplane or box grater for zesting
  • whisk or fork for mixing
  • large clean cutting board or counter top
  • small pot or saucepan
  • wire cooling rack (preferably sitting on top of some paper to catch the caramel drips, trust me you'll thank me later for this one)

Time to tart it up!!
Preheat your oven, setting it to 400°F.  Get your mis-en-place ready, make sure you zest your orange now.
Left to Right: Cream with vanilla paste, 1 tbsp sugar & orange zest; egg; zested orange
Defrosting the puff pastry
Dust a clean cutting board or your countertop with flour.  Place the sheet of puff pastry on the board and sprinkle over half of the ground cinnamon, then flip and repeat.

mmmmm, cinnamon
Now comes the tricky part, roll the dough into a log and cut into 6 pieces (or 12 if you only own a mini muffin pan like we do).  Then press each slice of your log into a greased muffin tin well and press the sides to coat.
one slice down, 11 more to go
Time to bake, place your muffin tin in to the preheated 400°F and bake the tart shells for 8 to 10 minutes.

While those are baking, it's on to the the filling and caramel.  Take your pan and put it on medium-high heat.  While that is heating up mix together your cream, vanilla paste, 1 tbsp sugar and orange zest in a small bowl/measuring cup.  Set aside your cream mixture to fill the tart shells

Once your pan is heated, toss in your 4 tbsp remaining sugar and juice your 1/2 orange directly in to the pan.
world's most sophisticated orange juicer
Now, carefully back away from the caramel...  I said BACK AWAY, do not stir, do not stick your finger in to taste, etc.  Just leave it be to cook, trust me you do not want to risk getting any hot caramel on yourself.

Right about now, your oven timer should be dinging and when they come out they will have puffed up a bit.
To make room for your tart filling, it's best to use a spoon for this, as your fingers will get burned.
Now, pour in some tart filling to each shell, being careful not to overfill.  You will likely have some left over filling.  C'est la vie!  Place your filled tarts back in the oven for 8 more minutes.

And back to the caramel.  In the past few minutes your caramel will have cooked together a bit and be a nice syrupy consistency.
mmmm, caramel sauce!!
Ding, that was your oven, the tarts are now cooked and ready to come out.
awesome dual layered tart
yum, almost ready for action
Transfer your tarts to the wire cooling rack.  Drizzle carefully with your caramel sauce.

After a few minutes of cooling, you will have delicious and beautifully rustic tarts. 
these don't last long once you have one :)

The Verdict:

Jesse:  These were really easy to make and only required a few ingredients.  They were the kind of thing I would pay good money for too but can make them at home for cheap!!

Home cooking: 12, Restaurants: 2

Naris:  Mmmmmm

Home cooking: 13, Restaurants: 1

Until we cook again,
Cost Breakdown:
We had some ingredients on hand, so their costs are estimated.

- egg ~ $0.50
- sugar ~ $0.20
- vanilla paste ~ $0.66
- orange ~ $0.75
- puff pastry - $5.99 (only used 1/2 of carton)
- whipping cream - $3.49 (only used 1/3 of carton)
TOTAL: $6.86 for 6 large or 12 mini tarts

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys! Thanks for the link love -- and these look amazing! Mayhaps I will cook up some sweet sweeeeet tart love in Costa Rica next week. :) Luv ya! And welcome back to blogging. :)