Friday, September 18, 2009

Tomato Tarte Tatin

I think this is one of my all time favoured starters. I lost count how many I have made of there scrumptious little tarts already, but never got tired of it. So I feel it needs a space on my Blog. The beauty is that it combines the tartness of goats cheese with the slight bitterness off the rocket and the sweetness of the Sherry vinegar scented caramel. Yes it is not my recipe, but most chefs get their ideas from somewhere, I think there are just a handful of chefs who really invent new food, them being mainly Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal and other chef in the same line of "Molecular cooking".

I think as a chef one shouldn't just take a recipe strait from someone else, but use it as a base and change it to ones own liking.
So here is the recipe for 10 tartlets.

5 ea Roma Tomatoes
20 ea Garlic gloves, peeled
20 ea Pearl Onions, peeled
30 ea Black olives, de-piped
Olive Oil, EV
100 g Sugar
25 ml Sherry Vinegar

Puff Pastry

50 g Fresh Goats Cheese
50 g Cream Cheese

Rocket leaves

Firstly make a confit with the peeled shallots and garlic. This is simply done by simmering them very slowly in olive oil with a twig of thyme and rosemary, some pepper corns, bay leaf and lemon zests. When the onions and garlic are soft cool them in the olive oil. Like this they can be kept easily for a week or two.

Then cut the tomatoes in quarters, put them on a baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and coarse pepper, then roast in the oven for 2 to 3 hours at around 80 o C.

For the caramel brown the sugar in a pan till light brown. Take the pan off the heat and carefully add water and sherry vinegar. If you add only sherry vinegar then it will burn as the caramel is too hot. If you like to have a bit more acid in the caramel, add a bit more vinegar later. Put the pan back on the stove and boil the caramel for a minute or two, till all the sugar is completely dissolved.

Mix goats cheese and cream cheese together till smooth, season to taste.

Use tartlet forms with about 5 cm diameter and pour a little caramel on the bottom. The left over caramel is used for the dressing. Then layer first the tomatoes, then Onions, garlic and olives. Make sure you use a good quality olives, Kalamata or similar.

Then top the tartlet with puff pastry and bake in the oven till golden brown. Turn the tartlet over, use the remaining juice in the dressing.

Plate the rocket, then the tartlet on top and garnish with a dollop of goats cheese. Drizzle with the Sherry-Caramel dressing and get the praise, lol!!!!!

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