Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stilton Tart with Cranberry Chutney (Page 34)

  • Date: Saturday, December 15, 2007 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Mike M, Teresa, Paul K, Beth, Lauren K, Jeremy, Ayelet, Michael L, Ann, Daniel L, Kent, Sue, Allan, Ann E, Jim, Marcia, Vladimir, Kitty, Muriel, Marc, and Tricia
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I made this hors d'oeuvre for our holiday party on Saturday. It wasn't bad, but I also wasn't crazy about it. The crust was fine: a typical pate brisee recipe with some shortening added. The time suggested for blind-baking it wasn't long enough to get a nice golden brown. I was cautious and took it out when the recipe indicated, figuring that it would brown more during the second bake. It was a mistake to do so though. The crust came out pasty looking, and not tasting as deliciously cooked as it could have. The filling was decent. I like blue cheese a lot, and expected to be head over heels for this filling (Stilton, eggs, heavy cream...). However it came out much more quiche-like than I expected. I was hoping for more cheese and less eggs. I'm sure it is more crowd-friendly this way, as some people aren't big on blue cheese, but it would have been much more interesting had the cheese been more intense. The cranberry chutney was the highlight of the dish (see post below). The Book suggested that this is a time-saving type appetizer because it is made as one big tart and then cut into pieces. True, that is easier than making lots of little pieces, but it wasn't terribly visually appealing. If you are going to make an appetizer as fussy as this one, you might as well go all the way with the fuss. I don't see the point of cutting a few corners, but not others. Overall, this recipe was fine. However, I would have preferred a nice cracker, spread with blue cheese and topped with the chutney. That would have been a much bolder combination of flavors, and just as visually appealing.

Here is the recipe.

Apparently I have rapidly adjusted to my new small-town lifestyle. I am so used to Bloomington, that being in Chicago these past few days has been a shock to my system. Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago, but the traffic is driving me nuts! I have been driving back and forth each day between where I am staying and where V lives. Google maps tells me that this is 5.6 miles, and that it will take 18 minutes. Last night it took more than 45. I have never been one to get impatient in traffic. I drove in Boston, and city driving in Boston is probably comparable to city driving in Chicago. But, I have been away from all that now for 4 months, living in Bloomington, where the only time there is any traffic is if there is a football game. And now, apparently, I have lost whatever traffic tolerance I had built up! In a few minutes Matty and I are going to make our last battle with Chicago traffic for a while, and attempt to drive to Ohare, and then Madison. Maybe I will let him drive...

I have been thinking lately about where I would ultimately like to live. Of course there is no real geographic flexibility in my line of work, but it is still interesting to dream. The truth is, even after all my coastal living of the last few years, I think if I could choose I would live in the Midwest. I am loving being back in the Midwest. I am even loving living in a small town. It's hard to explain, but it really suits me.

Speaking of Midwestern small(ish) towns, we should head off to Madison now...

9 comments:

Paul said...

I'm the only one leaving comments? I didnt try this because of my aversion to sweet&salty together. But now that I see the recipe, I wish I had.

Teena said...

You don't like sweet and salty together? Crazy! I love that combination. However, you didn't miss much by skipping this one -- it wasn't great.

paul said...

well, maybe roquefort and Sauternes...

Mike Hill said...

Good lord, Paul, do you even read the epic sagas I post in response to Teena's `blog posts? I'm deeply offended.
And how can you hate sweet + salty? It's like all of your non-crappy taste buds having a party in your mouth and not inviting that wall flower "bitter" or that bitter wretch "sour"!

Magdalen said...

Chocolate-covered pretzels (or their cousins, "those pretzel things" made by softening Rollo candies on mini-pretzels and then smooshing them down with pecan halves).

Also, chocolate-covered potato chips. I rest my case...

Paul said...

Mike

sorry, I'm new to this Blog. I'll try to pay closer attention. Like I see Teena's students doing in her office hours.....

on your second point, and magdalen's, I'm a vegetarian, so my opinions on food are completely inconsequential and by definition wrong.

However, anyone who suggests that sugar (or HFCornSyrup !) belongs in salad dressing is just plain wrong.....

Teena said...

Mike: Be nice!

Magdalen: I agree about chocolate-covered pretzels: yum! I've never had a chocolate-covered potato chip though, and I'm not sure that sounds so good!

Paul: I'm not sure HF Corn Syrup really belongs in anything...

Mike Hill said...

Paul, your HFCS comments mean that we are now best friends. I waged a completely unsuccessful war against this terrible menace, but Teena kept slipping it into my food. Finally, I just gave up.

Teena said...

It is not my fault that there is HFCS in everything you eat Mike! How many times do I have to tell you: I do not manufacture candy, or those nasty coffee flavored milk drinks!