- 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...