Things have been busy around here, and this is probably the only real blog update I'll have for the next two weeks. I have a good excuse, though... we're moving! Joe and I just bought our first home, an adorable condo here in Chicago. It has exposed brick, a fire place, great bedrooms... and necessary things we've been lacking in the past, such as air conditioning and a washer/dryer. It goes without saying... we're really excited! And I'm already used ellipsis (ellipsi?!) three times... so that was the last time, I swear!
Moving is exciting, but also time consuming. Since we closed on the condo last Friday, I've pretty much spent every moment packing, painting, cleaning, or thinking about what needs to be done. I planned terrible meals for this week, just to allow myself to start packing the kitchen. Last night was ground turkey tacos with a packet of flavoring, tomorrow night is pasta with jarred sauce and Italian sausage. Oh, and frozen veggies for some extra nutrients. Fancy, huh? I did make one exception on Sunday night, though, because I've been dying to try this Goat Cheese Tart for weeks now, and just couldn't wait any longer. It was the last hurrah before I packed up a lot of the kitchen stuff, and it was a great way to end my cooking at this apartment. It was buttery, cheesy, and absolutely terrible for us, but so worth it. My husband summed it up when he said, "You should put this on the list of recipes to keep... but only for a special treat". He also sent me a text message the next day at lunchtime, after he finished eating the leftovers. So if you want to keep your significant other happy, this is the recipe to try.
Goat Cheese Tart
From Barefoot in Paris, by Ina Garten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
13 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
10 1/2 ounces garlic-and-herb soft goat cheese
1 cup heavy cream
3 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, put the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cut 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of the butter into large dice, add to the bowl, and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, add the ice water all at once and process until the dough becomes crumbly. Don't overprocess. Dump the dough out on a floured board, gather it loosely into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough on a well-floured board and fit it into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable sides, rolling the pin over the top to cut off the excess dough. Butter 1 side of a square of aluminum foil and fit it, butter side down, into the tart pan. Fill the foil with rice or beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and foil from the tart shell, prick the bottom all over with a fork, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small pan and saute the shallots over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tender. Place the goat cheese in the bowl of the food processor and process until crumbly. Add the cream, eggs, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper and process until blended.
Scatter the cooked shallots over the bottom of the tart shell. Pour the goat cheese mixture over the shallots to fill the shell (if the shell has shrunk, there may be leftover filling). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tart is firm when shaken and the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve hot or at room temperature.
And in case you're wondering, here's a picture of my new kitchen! I can't wait to get it set up so I can start cooking again! And this really will be the last blog post for the next two weeks, because we won't have internet in our apartment for the first week we're living there. But I'll try to keep reading other blogs on my lunch breaks, and I promise I'll post again once we're settled!
I think I'll do one of my Giada cookbooks for next month's cook book challenge, but then I promise to branch out from the Food Network cooks. Any suggestions of other cookbooks you recommend?