Monday, September 19, 2011

Fig and Gorgonzola Tart

Wow! I have been a busy lad as of late. I only have one child (that I know of. :) ), and it seems like there are about 7 running around the house right now. I have started training again (for squash and just general health), had some deaths in the family, did a little traveling, golfing and it looks like our wine importing business can finally get on it's feet. It only took 4-5 months of work (and that's just to get the license which we still don't have but have been assured we will get it right away). As much as I love to write this and share recipes and healthy ideas on cooking with everyone out there, my health and family life come first and foremost. I have let this blog lag over the past little while, but I have my priorities and make no apologies for this. That and I make no money with this either (booing and heckling go here). I do it because I love it. That and I don't read enough if I don't write this, so it's for brain health as well.

The garden took up a lot of time this year too. Unfortunately the tomatoes didn't turn out as well as we had hoped. My inexperience sure showed as I made a few mistakes, but they turned out to be  big mistakes. Slightly over watering as it was good and hot, I didn't prune the suckers as I didn't know about them until it was far too late, the dirt was hard in our buckets as I didn't till the soil. Now, I'm not sure if that was part of the problem, but if it is, I can see why. The one mistake I made was not talking to my uncle Gerald soon enough as he grows some mighty large ones and gets great flavors from them too. I also found an article from Culinate about growing them and found another video on their site as well which was very educational. Next year will be a better year in our garden. On the brighter side, the zucchinis produced hundreds of flowers and some nice zucchini, so many that Bonnie had to make bread with them (about 10 loaves, 4 of which we gave away) and we still couldn't use the whole lot.

Figs are still available up here and we have been eating them left, right and center. I'm pretty much sick of them now, but the season is almost over so I will tough it out. We had a whole tray of figs, which is 16, I believe. I had one portion of puff pastry left in the fridge, so we talked it over and the fig tart idea was born.

This is easy to make, a little tedious, but simple. We shared it with our neighbor Reina, whom we invited over for some dinner and a glass of wine. Good food deserves good company.

Ingredients

- 6 figs, halved and sliced
- 1 sheets of puff pastry, thawed and rolled out until desired thickness is reached
- 120g Gorgonzola
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 400 F. After rolling out the pastry, carefully pick it up and place it on a cookie sheet with a Silpat on it. You can use a pizza stone as well, but as long as the cookie sheet is protected so the tart won't stick to it. Slightly score the pastry about 1/2"-3/4" in from the edge so the outside will puff up a little. Take a fork and lightly prick inside of the score mark all over to keep this part of the pastry from puffing up.
2) Place the figs on the tart however you like. I choose to be a little decorative. Note: I flunked almost every art class I was ever in, so feel free to do it differently... or properly.


3) In a pot over medium-high heat, reduce the balsamic vinegar to half and turn the heat off when finished. Set aside for when the tart is finished.
4) Crumble the Gorgonzola over top of the figs


5) Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the pastry turns brown. Drizzle vinegar over top and serve.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4






I was running in and out of the house to our back patio so the pictures suffered a little. However our palettes didn't. Obviously you have to like figs and blue cheese to eat this, but try it anyways if someone makes it for you. I was going to put shredded prosciutto underneath everything, but to my disappointment we ran out a the day before and I wasn't paying attention. I'll save that idea for next time.

The figs are a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Healthy and great to eat. Can't beat it. This could also be served as a Meatless Monday dish if you are so inclined, without the prosciutto of course.

Little O's Menu

Pasta, pasta, pasta. She can't get enough of it. We try to move on to other things, but this must be a phase as she wants it every night for dinner. Easy enough to make, we just have to find other ingredients to add to it for flavor and added health benefits. A little salt, pepper and EVOO with a little Parmesan goes over well. I even put a small chunk of garlic in there for flavor but took it out before giving it to her. Chew, chew, chew! She even had a gutfull of my Pasta Carbonara. She doesn't take after her mother when it comes to eggs obviously as Bonnie wants, no demands her eggs be well done. She will eat Carbonara once in a while, but she has to be in the right mood. Her palette seems to be coming around again. We like to see this and hopefully it keeps progressing. She still a toddler so there's no pressure. As long as she doesn't fall into that fast food trap some parents let there kids get into, we're happy with what she eats in our house.

Quote Of The Day:

"If you don't take care of yourself, the undertaker will overtake that responsibility for you."

~ Carrie Latet - American poet who no one seems to know much about....


Until next time, good eating everyone.

Mark