Through luck or serendipity, TWO of my blog hops have landed on the same date and both have potatoes as an ingredient in their challenges. So I’m doing double duty today with the Improv Challenge (potatoes and cheese) hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker and The Holiday Blog Hop (potatoes, beer or pistachios) hosted by Erin of Big Fat Baker. Much as I wanted to find a dessert to share, it was much easier to focus on a side dish. I saw these simple tartlets from Gourmet magazine and knew they’d be perfect.
A basic pastry crust was filled with sliced and cooked new potatoes, then a mixture of cream and an egg yolk, and finally some crumbled blue cheese and chopped rosemary and thyme. These smelled insanely good as they baked…and we weren’t disappointed in the results one bit. Even the often persnickety teenage boy thought they were excellent. And Bill has already taken the recipe to work…
Blue Cheese and Potato Tartlets…adapted from Gourmet
1 1/2 cups flour
Dash of salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into bits
3-4 tablespoons cold water
3/4 pound red new potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 pound Maytag blue cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Fleur de sel or sea salt for sprinkling
Whisk together flour and salt, then blend in butter with fingers (or pastry blender) until mixture looks like coarse corn meal. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons water and stir with fork until fully incorporated. Squeeze some of the dough in your hands…if it doesn’t hold together, add up to 1 more tablespoon of water till the dough holds when testing. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead a few times with the heel of your hand to distribute the butter. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º.
Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and simmer, covered with water, till tender. Drain and let dry on paper towels.
Whisk together cream and egg yolk.
Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll out on floured surface into 5 inch circles. Fit into six 4-inch tartlet pans, trimming off excess dough. Chill shells for at least 10 minutes.
Arrange about 4 slices of potatoes in each tart shell. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the cheese into each shell, then divide cream mixture between tartlets. Top each with 1/4 teaspoon of both thyme and rosemary followed by a light spinkling of sea salt.
Bake tartlets on a baking sheet for 45-50 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pans to serve.