Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More From the Budget Gourmand

A flaky, buttery tart shell is the perfect vessel for just about any filling you can think of. In this savory version, roasted bell peppers and a creamy ricotta-feta mixture make for an easy, Mediterranean-inspired side dish that also travels well.
Special equipment: You will need a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom to make this dish.
What to buy: For a slacker solution, you can buy a 12 ounce jar of roasted red peppers. Just be sure to drain them well and blot dry with paper towels before using.
Game plan: You can make the roasted peppers and line the tart pan with the dough up to 1 day in advance. Store both in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
This recipe was featured as part of our Summer Ingredients recipe slideshow.
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins, plus 3 hrs chilling, baking, and cooling time
Makes: 8 servings

For the peppers:
2 medium red bell peppers
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed

For the filling:
1 1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese (about 5 and 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups crumbled feta cheese (about 5aand 1/2 ounces)
2 teaspoons packed, coarse chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in quarters lengthwise
For the peppers:
  1. Heat the broiler to high and arrange a rack in the top third of the oven. Place the peppers directly on the rack. Roast, turning occasionally, until the peppers blacken and blister on all sides, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit until cool enough to handle and the skins easily peel away, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard the skins, seeds, and membranes of the peppers. Slice into 1/2-inch-thick strips (you should have about 1 cup), transfer to a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
For the dough:
  1. Place flour and salt in a food processor with a blade attachment and pulse several times to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 8 to 10 (1-second) pulses.
  2. Remove the lid from the processor and drizzle the flour mixture with ice water. Replace the lid and pulse until the dough starts to form small clumps, about 15 to 20 (1-second) pulses. (To test the dough, squeeze a small handful together: If it is crumbly and not holding together, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, and pulse to combine.)
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Roll it out to about 12 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom and gently pat it into the bottom edges and around the sides of the pan. Trim any excess dough hanging over the sides. Cover the tart shell with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  4. When the tart shell is ready, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  5. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and discard the plastic wrap. Line the tart with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to overhang the edge by 1 inch, then fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is set and light brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and continue baking until the crust is dry to the touch, about 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
For the filling:
  1. Place the ricotta, 1 cup of the feta cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper in the cleaned bowl for the food processor with a blade attachment. Process until the mixture is smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
  2. When the tart shell is ready, transfer it and the baking sheet to a wire rack and, while the shell is still warm, add the ricotta mixture and spread it into an even layer. Decoratively arrange the roasted pepper slices across the top of the filling. Evenly sprinkle with the olives and the remaining 1/4 cup feta cheese.
  3. Return the tart (on the baking sheet) to the oven and bake until the feta on top turns golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove the tart from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature before serving, about 45 minutes.
This recipe is, originally one from CHOW and is by Lisa Lavery, and appears here with little alteration.  I tried it earlier today since I had most of the ingredients leftover from making a couple of Italian dishes this weekend, the taste and texture was incredible, though I did use slightly less than the full quarter cup of kalamata olives and a dash more feta cheese. I know any reader is going to ask how this is budget cooking but really none of the ingredients are all that expensive, the whole thing comes in at less cost than a couple of medium pizzas if you are buying them for only this recipe and for my opinion is well worth it.

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