Friday, 6 June 2008

Tarts - Always a Good Option

Well, that's what I think anyway, hee hee. Make the pastry , line the tin and you're laughing. All you need to do then is fill it - and you can do the pastry case in the morning or even the day before - just put it in a sealed plastic bag to keep it fresh in the fridge.

When you're ready to cook it, find some bits for a filling - tonight I fried some bacon bits and cut up half a camembert (which had been rather disappointing on the cheeseboard, but worked fine in this) - then beat 3 eggs and a 200g tub of crème fraîche together and pour into the pastry case, covering the filling. Bake at 200°c for 30 minutes, then leave to cool slightly before sliding it out of the tin and onto a serving plate.
I had intended to serve the tart with steamed potatoes and a green salad, but found that we'd actually run out of potatoes. Grr! This rice salad made a more than acceptable substitute, however, and reminded me how much I love rice salads (unlike pasta salads which, with limited exceptions, are pretty foul).

Colourful Rice Salad

I use Morrisons' Frozen Special Mixed Vegetables, defrosted, for this. There's not really anything that 'special' about them, but it's the sort of mix; peas, corn, carrots, broccoli and peppers - rather than those packs of diced mixed veg for stews - that you're looking for here.

300g brown rice
350g vegetables (and see above)
handful raisins
garlic & herb dressing (recipe follows)

Cook the rice. Chop the vegetables up, if necessary, for a nice finish to the completed salad and combine with the cooked rice. Stir in the raisins, then pour over as much dressing as you need to evenly coati, but not swamp, the salad. Chill until needed.

Garlic & Herb Dressing

5 fl.oz olive oil
2 tbsp garlic vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
handful fresh herbs - your choice - chopped finely

Whisk it all together, or whizz in a blender. You'll need only 1/3 to 1/2 this quantity for the rice salad, but thisis one of my absolute favourite salad dressings, so keep it in the fridge and use it whenever you might otherwise use a vinaigrette.

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