I enjoy cooking, I really do. It’s the cleaning up part that I absolutely detest. And I even have a dishwasher in my apartment.
In the spirit of Full Disclosure, I do have to admit that I haven’t had the best track record at cooking (or even reheating). There was the time where I messed up canned breadsticks. (For awhile, my family would not let me live this down. Frankly, who can blame them?) You know how, after you pop the can open, you rip the dough on the perforated edges, unroll it so the dough is flat, then twist the dough around to form a curlicue and press the ends onto a baking sheet? Easy, yeah? I somehow neglected the step where you unroll the dough. Instead, I ripped the dough into pieces and formed the pieces into these sort of knobby logs. Strangely enough, I couldn’t get these to form the nice curlicues I remembered, and thus just plopped the dough logs onto the baking sheet. They came out of the oven much like they went in, and were still completely doughy in the middle. Also completely disgusting.
Another time I was reheating a tostada in the toaster oven and it completely caught on fire. I saw the smoke seeping out the door of the toaster oven. So in my infinite wisdom, I opened the door to investigate, and flames start coming out. I quickly shut the door again, unplugged the toaster oven, and waited for the fire to go out before I pulled out the charred remains of my lunch and dumped them in the trash. Sadly, not the first time I’d caught something on fire in the kitchen. Those are just a couple of my mishaps.
Right. So. Hopefully with these posts, there will be more “cooking” than “adventures,” which I think I achieved this time around, with this blue cheese and red potato tart. The recipe comes by way of a cooking blog, which recently I have become completely enamored with, Smitten Kitchen. Deb (the blogger) is completely unpretentious and totally accessible, and her husband takes the most gorgeous pictures of the food. I have so many of those recipes bookmarked now, it’s not even possible for me to ever make them all.
This recipe seemed not-terribly complicated: crust, dump stuff in aforementioned crust, bake. I could handle that. The directions for the crust say to mix the ingredients together until they begin to stick together. Okay, I say, and pick up my fork to begin cutting the butter into the flour. 10 minutes later, I’m crazed, wondering why the heck none of this is sticking together?? I finally abandon the fork and work the dough with my hands, finally getting it to form in ball.
Rolling the dough out into a crust was another battle. My little apartment kitchen does not exactly have an overabundance of counterspace, and I have not yet found the secret to keeping dough from sticking to the counter. Eventually, after I have covered myself and everything else in a 2 foot radius in flour, I have achieved a piece of dough large enough to cover the pie tin. Sadly, I don’t own a pretty tart pan, but I doubt even that would help prettify this Frankenstein piece of crust dough. It covered the whole tin, so I consider that a success.
I had a lot more potato than would fit in one level of the pie tin (which is also much deeper than a tart pan, I think), so I ended up having 2 layers of potato slices. In hindsight, I realize that if you have multiple layers, you should split up the cream mixture and the cheese, as that doesn’t seep down to the bottom layer very well.
The finished product might not be as pretty, but I think it would be equally as tasty: for dinner with a light salad, or even reheated for breakfast. 🙂