Oct 21, 2009

plum tart & mexican with girls

we got a new girl at the office not too long ago. well, time flies, it was may... for years there was just one woman at that desk, then i came along and little over year ago another, now we are six. newest addition moved from another town, bought a house, there was talk of a house warming party, then there was summer vacations, then there was more talk, finally about a month ago it was decided to set a date and try to make sure that all of us could come. getting us six off duty at the same time wasn't that simple, the desk needs to be "manned" every day from 7 am to 22 pm, only 2 of us work the same shift... however, and never mind how, we finally had this party yesterday evening.

thru arrangements 4 of us worked the day (including the hostess), i sort of volunteered to fix the food and decided on mexican (as it's super easy and fast) and rustic plum tart as dessert. decided on this plum tart because, how shall i put this, i wasn't sure there would be a pie pan in the kitchen i was baking in.. surprise, there was!

decided to make the crust the night before, it would be well chilled, easy to transport and everyone has a rolling pin, right? here's what you need

recipe calls for yellow corn meal, which i didn't have so i put some semolina instead (worked fine), but in a pinch you could just add that amount of regular flour. it pays to actually chill everything, i usually skip this chilling (confession time), somehow the crust came out perfect (note, i had not done this before). the steel contraption? it's a pastry blender, if you don't have one, food processor works fine and that is actually what the recipe says to use. i do find this contraption very useful. actually, it might work for mashed potatoes as well

the blender leaves nice size butter pockets that help make the crust crisp

don't mix too much after adding the cold water, the dough needs to stay a bit lumpy

on cling film, ready to be formed into a disc

all packed, ready for fridge and baking later on

fresh from oven, it was served with whipped (real) cream with some vanilla extract and sugar in it. recipe doesn't call for it but i used some demerera sugar on top the crust to make it even more crispier. i was very happy on how this tart turned out, will definitely make it again to serve with mascarpone

my heap of mexican goodness on a corn tortilla, made a mess eating it (wasn't the only one!) there is letture, grated aged cheddar, tomatoes, jalapenos, salsa, chili beans, rosa mexicano guacamole, red onions, bell pepper, spicy chicken on top. i might have forgotten something...

turned out that the only thing needing improvising in the kitchen was using a bottle (empty!) of bubble as a rolling pin. she did have one (pink of all colors!) but little did i know that you're supposed to fill it with water in order for it work, oh well...

oh, girls! why do wear black socks?!?!?!

here's the fireplace at the shack, very handy as it's getting colder and we'll not be having a shortage on fire wood...

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