Roasted vegie tart and decadent mashed potatoes

4 07 2010

Two for one today. This week’s CSA box came loaded with autumn vegetables – eggplant, sweet potato, some end of season capsicum, onion – just crying out to be made into roasted deliciousness. And three waxy bundles of carbohydrate joy. I’d watched Emmanuel make what looked like an instant heart attack on Poh’s Kitchen and I was craving some mashed potato action like there was no tomorrow.

First up, the roast vegetable tart. A few minutes of peeling, slicing and dicing, a quick toss around in some garlic and olive oil, and you end up with something like this.

Into the oven with that while I get busy with the potatoes. Between you and me, we know the drill, right? Peel, chop, steam, mash with fork.

Whisk in more butter and cream than seems appropriate. Whisk. Because that’s how creamy these get.

Top with a little more butter to serve.

Yes. Oh yes. Very much so.

Instead of waiting around for my arteries to harden, I moved on to working with shortcrust pastry for the first time ever.

Yes, ever. So what? It’s not like I was avoiding it, man, I just never, sort of, you know, got around to it, really.

(Alright. I was avoiding it.)

Anyway, I’m here to tell you that shortcrust pastry is your friend. Your flat, buttery, crumbly, easy to work with friend. A quick blind bake while you mix up two kinds of cheese and a short time in the oven later, you end up with a gorgeous rich filling nicely matched with a pile of roasted vegies.

Oh, except, well, the pastry wasn’t really cooked on the bottom. I could hear George’s voice telling me my pastry was raw, that I was a failure and I’d never be Australia’s Masterchef.

(But that’s okay, because if I’d wanted to do that, I would have done an apprenticeship, right?)

Next time – blind bake for a little longer and she’ll be apples.

I’ll be making the tart again, not least because there’s four more sheets of shortcrust pastry in the freezer.

As for the mashed potato – as Emmanuel said, it’s a decadent treat, not an everyday thing. And so begins a new war with my self control.

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