Monday, October 23, 2017

Falling Wakes, Wine, Dinner, Cooking.

We did really well at the beginning of the weekend. First, having had the A/C on Friday evening, I went to bed and realised the heating was also on. Back to the living room to turn it off. Easiest light was just inside the kitchen door, the thermostat being just outside the doorway. Having turned on the light I stepped backwards and tripped over a step stool I keep handy particularly for when I need to sit whilst doing something. I stumbled into the TV cabinet and knocked stuff all over the place, broke a swan ornament I rather liked, knocked the box off the TV but luckily it couldn't fall far. Also bruised my arm. Matt never heard a thing, he was sound asleep. Then around 8 Saturday morning I heard a crash from the bathroom and there was Matt on the floor. Not quite sure what happened but he was lying there. I tried to get him to help himself up by using the edge of the bath and the toilet which were right by him. I had to disappear for a few minutes and he had managed to get up during that time. Not sure how. He said he bent down to lift the toilet seat and collapsed. A friend questioned if we were trying to outdo one another. I think this falling must be catching, I don't think I mentioned someone fell at bowling on Monday. Everyone rushed to help but in fact if someone falls you should NOT help them up. Give them help by placing a chair or something they can use but if they are unable to get up then an ambulance should be called.  You just never know whether anything is broken and you might make it worse. You also can risk your own safety by trying to help.

I don't often recommend wines, but we were recently introduced to an Australian red called Red Knots Shiraz. We find it an excellent wine. We had some with dinner on Saturday night. Talking of which I made Leeks in Vinaigrette which I enjoyed, Matt did not. Pity. I thought they were really good. There is also a Red Knots Cabernet Sauvignon but we haven't tried that. These wines are from Australia. Shiraz is particularly Australian. Same as Baco Noir appears to be in Canada. Another wine we very much enjoy.

The rest of  our weekend was fairly uneventful I am pleased to say although I have ended up with a few bruises. Matt doesn't seem to have any. I did make another batch of the Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette too, maybe I should call it Grape Tomato Vinaigrette. I am finding it goes with all kinds of things. This time I cut about 3/4 of the tomatoes in half and just left a few whole. I think it is better.

The Portuguese have a way with eggs which I am impressed with but have never tried to emulate. However, these custard tarts are simple enough except for the pastry part. The author suggests you can use bought puff pastry to begin if you wish to do so.

Portuguese Egg Custard Tarts

Part of the joy of eating these tarts comes from the contrast of the crunchy crust with the soft custardy filling. Making the custard is easy; the crust is more of a commitment involving rolling, buttering, folding, and repeating. If you want a shortcut, start with store-bought puff pastry, roll out to a 12"
square about 1/8" thick, roll into a tightly spiraled log, and follow the instructions for slicing and pressing into the muffin tin cups.

Dough
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Filling and Assembly
1 lemon
1 3–4-inch cinnamon stick
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups whole milk, divided
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Special Equipment
A candy thermometer

1. Dough

2. Using your hands, mix salt, 1 cup flour, and ½ cup water in a large bowl until a shaggy dough forms. Knead until dough is elastic but still very sticky, about 5 minutes (alternatively, beat on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 3 minutes). Wrap in plastic and let sit 30 minutes to relax gluten.

3. Make sure your butter is softened to the consistency of sour cream (you can put it in a bowl and give it a stir). Generously flour (really, use a lot of flour) a clean work surface. Place dough on surface and dust with flour; lightly coat rolling pin with flour. Roll dough out to a 12" square (it will be quite thin), flouring surface as needed to prevent dough from sticking.

4. Brush excess flour off dough. Imagine dough is made up of 3 equal columns. Using a small rubber spatula, spread 2½ Tbsp. butter over the left and center columns, leaving a ½" border around the edges (it should look like a slice of toast that’s been buttered on the left two-thirds). Lift up the right, unbuttered column and fold it over the middle column, then fold the far left column over the middle, as though you were folding a letter into thirds. Rotate dough 90° counterclockwise; the sides and top edge will be open.

5. Generously flour work surface and dough. Roll out again to a 12" square. Repeat buttering and folding process. Again rotate folded dough 90° counterclockwise, flouring surface as needed. Roll dough out a third time to a 12" square (it’s worth it; we promise!). Spread remaining butter over surface of dough, leaving a ½" border. Starting with the long side closest to you, tease up edge of dough with a bench scraper and tightly roll it away from you into a log, brushing excess flour from the underside as you go. This dough is very forgiving—if there are any small holes, don't worry about it. When you get to the end, wet edge of dough just before you roll it so that it sticks. Trim both ends to clean up the edges, cut log in half crosswise, then wrap both pieces in plastic wrap (you should have two 6" logs). Chill 1 log at least 3 hours; transfer remaining log to freezer for another use (this amount of dough makes enough for 24 tarts; freeze the extras for your future crispy tart needs).

6. Do Ahead: Dough can be made 1 day ahead; keep chilled, or freeze up to 3 months.

Filling and Assembly

7 Peel zest from one half of lemon into wide strips with a vegetable peeler, leaving white pith behind; set aside. Bring cinnamon, sugar, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan fitted with candy thermometer over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until thermometer registers 225°. Remove from heat and stir in reserved lemon peel. Let sugar syrup sit 30 minutes.

8. Position a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 500°. Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven to heat.

9. Whisk flour, salt, and ½ cup milk in a medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Heat remaining 1 cup milk in a large saucepan over medium-high until it begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk into flour mixture. Return mixture to saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, creamy, and smooth, about 5 minutes.

10. Strain sugar syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into hot milk mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in egg yolks and vanilla.

11. Cut chilled dough crosswise into twelve ½"-thick slices. Place 8 slices on a plate and chill; place remaining 4 dough slices in 4 cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan. Using your thumb, firmly press the center each piece against bottom of cup, forming a wall of dough around your thumb. Using your thumbs and fingers, press edges of dough against sides of cup, turning pan as you go, until dough comes halfway up sides of cup and is about 1/16" thick (or as thin as you can get it). Repeat twice more with remaining dough slices.

12. Fill each pastry shell with about 2 Tbsp. filling (it should come about three-fourths of the way up the sides). Try not to get any on the pan itself; it may burn and stick during baking.

13. Carefully place muffin pan on heated baking sheet in oven and bake tarts until custard is slightly puffed and browned in spots, and crust is golden brown and bubbles of melted butter are popping around it, 14–16 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in pan, then carefully transfer each tart to a wire rack with an offset spatula. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Yield: 12

Author: Rick Martinez
Source: Bon App├ętit

Have a great day

 

22 comments:

  1. Hi Jo - well glad you both got up and through your falls ... and hope they now stay away. Take care ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. Matt is feeling a tad dizzy even now. Gotta get him checked out I think.

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  2. Glad you both survived your falls. I turn lights on all the time in the dark cause you never know what you might have left lying around. But it always pays to look where you are going - backwards not being a good idea, lol.

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    1. I turned the light on OK Denise, but forgot the stupid step stool right beside me. I have kicked it a couple of times before anyway so it needed to be moved. Pity I didn't have the sense to do it before.

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  3. Sorry you both took a tumble. You need to be really careful, especially if you know Matt will sleep right through it.

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    1. You're right Alex. At least I didn't actually hit the ground.

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  4. He slept right through it! Oh my gosh. Interesting and good point about helping someone up. Here's to no more falls!

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    1. Well, in his defense Ivy, there is some distance between the bedroom and living room. Yes the falls information is very useful to know.

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  5. I hate to hear that you guys fell. Maybe keep a flashlight by the bed so you don't get tripped up in the dark? My mother broke her back slipping on wrapping paper.

    The recipe sounds delicious. I love lemony foods.

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    1. No it wasn't in the bedroom Liz. I always put a light on when I get out of bed at night. It was between the kitchen and living room. For Matt it was daytime anyway. Falls can be very serious.

      Me too.

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  6. Glad you and Matt are okay!

    My mom wasn't so lucky. She passed out while sitting at the kitchen table. Took 12 stitches in her forehead and spent two nights in the hospital. They can't find anything wrong, but have told her not to drive until all the tests are done.

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    1. That is nasty Melissa. Your poor mom. I am glad there doesn't seem to be anything wrong.

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  7. That is a good point about not helping someone up too much because they might have broken something. I must remember that. i'm glad to hear there was no serious damage.

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    1. Matt's been a bit dizzy on and off Pinky. But seemed fine today.

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  8. That's awful to hear about you guys both falling like that. Since I assume you're okay, hearing about you knock over all of those things at once reminded me of this silly video of a guy falling for 9 seconds straight.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/gv2f6nH

    I love that when we fall, trying to save ourselves often just makes things worse.

    BTW, those Korean pork chops were awesome. Will definitely be making again.

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    1. Funny, at least he stayed upright Bryan. True, I got bruises from grabbing the furniture.

      I have to try those too, I had forgotten about them. Next weekend definitely.

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  9. I'm so sorry to hear you guys both fell!!!! I hope you are OK and don't have any lasting bruises. Matt's collapse is rather troubling however. Will you take him to see the doctor?

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    1. Nope thank goodness JoJo, just a bit sore now. Matt has an appointment next week so I will ask them about it. He is on BP pills and I don't think he should be.

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  10. I'm glad to hear you weren't injured. I worry about falling and make a point to keep things picked up and in place, but like you, I sometimes forget something is there.

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    1. My own fault really Susan. I have stubbed my toe on the step stool a couple of times but was too stupid to move it LOL. I just was unwilling to walk into another room when I needed it.

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  11. That must have been a horrible experience, Jo . I’m glad you’re okay and hope Matt is, too. Did he go to see a doctor?

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    1. I guess it was Helen. More so with Matt. He has a doc appt. next week.

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